NHL’s 2020 pandemic-shortened season: Everything you need to know

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David Pastrnak #88 of the Boston Bruins takes a shot against the Calgary Flames during the first period at TD Garden on February 25, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)


The NHL season resumes Saturday after months of uncertainty with a unique 24-team playoff that will take place over the next several weeks in two hub cities in Canada.

The season was suspended on March 12 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. With 187 regular season games left to be played, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman had to come up with a plan that was competitive enough that the players would be on board with.

The result was a 24-team playoff that would see the top four teams in each conference compete in a round robin tournament for seeding while the remaining 8 teams compete in a best-of-five qualifier round to determine who will move on to the first round. The seeding for these rounds were made based off of points percentage when the season was paused.

The Eastern Conference teams will play at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto while the Western Conference will play at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

For the teams that drop after the qualifiers, they will have the chance to win the first overall draft pick.

The usual playoff format will resume after the first round, the only difference being that there is no bracket. The teams will be reseeded each round.

Read below to review each team’s season preview.

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BOSTON BRUINS 

David Pastrnak #88 of the Boston Bruins takes a shot against the Calgary Flames during the first period at TD Garden on February 25, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Division: Atlantic (1st)

Record: 44-14-12

Coach: Bruce Cassidy

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL PREVIEW 

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

Justin Holl #3 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Vancouver Canucks during the third period at the Scotiabank Arena on February 29, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images)

Justin Holl #3 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Vancouver Canucks during the third period at the Scotiabank Arena on February 29, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images)

Division: Atlantic (3rd)

Record: 35-26-9

Coach: Sheldon Keefe

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL PREVIEW

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING

In this Dec. 21, 2019, file photo, Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) looks on during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals in Washington.] Stamkos will be limited at the start of Tampa training camp because of a new lower-body injury, general manager Julien BriseBois said Saturday, July 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

In this Dec. 21, 2019, file photo, Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) looks on during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals in Washington.] Stamkos will be limited at the start of Tampa training camp because of a new lower-body injury, general manager Julien BriseBois said Saturday, July 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

Division: Atlantic (2nd)

Record: 43-21-6

Coach: Jon Cooper

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL PREVIEW 

FLORIDA PANTHERS 

Florida Panthers left wing Jonathan Huberdeau (11) is congratulated by center Aleksander Barkov (16) and right wing Evgenii Dadonov (63) after he scored a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Florida Panthers left wing Jonathan Huberdeau (11) is congratulated by center Aleksander Barkov (16) and right wing Evgenii Dadonov (63) after he scored a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Division: Atlantic (4th)

Record: 35-26-8

Coach: Joel Quenneville

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL PREVIEW

MONTREAL CANADIANS  

Montreal Canadiens right wing Joel Armia (40) celebrates with goaltender Carey Price (31) after the Canadiens beat the New York Rangers 4-2 in an NHL hockey game, Friday, March 1, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Montreal Canadiens right wing Joel Armia (40) celebrates with goaltender Carey Price (31) after the Canadiens beat the New York Rangers 4-2 in an NHL hockey game, Friday, March 1, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Division: Atlantic (5th)

Record: 31-31-9

Coach: Claude Julien

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL PREVIEW

WASHINGTON CAPITALS

Alex Ovechkin #8 hands of the Stanley Cup to Nicklas Backstrom #19 of the Washington Capitals after their team's 4-3 win over the the Vegas Golden Knights in Game Five of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena on June 7, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Alex Ovechkin #8 hands of the Stanley Cup to Nicklas Backstrom #19 of the Washington Capitals after their team’s 4-3 win over the the Vegas Golden Knights in Game Five of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena on June 7, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(2018 Getty Images)

Division: Metropolitan (1st)

Record: 41-20-8

Coach: Todd Reirden

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL PREVIEW

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS

Philadelphia Flyers right wing Jakub Voracek (93) celebrates the game winning goal with teammates center Claude Giroux (28) and defenseman Mark Streit (32) during overtime of an NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014, in Dallas. The Flyers won 6-5. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Philadelphia Flyers right wing Jakub Voracek (93) celebrates the game winning goal with teammates center Claude Giroux (28) and defenseman Mark Streit (32) during overtime of an NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014, in Dallas. The Flyers won 6-5. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Division: Metropolitan (2nd)

Record: 41-21-7

Coach: Alain Vigneault

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL PREVIEW

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

Division: Metropolitan (3rd)

Record: 40-23-6

Coach: Mike Sullivan

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL PREVIEW

CAROLINA HURRICANES

Carolina Hurricanes right wing Nino Niederreiter (21) and center Martin Necas (88) speak to Hurricanes emergency goalie David Ayres as he takes the ice against the Toronto Maple Leafs during second-period NHL hockey game action in Toronto, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

Carolina Hurricanes right wing Nino Niederreiter (21) and center Martin Necas (88) speak to Hurricanes emergency goalie David Ayres as he takes the ice against the Toronto Maple Leafs during second-period NHL hockey game action in Toronto, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

Division: Metropolitan (4th)

Record: 38-25-5

Coach: Rod Brind’Amour

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL PREVIEW

COLUMBUS  BLUE JACKETS

Nick Foligno #71 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates prior to the game against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on November 9, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Blue Jackets 4-2. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Nick Foligno #71 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates prior to the game against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on November 9, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Blue Jackets 4-2. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Division: Metropolitan (5th)

Record: 33-22-15

Coach: John Tortorella

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL PREVIEW

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

Robin Lehner #40 of the New York Islanders is tripped up against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game One of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Barclays Center on April 26, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Robin Lehner #40 of the New York Islanders is tripped up against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game One of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Barclays Center on April 26, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Division: Metropolitan (6th)

Record: 35-23-10

Coach: Barry Trotz

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL PREVIEW

NEW YORK RANGERS

In this Feb. 14, 2020, file photo, New York Rangers' Artemi Panarin, of Russia, plays against the Columbus Blue Jackets during an NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio. The Edmonton Oilers’ sudden resurgence placed Connor McDavid back in the NHL MVP conversation, along with teammate Leon Draisaitl. Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon and Boston’s David Pastrnak made their case, too, during a pandemic-shortened season. And don’t forget New York Rangers' Artemi Panarin, a late entry in the discussion. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, FIle)

In this Feb. 14, 2020, file photo, New York Rangers’ Artemi Panarin, of Russia, plays against the Columbus Blue Jackets during an NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio. The Edmonton Oilers’ sudden resurgence placed Connor McDavid back in the NHL MVP conversation, along with teammate Leon Draisaitl. Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon and Boston’s David Pastrnak made their case, too, during a pandemic-shortened season. And don’t forget New York Rangers’ Artemi Panarin, a late entry in the discussion. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, FIle)

Division: Metropolitan (7th)

Record: 37-28-5

Coach: David Quinn

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL PREVIEW

ST. LOUIS BLUES

In this June 12, 2019, file photo, St. Louis Blues' Vladimir Tarasenko, of Russia, carries the Stanley Cup after the team defeated the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final in Boston. Tarasenko is thankful for the internet because it allows his grandfather back home in Russia to watch NHL games. Starting this season, Tarasenko’s grandfather and the rest of Russia will be able to watch every single regular-season and playoff game. The NHL is expanding its reach into Russia with a new streaming agreement with Yandex that will more than triple the amount of games broadcast there. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

In this June 12, 2019, file photo, St. Louis Blues’ Vladimir Tarasenko, of Russia, carries the Stanley Cup after the team defeated the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final in Boston. Tarasenko is thankful for the internet because it allows his grandfather back home in Russia to watch NHL games. Starting this season, Tarasenko’s grandfather and the rest of Russia will be able to watch every single regular-season and playoff game. The NHL is expanding its reach into Russia with a new streaming agreement with Yandex that will more than triple the amount of games broadcast there. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

Division: Central (1st)

Record: 42-19-10

Coach: Craig Berube

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL PREVIEW

COLORADO AVALANCHE 

Colorado Avalanche center Vladislav Namestnikov, right, celebrates his goal with Valeri Nichushkin, left, and Martin Kaut, center, in the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Detroit Red Wings, Monday, March 2, 2020, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Colorado Avalanche center Vladislav Namestnikov, right, celebrates his goal with Valeri Nichushkin, left, and Martin Kaut, center, in the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Detroit Red Wings, Monday, March 2, 2020, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Division: Central (2nd)

Record: 42-20-8

Coach: Jared Bednar

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL PREVIEW

DALLAS STARS

Tyler Seguin #91 of the Dallas Stars skates against the St. Louis Blues in Game Four of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the American Airlines Center on May 1, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

Tyler Seguin #91 of the Dallas Stars skates against the St. Louis Blues in Game Four of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the American Airlines Center on May 1, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

Division: Central (3rd)

Record: 37-24-8

Coach: Rick Bowness

CLICK  HERE TO READ THE FULL PREVIEW

WINNIPEG JETS

Winnipeg Jets' Brandon Tanev (13) is congratulated by teammate Andrew Copp after scoring during the third period in Game 3 of an NHL first-round hockey playoff series against the St. Louis Blues, Sunday, April 14, 2019, in St. Louis. The Jets won 6-3. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Winnipeg Jets’ Brandon Tanev (13) is congratulated by teammate Andrew Copp after scoring during the third period in Game 3 of an NHL first-round hockey playoff series against the St. Louis Blues, Sunday, April 14, 2019, in St. Louis. The Jets won 6-3. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Division: Central (4th)

Record: 37-28-6

Coach: Paul Maurice

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL PREVIEW

NASHVILLE PREDATORS

Matt Duchene #95 of the Nashville Predators skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on January 30, 2020 in Newark, New Jersey. The Predators defeated the Devils 6-5 in the shoot-out. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Matt Duchene #95 of the Nashville Predators skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on January 30, 2020 in Newark, New Jersey. The Predators defeated the Devils 6-5 in the shoot-out. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Division: Central (5th)

Record: 35-26-8

Coach: John Hynes

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL PREVIEW

MINNESOTA WILD

Division: Central (6th)

Record: 35-27-7

Coach: Dean Evason

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL PREVIEW

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

Division: Central (7th)

Record: 32-30-8

Coach: Jeremy Colliton

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL PREVIEW 

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS

Division: Pacific (1st)

Record: 39-24-8

Coach: Peter DeBoer

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL PREVIEW

EDMONTON OILERS 

Division: Pacific (2nd)

Record: 37-25-9

Coach: Dave Tippett

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL PREVIEW 

CALGARY FLAMES

Division: Pacific (3rd)

Record: 36-27-7

Coach: Geoff Ward

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL PREVIEW

VANCOUVER CANUCKS

Division: Pacific (4th)

Record: 36-27-6

Coach: Travis Green

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL PREVIEW

ARIZONA COYOTES 

Division: Pacific (5th)

Record: 33-29-8

Coach: Rick Tocchet

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL PREVIEW



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