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Islanders: What you need to know about latest NHL return to play update

Lou Lamoriello of the New York Islanders and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Lou Lamoriello of the New York Islanders and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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The NHL is going into phase two of their return to play. Here’s what you need to know and its impact on the New York Islanders.

Yesterday, we received some news on the NHL’s plan to return this year in terms of when players can return to the rink and also what the playoffs will look Iike in 2020. Both of these things have a direct impact on the Islanders.

First, with the playoffs, we found out that the teams are going to reseed after each round. So initially, the four teams with a guaranteed spot will play each other to determine the seeds and then the highest seed will play the lowest seed that advances from the qualifying round and so on.

The qualifying round, as expected, is going to be five games and each round after that will be a seven-game series.

The higher seed will act as the team with home-ice advantage. So in the qualifying round, the higher seed will get “home ice” in games one, two, and five. In the first, second, and conference final the higher seed will get home ice in games one, two, five, and seven.

In the Cup final, the team who finished with the higher regular-season points percentage will be the designated home team.

So the Islanders, who are the higher seed in their qualifying round against the Panthers, will have home ice in Games one, two, and five.

Clearly, it’s not the same as playing at the Coliseum but the home team will have an advantage in terms of the easier shifts more often. Yes, there’s no denying that this format isn’t perfect but the more info that comes out, the more I like the system.

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The players desperately wanted a reseeding after each round and they got it. Now, let’s hope the NHL adds to that and lets players sign deals for the 2019-2020 season.

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