By Michael Hurley, CBS dangolka
dangolka (CBS) — Sports activities are again, however within the period of the coronavirus, it could all be a bit complicated. The added complication that’s the NHL’s always-perplexing playoff construction definitely doesn’t assist issues. Should you haven’t devoted your self full-time to following each single growth over the previous couple of months, you may be forgiven for not absolutely figuring out what’s at stake in each one in every of these video games.
Thankfully, we do dedicate 24 hours per day to following such issues. Doubly fortuitously, we’re right here to assist, after the Bruins have been soundly crushed by the Flyers, 4-1, on Sunday afternoon in Toronto.
This was the primary of three video games being performed by the Bruins in a spherical robin construction. (The Bruins’ recreation vs. Columbus on Thursday was strictly an exhibition.) The aim of this four-team spherical robin is to find out seeding for the “first spherical” of the playoffs; an an identical construction is in place for the Western Convention.
The spherical robin discipline within the East consists of the Bruins, Flyers, Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning. Every of these groups will play one another precisely as soon as, and the staff that emerges with the perfect report will get the No. 1 seed within the East. (Common season factors will function the tiebreaker, if wanted.)
For the Bruins, the round-robin schedule seems to be like this:
Sunday, Aug. 2: vs. Flyers (Loss)
Wednesday, Aug. 5: vs. Lightning
Sunday, Aug. 9: vs. Capitals
In easiest phrases, it’s a little bit of a reacclimation alternative for the convention’s prime groups, albeit with some critical seeding implications at stake. The rather more necessary objective for the concerned groups could be to shortly get again into midseason kind.
Should you’re questioning, the NHL set the highest of the convention up for this as a result of the league additionally invited 4 groups that didn’t have playoff spots when the season was placed on maintain in March. The league didn’t wish to take away these groups’ probabilities from making the playoffs, and it additionally didn’t wish to make the top-performing groups within the convention need to struggle for his or her playoff lives straight away.
So within the case of the Bruins, who have been the highest seed within the East by a rustic mile again in March, they now run the true threat of ending up because the No. Four seed when the “first spherical” begins. A 3-game spherical robin actually can change issues shortly.
As for which groups can be enjoying these prime seeds, that can rely on the outcomes of the best-of-five qualifying collection which are at present being performed by groups ranked fifth by means of 12th within the convention. The bottom remaining seed from these qualifying collection will play whichever staff finally ends up as the highest seed from the spherical robin, the second-lowest remaining seed will play the second-highest-ranked staff, and so forth and so forth.
The underside line? The Bruins can be within the “first spherical” of the playoffs when that spherical begins. For now, they’ve three whole video games to find out the place they’ll be seeded between the highest spot and the fourth spot. To date, they’re 0-1 on that journey.
So actually, there was nothing “at stake” for the Bruins by way of advancing to the primary spherical of the playoffs. And with no actual home-ice benefit within the bubble, the stakes are even decrease within the spherical robin. The seeding might show to be a big issue by way of a staff gaining a positive matchup and an “simpler” highway to the convention finals, however with no different seeds decided simply but, reaching any conclusion requires some stage of speculative guesswork — which, given the state of the world and the state of sports activities, feels applicable.