One of the biggest questions now that the NHL has decided to temporarily suspend the season is what will happen in the playoffs. The league did not explain what the plan was at this point because there is no clear timeline on when the season will resume (if at all), but many have speculated about how they would decide which teams qualify should there not be time to play any more regular season games.
The prevailing thought if the season is forced to go right into the playoffs, would be that points percentage—rather than points in the standings—is how the seeding is determined. That’s because teams have not played the same number of games to this point, with the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders bringing up the rear with 68 games played, three fewer than those who have completed the most.
In that case, some interesting changes would happen to the standings. The Atlantic Division standings would stay the same, with the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs still leading in points percentage. The Metropolitan would be where it would come into play however, as the Islanders currently have a better percentage than the Blue Jackets, despite trailing them by one point in the standings. The Blue Jackets just so happen to hold the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Over in the Western Conference there is a similar situation. The Nashville Predators are just barely ahead of the Winnipeg Jets in percentage, despite being two points behind them in the standings. The Vancouver Canucks are also just ahead of the Calgary Flames, meaning both divisions would have a swap.
Of course, none of this is certain to play out at this point. The NHL may resume the regular season and play out the dozen or so games left for each team, or may not be able to return to normal at all this year. There are also other options like a play-in tournament that some have suggested. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see what comes about in the next weeks and months. The full standings by points percentage is as follows:
x-Boston Bruins: .714, 44-14-12
x-Tampa Bay Lightning: .657, 43-21-6
x-Toronto Maple Leafs: .579, 36-25-9
Florida Panthers: .565, 35-26-8
Montreal Canadiens: .500, 31-31-9
Buffalo Sabres: .493, 30-31-8
Ottawa Senators: .437, 25-34-12
Detroit Red Wings: .275, 17-49-5
x-Washington Capitals: .652, 41-20-8
x-Philadelphia Flyers: .645, 41-21-7
x-Pittsburgh Penguins: .623, 40-23-6
w1-Carolina Hurricanes: .596, 38-25-5
w2-New York Islanders: .588, 35-23-10
Columbus Blue Jackets: .579, 33-22-15
New York Rangers: .564, 37-28-5
New Jersey Devils: .493, 28-29-12
x-St. Louis Blues: .662, 42-19-10
x-Colorado Avalanche: .657, 42-20-8
x-Dallas Stars: .594, 37-24-8
w1-Nashville Predators: .565, 35-26-8
Winnipeg Jets: .563, 37-28-6
Minnesota Wild: .558, 35-27-7
Chicago Blackhawks: .514, 32-30-8
x-Vegas Golden Knights: .606, 39-24-8
x-Edmonton Oilers: .585, 37-25-9
x-Vancouver Canucks: .565, 36-27-6
w2-Calgary Flames: .564, 36-27-7
Arizona Coyotes: .529, 33-29-8
Anaheim Ducks: .472, 29-33-9
Los Angeles Kings: .457, 29-35-6
San Jose Sharks: .450, 29-36-5
x = Divisional Playoff Spot
w = Wildcard Playoff Spot
Ohhh baby. Leafs gonna take out Tampa forsure
@bigdaddyt – Don’t count those chickens before those eggs come due, yet. This Tampa team is a bit meaner than previous years.
Mac I think he is being sarcastic. a month ago he wanted to waive the whole team and play the not even AHL playoff bound marlies
Oh for f*** sakes. I’m a Leaf and I know that’s not happening. Tampa got mean at the deadline.
@MoneyBallJustWorks – Thing is, there are some in the G.T.A. that think the team is much better than it really is… Some there, as well as Montreal & Vancouver get unnecessarily crazy on (seemingly) a daily basis. I’m way old enough (Original 6) to understand “rabid fan”, but man!
@goalieguy41 – And I was looking forward to see what carnage they could create in the playoffs. Now, who knows when/if that will happen…
lol Leafs would be hard pressed to win one game in the playoffs.
Sure, @brucenewton, always the doggie-downer! They even had the parade route mapped out, too! :)