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How Bachelor Nations Cutest Couples Are Celebrating Fourth of July Weekend Here’s why U.S. struggles with the coronavirus could lead to Europe’s stock market taking the lead When do the NHL playoffs start? Key dates, schedule & more to know for hockeys 2020 return

After months of chaos, confusion and commotion in the hockey world, fans have an answer to the all-important question: Yes, there will be a 2020 Stanley Cup champion.

 

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced in May that the league was moving ahead with a 24-team playoff format in which 12 teams from each conference would participate in a modified postseason. There are still a few kinks to work out, but at the moment we can start looking forward to having playoff hockey this year. 

Here's an updated look at when we can expect NHL hockey to resume and the Stanley Cup playoffs to begin:

When do the NHL playoffs start in 2020?

According to the latest reporting, including by TSN.ca's Frank Seravalli, play will begin Aug. 1, less than three weeks after the opening of training camps on July 13. Games will be played in two Canadian "hub cities": Toronto and Edmonton. The conference finals and Stanley Cup Final reportedly will be held in Edmonton. The Stanley Cup Final is expected to be completed in early October.

How will the Stanley Cup playoffs work?

Before the playoffs officially start, there will be a "qualifying round" in each conference. The top four seeds in each conference will receive a bye from this round, leaving the fifth through 12th seeds in each conference to face off for the remaining spots in the playoff bracket. These series will be best-of-five matchups, with playoff overtime rules in effect. The winners will move on to face the top four seeds in the next round. 

While that's going on, the top four seeds will play a round-robin tournament to determine their seeding for the first round of the playoffs. If these games go to overtime, then they will be played under regular-season overtime rules. If there is a tie in points at the conclusion of the round-robin, then points percentages from the regular season will be used as a tiebreaker.

After the playoff bracket is set, each playoff series will be a best-of-seven, from the first round through the Stanley Cup Final.

MORE: Connor McDavid endorses playoff format, discusses role in NHL's return to play

NHL standings, playoff bracket

Twenty-four teams (12 in each conference) will compete for the Stanley Cup:

Eastern Conference Seed Team Record Points pct.
1 Boston Bruins 44-14-12 .714
2 Tampa Bay Lightning 43-21-6 .657
3 Washington Capitals 41-20-8 .652
4 Philadelphia Flyers 41-21-7 .645
5 Pittsburgh Penguins 40-23-6 .623
6 Carolina Hurricanes 38-25-5 .596
7 New York Islanders 35-23-10 .588
8 Toronto Maple Leafs 36-25-9 .579
9 Columbus Blue Jackets 33-33-15 .579
10 Florida Panthers 35-26-8 .565
11 New York Rangers 37-28-5 .564
12 Montreal Canadiens 31-31-9 .500
Western Conference Seed Team Record Points pct.
1 St. Louis Blues 42-19-10 .662
2 Colorado Avalanche 42-20-8 .657
3 Vegas Golden Knights 39-24-8 .606
4 Dallas Stars 37-24-8 .594
5 Edmonton Oilers 37-25-9 .585
6 Nashville Predators 35-26-8 .565
7 Vancouver Canucks 36-27-6 .565
8 Calgary Flames 36-27-7 .564
9 Winnipeg Jets 37-28-6 .563
10 Minnesota Wild 35-27-7 .558
11 Arizona Coyotes 33-29-8 .529
12 Chicago Blackhawks 32-30-8 .514
Teams that will not participate Team Record Points pct.
Buffalo Sabres 30-31-8 .493
New Jersey Devils 28-29-12 .493
Anaheim Ducks 29-33-9 .472
Los Angeles Kings 29-35-6 .457
San Jose Sharks 29-36-5 .450
Ottawa Senators 25-34-12 .437
Detroit Red Wings 17-49-5 .275
NHL playoff schedule

This section will be updated after the schedule is announced.

Updated odds to win the 2020 Stanley Cup Team Odds*  
Boston Bruins +600
Tampa Bay Lightning +600
Colorado Avalanche +800
Vegas Golden Knights  +850
Philadelphia Flyers  +850
Washington Capitals +1000
St. Louis Blues +1100
Dallas Stars +1500
Pittsburgh Penguins +1800
Edmonton Oilers +2500
Toronto Maple Leafs +2700
Calgary Flames +3500
Vancouver Canucks +3500
New York Islanders +4000
New York Rangers +4000
Nashville Predators +4200
Carolina Hurricanes +4200
Arizona Coyotes +4500
Minnesota Wild +4500
Winnipeg Jets +5500
Florida Panthers +6000
Columbus Blue Jackets +6500
Chicago Blackhawks +8000
Montreal Canadiens +8000
* Fanduel.com odds as of July 4.

Video: Is it Bad an NHL Team That is Returning to Play Will Land First-Overall Pick? (RADIO.COM)

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Can Jimmie Johnson Still Make It to the NASCAR Playoffs?

With four races to go, the NASCAR playoff standings are still changing. Ten drivers have won races in 2020. They have secured spots in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.

Only four races in the regular season imply that there won’t be in excess of 14 race champs in 2020. All race victors will make the post-season.

Kevin Harvick won Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at the Michigan International Speedway. He was the one who won Saturday’s race at the same track.

The principal Saturday-Sunday Cup Series doubleheader at the two-mile oval in Michigan was easily bulldozed by Kevin Harvick.

Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski are the main drivers who didn’t complete Sunday’s race. The Team Penske drivers smashed close to the start of Stage 3.

They crashed while fighting for the lead. Keselowski jabbed his vehicle underneath Blaney and lost control. This sent them both colliding in the wall.

The Michigan local had high expectations of winning his first home race. However, the race didn’t end well for Brad Keselowski.

READ MORE- NASCAR Starts a Hilarious Campaign to Name Everything After Jimmie Johnson

Can Jimmie Johnson make it to the NASCAR playoffs

William Byron sits on the last spot in the standings for the playoffs. He was able to extend his lead after a couple of strong NASCAR Cup Series races at the Michigan International Speedway this weekend.

Byron was 15 points ahead of Tyler Reddick before the Michigan Doubleheader. Byron left Michigan with the lead on Erik Jones and Jimmie Johnson for the final playoff seat. Reddick is now 36 points behind Byron.

For the end of the week, Byron was able to increase one point on Johnson. However, he lost five points to Jones. It is looking tough for the 7-time Champion as only 4 races are left.

Jimmie has only 2 Top-5 finishes as of now in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series. It will require some strong performances from the 44-year-old to ride out into the sunset a happy man.

SOURCE- NBC Sports- NASCAR

Abhay Aggarwal

I am an avid follower of Formula One, Baseball, Cricket, and Lawn Tennis
#MercedesAMG #Yankees

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