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24-Team Playoff Format Matchups

About a dozen teams have put in bidding opportunities to be a host city for the proposed 24-team playoff format. Here are four reported cities to help with visualization: Las Vegas (Pacific), Colorado (Central), Washington D.C. (Metropolitan) and Boston (Atlantic). With these cities acting as the host sites, let’s take a look at the matchups under the proposed format.

Atlantic (Boston)

Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins are the league’s best team with a .714 points percentage. Image courtesy: Chris Christo

Division standings:
  1. Boston Bruins (.714 points percentage)
  2. Tampa Bay Lightning (.657)
  3. Toronto Maple Leafs (.579)
  4. Florida Panthers (.565)
  5. Montreal Canadiens (.500)
  6. Buffalo Sabres (.493)
Best-of-three matchups:

Bruins vs. Lightning (division title)

Maple Leafs vs. Sabres (elimination series)

Panthers vs. Canadiens (elimination series)

Metropolitan (Washington D.C.)

Division standings:
  1. Washington Capitals (.652)
  2. Philadelphia Flyers (.645)
  3. Pittsburgh Penguins (.623)
  4. Carolina Hurricanes (.596)
  5. New York Islanders (.588)
  6. Columbus Blue Jackets (.579)
Best-of-three matchups:

Capitals vs. Flyers (division title)

Penguins vs. Blue Jackets (elimination series)

Hurricanes vs. Islanders (elimination series)

Central (Colorado)

Division standings:
  1. St. Louis Blues (.662)
  2. Colorado Avalanche (.657)
  3. Dallas Stars (.594)
  4. Nashville Predators (.565)
  5. Winnipeg Jets (.563)
  6. Minnesota Wild (.558)
Best-of-three matchups:

Blues vs. Avalanche (division title)

Stars vs. Wild (elimination series)

Jets vs. Wild (elimination series)

Pacific (Las Vegas)

Vegas Golden Knights
The Vegas Golden Knights are looking to continue their playoff appearance streak to three in their first three years of existence. Image courtesy: Ethan Miller
Division standings:
  1. Vegas Golden Knights (.606)
  2. Edmonton Oilers (.585)
  3. Vancouver Canucks (.565)
  4. Calgary Flames (.564)
  5. Arizona Coyotes (.529)
  6. Anaheim Ducks (.472)
Best-of-three matchups:

Golden Knights vs. Oilers (division title)

Canucks vs. Ducks (elimination series)

Flames vs. Coyotes (elimination series)

By the end of this format, there should be four teams remaining in each division and eight teams in each conference. This should seed teams based on the tournament results and the NHL could go back to seeding teams in a traditional Stanley Cup playoffs bracket. The only difference would be that the two wild card teams would be switched with the lowest-seeded teams from each division.

There is still cause for concern about the plans after the end of this format. One big question raised is if the playoffs would still be a best-of-seven series? Another question is if all the playoff games would be held in just one location or multiple locations. Also, with the removal of the two wild card teams, would the lowest-seeded teams travel to the higher-seeded opponent’s city from another division? These are just some of the major questions many people ask and want answers too.

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