The Boston Bruins had the best record of the NHL when the regular season was truncated in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as the Stanley Cup knockout tournament of 16 teams starts next week, Bruins will not be the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
As part of NHL’s restart season, a circular tournament was created to bring the top four teams in each meaningful match before they faced the winners from the qualifying series. eight teams.
The seeding for the following rounds will be determined by the teams competing in the circle, with the regular season score as the breaker.
Boston kicked off the Eastern Circle Tournament with a loss to Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday and Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday, leaving Bruins unable to earn the first or second seed in the East.
The Bruins own the regular season. But the two losses in this article format suggest that the results are meaningless.
“That’s a bad part. I won’t lie to you,” said coach Bruce Cassidy. “But that’s the situation this year with stopping playing. We know the rules go into it, that we will lose a bit of the advantage that we have.”
The Bruins competed for more in a 3-2 loss against Tampa than in the 4-1 loss to Flyers in the opening match. They ended with a match against Washington Capitals on August 9.
Cassidy said: “We are in the present. “We’re just trying to win a hockey game right now, let’s play games so we can become our best, no matter who we meet.”
Which team will Bruins meet in the play-off quarter-finals is a mystery. For the first time since 2012, NHL has re-arranged knockout rounds. Although seeding is important in identifying opponents, games will be played inside empty buildings. Therefore, “home advantage” is less important than typical reasons, Cassidy said.
“This is a year where I think seeding is less relevant than others,” he said. But after finishing at a rate of 0.714 points – best for the franchise since 1973-74 – watching the top seed in the East disappear after just two games is an annoyance.
“Do I want to be No. 1? Keep it? Absolutely. But that won’t happen,” Cassidy said. “You have to win 16 matches. We know that we will participate. That will still be our goal.”