(East Los Angeles, CA) [August 8, 2020]: From the Editor’s Desk. Saludos and Greetings to All of our newest and regular followers! As we promised in our announced return to coverage, here is another Pro-Sports League, the National Hockey League (NHL), that has re-awakened in the minds and hearts of its gigantic fan-base. We are anxious to bring to you, in our inaugural attempt, one of the hardest-hitting and well-followed sports in our country, Canada, and the European continent.
But first, let’s take a moment to see how the National Hockey League (NHL) recognized the importance of their commitment to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and to the adoption, then passage of national social justice policies. Its owners and players displayed their acknowledgement and show of solidarity during the Opening Day of their re-started season on August 1st. The NHL, in alliance with its counterparts, the NBA, WNBA, and the MLS, was credited and praised with allowing those players who made the choice of “taking-the-knee” during the National Anthem, to suffer no adverse reactions from their team’s ownership. You can find more in-depth coverage of the League’s newly adopted BLM philosophy and the current update on the re-start by clicking here. Hope you enjoy the coverage as provided by our NHL Correspondent, Joe Perry.
The 2020 NHL PLAYOFF GUIDE: Hockey is back! With a new action-packed plan, here’s what to expect in the build-up for the Stanley Cup playoffs. Back in mid-March, the NHL regular season officially concluded after only completing roughly ¾ of the games that were scheduled. Now after a long spring quarantine, due to the COVID-19 virus, the NHL playoffs are underway with a new plan.
Here’s how we got here — To understand the NHL timeline, let’s talk about it in phases. “Phase 1” was the regular season. “Phase 2” was testing players for COVID-19 and quarantining any who contracted the virus. Out of over roughly 1,000 players, only about (15) contracted it. All players successfully overcame the virus and are healthy again. “Phase 3” referred to getting players back into training camp to prepare for the post-season. And finally, “Phase 4” refers to the actual play in the post-season we are seeing now.
The playoff format is a (24) team tournament played in two Canadian “hub cities” – Edmonton and Toronto. As COVID-19 continues to heavily affect America, the two playing sites were decided upon as a safety measure to maintain a “Bubble” environment for the players, similar to what the NBA, WNBA, and MLS has provided for their athletes.
These top (24) teams are based on points percentage. Remember, not all teams had played the same number of games when the season was paused on March 12th. So now, teams are seeded (1-12) in each conference. Unfortunately, all three California hockey teams (L.A. Kings, Anaheim Ducks, and San Jose Sharks) did not make the playoffs.
How the playoffs work: There will be normal conference playoffs, meaning Eastern Conference teams will play Eastern Conference teams and Western Conference teams will play Western Conference teams. But before those take place, there will be a “Qualifying Round” to set the playoff field.
Round-Robin for Top-Four teams: The top four seeds in each conference will receive byes from the Qualifying Round and will play a Round-Robin style for seeding purposes for the usual first round of the playoffs (16 teams). If these games go to overtime, then they’ll be played under regular-season overtime rules. If there is a tie in points at the conclusion of the round-robin, percentage points from the regular season will be used as a tiebreaker.
Qualifying Round: The teams seeded (5-12) will face off in this round. These series will be best-of-five matchups and will feature the usual playoff overtime rule of play until someone scores. Winners of these series will then meet the top four teams. Once the teams are whittled down to (16), we enter the Stanley Cup, and each round will be a “Best-of-Seven” series.
Who To Watch For: The Boston Bruins were strongest at the end of regular season. St. Louis Blues were 2019 champs and are looking to repeat. The Vegas Golden Knights and Tampa Bay Lightning are very strong. The Philadelphia Flyers were gaining speed at the end of regular season and are a dark horse. The Pittsburgh Penguins, Nashville Predators, and Minnesota Wild should be closely monitored. And the Carolina Hurricanes just swept their series, now entering the next round with confidence.
We’ll select the “Best” possible match-up in our first featured Game of the Week coverage, beginning this new week of 8/10. Keep an eye and an ear well-tuned for that game.
[About Our Correspondent]: Joe Perry is our new Sports Correspondent and Cinema-TV-Entertainment Columnist for East L.A. Sports Scene. He was born in New Jersey and raised by two public school teachers who loved taking him on World tours. He is a recent June, MFA graduate from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Program in Film & TV Production. Duly noted here, while growing-up, Joe was a huge fan of theNew Jersey Devils. He will also be covering the re-start of the National Hockey League, (NHL) season for us.