The Colorado Avalanche’s chance of playing for the Stanley Cup are diminishing because of the COVID 19 pandemic. Are there possible playoff scenarios?
The Colorado Avalanche are on Day 4 of the NHL-mandated pause of the season because of the COVID 19 pandemic. No hockey (or any other sports) is being played professionally or at the collegiate level to hopefully slow down the transmission of the highly contagious disease.
The NHL is said to be monitoring the situation very closely while making contingency plans for still awarding the Stanley Cup this summer. Well, unfortunately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a recommendation of cancelling or postponing any in-person events of more than 50 people… for the next eight weeks.
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That’s a mid-May possible resumption of hockey at the very earliest.
That may very well be it for the 2019-20 season. If that announcement comes, I’ll write my grief post here. Until that announcement comes, though, I’m going to remain optimistic that the Colorado Avalanche will somehow get rewarded for all the hard work and resiliency they showed by getting to finish out the season in some manner.
Scenario 1: Shortened, Delayed Playoffs, Starting with Current Standings
In the first scenario, the teams could (hopefully) resume play by late May. However, you can’t expect them to finish out three weeks of a season before starting the playoffs. So, they’d have to start the playoffs with the current standings.
If that were to happen, the matchups in the Western Conference would look like this, first team having home ice:
Colorado Avalanche vs Dallas Stars
Las Vegas vs Winnipeg Jets
Edmonton Oilers vs Calgary Flames
St. Louis Blues vs Nashville Predators
As noted in a previous article, the Minnesota Wild and, especially, Vancouver Canucks would get the green weenie — Vancover has the same number of points as Nashville but one fewer regulation win.
Since NBA teams would also be expecting to resume play, the playoffs would also have to be truncated. At best, we’d be looking at a best-of-five, but a best-of-three is probably more rational.
Scenario 2: Delayed Playoffs with No Spectators
The NBA is already considering another alternative:
That best-case scenario for the NBA might be best-case for the NHL, too. Delay the playoffs past May and well into June. And play for the championship with no spectators.
To be honest, it would probably have to be a hybrid — truncated playoffs that started late and featured no spectators.
I’d be ok with that, as long as it didn’t put anyone on the teams or staff in jeopardy. As long as it was safe, in other words.
What do you think, Colorado Avalanche fans? What is the best-case scenario in your mind for finishing the NHL season in some fashion?