The NHL will allow Phase Two group workouts to start Monday, but the defending Stanley Cup champion Blues won’t be among the first back on the ice. General manager Doug Armstrong said he is not intending on opening Phase Two on the first day.
Armstrong told the St. Louis Dispatch when the players “want us to open, we will.” He said he has recommended Blues players stay where they are until “we get very close” to Phase Three starting, which isn’t scheduled until July 10th at the earliest. He said only about 10 players are in the St. Louis area.
However, the players may be itching to get back on the ice St. Louis.
“They’re hungry,” Blues coach Craig Berube told NHL.com. “They want to get back. We got good motivation, I believe, coming back and playing and trying to repeat. Our guys are in a pretty good spot now.”
>>NHL Taking Steps To Return To Play
The NHL revealed more details of a 24-team plan to reopen the season. Both sides agreed all playoff rounds will be best-of-seven series with the play-in qualifying round will be a best-of-five. If play resumes, the league would test players daily. Games would be played in still to be chosen two hub cities with no fans.
The Qualifying Round will be composed of best-of-five series. All other rounds (First Round, Second Round, Conference Finals, Stanley Cup Final) will be best-of-seven series.
In each succeeding round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the highest remaining seed in each conference will face the lowest remaining seed, the second-highest remaining seed in each conference will face the second-lowest remaining seed, etc.
Round Robin Tiebreaker
Ties in the Round Robin – featuring the top four teams from each conference – will be broken by regular season points percentage. The seeding order for these teams then will remain the same throughout the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
In the Qualifying Round, the higher-seeded team will be designated as the home team in Games 1, 2 and 5. The lower-seeded team will be designated as the home team in Games 3 and 4.
In the First Round and Second Round, the higher-seeded team will be designated as the home team in Games 1, 2, 5 and 7. The lower-seeded team will be designated as the home team in Games 3, 4 and 6.
In the Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Final, the team with the higher regular season points percentage will be designated as the home team in Games 1, 2, 5 and 7. The team with the lower regular season points percentage will be designated as the home team in Games 3, 4 and 6.