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24-Team NHL Playoff Format Matchups

The NHLPA recently approved the league’s 24-team playoff format proposal. The last 24-team playoff format matchups were based on the premise of six teams playing each other per division. These new set of matchups are based on the newly approved 24-team playoff format by the NHLPA. Here is a look at the standings and the matchups in each conference.


The Tampa Bay Lightning look to right their wrongs after being swept by the Columbus Blue Jackets in last year’s playoffs if the season resumes play. Image courtesy: Scott Audette

Eastern Conference

  1. Boston Bruins (.714 points percentage)
  2. Tampa Bay Lightning (.657)
  3. Washington Capitals (.652)
  4. Philadelphia Flyers (.645)
  5. Pittsburgh Penguins (.623)
  6. Carolina Hurricanes (.596)
  7. Toronto Maple Leafs (.579)
  8. Columbus Blue Jackets (.579)
  9. New York Islanders (.588)
  10. New York Rangers (.564)
  11. Florida Panthers (.565)
  12. Montreal Canadiens (.500)

Top Four Teams Based on Points Percentage

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

Best-of-five matchups:

Penguins vs. Canadiens (winner plays Philadelphia)

Hurricanes vs. Rangers (winner plays Washington)

Islanders vs. Panthers (winner plays Tampa Bay)

Maple Leafs vs. Blue Jackets (winner plays Boston)

Vegas Golden Knights
Las Vegas is still considered a heavy favorite as a host city if the league resumes play this season. Image courtesy: Jeff Bottari

Western Conference

  1. St. Louis Blues (.662)
  2. Colorado Avalanche (.657)
  3. Vegas Golden Knights (.606)
  4. Edmonton Oilers (.585)
  5. Dallas Stars (.594)
  6. Winnipeg Jets (.563)
  7. Calgary Flames (.564)
  8. Nashville Predators (.565)
  9. Vancouver Canucks (.565)
  10. Minnesota Wild (.558)
  11. Arizona Coyotes (.529)
  12. Chicago Blackhawks (.514)

Top Four Teams Based on Points Percentage

  1. St. Louis Blues
  2. Colorado Avalanche
  3. Vegas Golden Knights
  4. Dallas Stars

Best-of-five matchups

Oilers vs. Blackhawks (winner plays Dallas)

Predators vs. Coyotes (Winner plays Vegas)

Canucks vs. Wild (winner plays Colorado)

Flames vs. Jets (winner plays St. Louis)

You’re probably questioning some of the matchups and no one can blame you. Just remember that these matchups are based on each team’s points percentage. In the end, teams should have a seed going into the traditional 16-team Stanley Cup playoff bracket. The league is still considering four “hub” arenas, but it’s most likely that they’ll stick to two locations. Vegas is still a heavy favorite to be a host city. Commissioner Gary Bettman said that eight or nine locations are under consideration. This is one of the major issues the league and players have to figure out including testing players for COVID-19.




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