NHL Postseason Plans Include Both The Rangers And The Islanders

Posted on June 2, 2020 - Last Updated on June 1, 2020

Last week the NHL announced it has a plan in place for a 24-team playoff that will finally allow for the return of professional hockey.

In a statement made on NHL Network, Commissioner Gary Bettman said that the regular season has concluded and post-season play will consist of a 24-team playoff.

The playoff is set to begin in June after “Phase 2”  of the NHL’s post-COVID-19 return plan begins, and players are allowed to return to practice facilities and resume small-group activities.

Stanley Cup Playoffs overview

If all goes as planned, fans can expect the NHL playoff tournament to begin in late July.

The top four teams in each conference will play a round-robin competition to determine seeding for the first round of tournament play.

Concurrently, teams with seeds 5-12 will play a qualifying round to determine who will advance into the first round.

Games will be played in one of two hub cities. It is expected that there will be no fans in attendance.

Here is a list of hub cities that the NHL is considering for hosting duties:

  • Chicago, IL
  • Columbus, OH
  • Dallas, TX
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Edmonton, AB
  • Toronto, ON
  • Vancouver, BC

Stanley Cup betting odds

Here is a look at current odds for teams to hoist the Stanley Cup at the end of this abbreviated season:

DraftKings:

Boston Bruins: +650
Tampa Bay Lightning: +650
Colorado Avalanche: +750
Las Vegas Golden Knights: +800
Washington Capitals: +900
New York Rangers: +4,000
New York Islanders: +4,000

FanDuel:

Boston Bruins: +600
Tampa Bay Lightning: +600
Colorado Avalanche: +800
Las Vegas Golden Knights: +850
Washington Capitals: +900
New York Rangers: +4,000
New York Islanders: +4,000

According to the odds, both the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders are considered longshots.

However, this is an event that will surely favor a team that is able to get on a hot streak. There is no telling how teams will fare after this unscheduled downtime. If a goalkeeper starts standing on his head or players begin feeling some cement in their boots, it could be anyone’s tournament.

New York Islanders betting stats

The Islanders are low in the seeding, at seventh, but some recent injury recoveries work in the team’s favor. Here’s a rundown on the team:

Record: 35-23-10, 80 points. seventh in the Eastern Conference

Injury Report: Key defenseman Adam Pelech is said to be ready to go for training camp. Casey Cizikas, arguably the most complete player on the team, will also make a return. Johnny Boychuk will be back as well after suffering a scary freak injury when he took a skate blade to the eye.

Playoff Forecast: The Islanders are set to take on the Florida Panthers, the No. 10 seed in the East. These are the latest odds on which team will win the best-of-five series:

DraftKings: NY Islanders -122 / FL Panthers +100
FanDuel: NY Islanders -120 / FL Panthers -102

New York Rangers betting stats

Even lower in the seeding than the Islanders, the Rangers face an uphill battle as the No. 11 seed. Throw in the suspension of a key player, and the odds could get even longer.

Record: 37-28-5, 79 points. 11th in the Eastern Conference

Injury Report: Kaapo Kakko will need medical clearance to participate, as he is a type 1 diabetic with celiac disease and there are concerns he could be more vulnerable to COVID-19 than most. Additionally, Brendan Lemieux will be suspended for his hit on Joonas Donskoi, in what became the regular-season finale against the Colorado Avalanche, and will not be available for at least the first game.

Playoff Forecast: The Rangers will face the No. 7 seed Carolina Hurricanes with the following odds from online sportsbooks:

DraftKings: NY Rangers +110 / CAR Hurricanes – 136

FanDuel: NY Rangers +112/ CAR Hurricanes -136

Critics and fans alike have been supportive of the impending March Madness-style tournament.

With the possibility of games every night and the promise of the first professional sports to resume play, the NHL is paving the way for return-to-play strategies in the world of post-COVID sports.

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Harry Corvese

Harry is a former poker room supervisor at Bellagio Hotel and Casino. He grew up in the Philadelphia area before moving to Las Vegas in 2015. He enjoys providing insight on all topics related to gambling and casino management.

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