Coronavirus (COVID-19) NHL Update – March 17th Edition

Coronavirus (COVID-19) NHL Update – March 17th Edition

Written by on March 17, 2020

Like the NBA, the coronavirus (COVID-19) has decimated the NHL Regular Season. Although the National Hockey League has yet to announce that the regular season is canceled, with every passing day, we must assume an announcement is forthcoming. But all is not lost! The professional hockey league used the word “pause” when they announced last week that the NHL Regular Season had been suspended. That language assumes that even if the regular season doesn’t resume, the Stanley Cup Playoffs will. Check out and update and Stanley Cup Odds on what the NHL’s options are for the 2020 Stanley Cup.

NHL 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs

  • When: TBD
  • Where: TBD

NHL Stanley Cup Odds

  • Boston Bruins +450
  • Vegas Golden Knights +800
  • Tampa Bay Lightning +600
  • Colorado Avalanche +700
  • Washington Capitals +1200
  • Pittsburgh Penguins +1200
  • Louis Blues +900
  • Dallas Stars +2000
  • Philadelphia Flyers +900
  • Toronto Maple Leafs +2000
  • Edmonton Oilers +2000
  • Nashville Predators +3000
  • New York Islanders +4500
  • Vancouver Canucks +3300
  • Calgary Flames +3300
  • New York Rangers +5000
  • Arizona Coyotes +5500
  • Columbus Blue Jackets +10000
  • Minnesota Wild +6600
  • Winnipeg Jets +5500
  • Montreal Canadiens +100000
  • San Jose Sharks +100000
  • Buffalo Sabres +100000
  • Chicago Blackhawks +25000
  • Anaheim Ducks +100000
  • Ottawa Senators +100000
  • New Jersey Devils +100000
  • A. Kings +100000
  • Carolina Hurricanes +3300

What are the NHL’s Options to Resume and Finish the 2019-2020 Season?

Like the NBA, the National Hockey League appears to have 3 options. The first involves canceling the season outright. The second involves using points percentage to determine a playoff field. The third option involves sending the current wildcard qualifying teams to the playoffs and having the rest of the league play into the postseason.

Option #1 Cancel the NHL Season & Playoffs

There is a reason the NHL might do this. The longer the league waits to resume play, the longer it might take to get ready for the upcoming 2020-2021 NHL Season. The NHL starts up in early October. That’s not far away. It will take time for teams to ready themselves for the upcoming season. If the playoffs are pushed past June, the league could scramble to get ready for 2020-2021.

So, canceling this year is a possibility. But it’s not the likeliest, or even best, possibility. Also, the NHL used the word “pause”, which assumes they have plans to at least continue with the NHL Playoffs.

Option #2 – Use Points Percentage to Determine Playoff Teams

This could happen, but there’s an issue. Both the Winnipeg Jets and Columbus Blue Jackets have wildcard spots but wouldn’t qualify based on points percentage. So, this is the least likely option. It makes no sense.

Options #3 – NHL Playoff Play-In Games to Determine Stanley Cup Playoff Field

This is the best option. The absolute top option among those bandied about comes from Emily Kaplan, a National NHL reporter. Kaplan said that the 4-teams in each conference who have qualified for the wildcard “are in the playoffs”. The other 4 teams from each conference will have play-in contests to determine if they get into the playoff field. Check out Kaplan’s NHL  Playoffs scenario:

Eight-Teams That Have Qualified for the NHL Playoffs

Eastern Conference

  1. Boston Bruins
  2. Tampa Bay Lightning
  3. Washington Capitals
  4. Philadelphia Flyers

Western Conference

  1. St. Louis Blues
  2. Colorado Avalanche
  3. Vegas Golden Knights
  4. Edmonton Oilers

Eight-Teams Play-In Games to Determine Playoff Seedings

Eastern Conference

  1. Toronto Maple Leafs
  2. Pittsburgh Penguins
  3. Carolina Hurricanes
  4. Columbus Blue Jackets

Western Conference

  1. Dallas Stars
  2. Calgary Flames
  3. Winnipeg Jets
  4. Nashville Predators

Under this idea, the 1 would play 4 to determine if they made it to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. This could work. From a betting perspective, it makes sense to back the 2 chalks: the Boston Bruins and the Tampa Bay Lightning on the NHL Odds.

The top squad in the West are the St. Louis Blues. The Blues could repeat. Colorado looks solid. Vegas? That’s up to you. The Golden Knights have shown flashes but they aren’t as consistent as either the Blues or Avalanche. The top underdog is the Washington Capitals. Between the Caps and Flyers, Washington is a better overall team.

Chin up NHL fans! Even if it’s just for the playoffs, the National Hockey League figures to soon start turning on the Zambonis.   

Place your bets on What will be the first league to play? on our Coronavirus Odds.

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