Boston Bruins were the best team in hockey during the regular 2019/20 NHL season, boosting a 44-14-12 record through the first 70 games. Despite this, they won’t be the top seed, or even the No.2 seed, once the Stanley Cup Playoffs kick off next week.
The top four teams in each conference resumed the 2019/20 season following coronavirus pandemic break with a round-robin tournament that helped the NHL determine the seeding for the postseason. This was made in order to give these teams “meaningful games” ahead of the playoffs.
Bruins entered the tournament with a lot of rust and lost the first two games including the matchup against Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday. This made it mathematically impossible for Boston to claim either of the top two seeding spots.
“That part sucks. I’m not going to lie to you,” said Bruins’ head coach Bruce Cassidy. “But that’s the situation this year with the stoppage in play. We knew the rules coming into it that we would lose a bit of the advantage we gained.”
Boston Bruins will have their last round-robin game against Washington Capitals on Sunday. The outcome of that game will most likely determine whether Bruins enter the postseason as No.3 or No.4 seed.
The No.1 seed will now be determined between Lightning, Capitals, and Philadelphia Flyers. Tampa Bay has the best chances of securing the top spot, having a perfect record since the restart.