The NHL Is Back And The Blackhawks Are In The Playoffs*
The NHL announced Tuesday afternoon that the season will resume with a 24-team playoff tournament.
First let's address the asterisk in the title. The Blackhawks aren't TECHNICALLY in the playoffs.
A quick refresher on how all this works. There are 32 teams in the NHL. 16 teams usually make the playoffs. Since they're canceling the rest of the season, they "expanded" the playoffs by letting 24 teams into the postseason and just told 8 teams to come back next year. 24 teams = 12 in each conference. Top 4 teams in each conference get a bye into the final 16 and the remaining 16 teams will pair off for a 5-game series to advance to the 16 team playoff.
So this play-in round isn't technically the playoffs but it also definitely isn't the regular season. It exists in the Twilight Zone of games.
Playoffs or not the Blackhawks are going to play hockey again this year when they take on the Edmonton Oilers as the 12 seed in the Western Conference.
The NHL also announced that they will be playing the playoffs in two hub cities that have yet to be named but rumors have been STRONG that one of the cities will most likely be Las Vegas, which is probably where the Western Conference will hold their games.
You still have some time to figure out travel to Sin City because games are still at least 6 weeks out since the NHL announced that training camps will NOT begin before July 1.
This is great news and hopefully a harbinger of even better sporting news to come.