An abbreviated 56-game NHL season begins Jan 13. Because of cross-border issues due to COVID, American teams will be organized into East, Central, and West divisions of 8 teams each, while Canadian teams will be in a North division with 7 teams. It’s not clear how the playoffs will be handled.
The Caps signed Henrik Lundqvist earlier this year (who will sit out with a heart condition), and now have picked up Zdeno Chara. They seem to be either building a collection of late 00s stars, or they’re building a museum.
Four teams from each division; the first two rounds will be within divisions (1 vs 4, 2 vs 3 in the first round). Once each division’s playoff winner has been determined, they will be paired in the semi-finals based on regular season points (again, 1 vs 4, and 2 vs 3).
Like Thornton in Toronto, it’s likely ZC might be playing just one more season. Still, fine little deal.
Stoked on the North division - everyone will be playing each other so much, it’ll get good n’in your face by about mid-way through the season.
Concerned, though, when calling up farm players from the AHL, crossing the border, having to quarantine for (I think) seven days, which, in turn, will so utterly screw up team scheduling, especially in regard to the sidelining (or returning) injured players.
Could get slightly chaotic and by-the-seat-of-the-pants at points.
Hope Gritty dude got covid.
Perhaps outscoring other teams 41-4 and jumping in front of the Russians in the first minute hurt Team Canada. I wouldn’t say it made them over confident but sometimes you need a test to prevail later on. Especially when your opponent plays a shutdown defense keeping you on the outside.
Great WJC by all involved.
I didn’t realize until just now that you only play teams in your division for the regular season. So, 8 Isles/Rangers games, 8 Pens/Flyers games. I think this is fantastic, actually – as an Isles fan, I’m not all that interested in Isles/Jets games, but I’ll definitely watch a Caps/Bruins game (as long as it’s not conflicting with an Isles game, of course).
Makes sense from a COVID perspective and should really get those rivalries going!