Blues Coach Craig Berube Supports NHL's Playoff Format

Twenty-four of the NHL's 30 teams will compete for a Stanley Cup this year

Zach Gelb
May 27, 2020 - 8:10 am
Craig Berube Blues

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The 2019-20 NHL regular season is officially over, Commissioner Gary Bettman announced Tuesday, but 24 of the league’s 30 teams – the top 12 in each conference – will compete in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The top four seeds in the Eastern Conference (the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, and Philadelphia Flyers) and the top four seeds in the Western Conference (the St. Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights, and Dallas Stars) essentially have a playoff bye. The eight remaining teams in each conference, meanwhile, will play in a best-of-five qualifying round.

Blues coach Craig Berube supports this format.

“Yeah, it looks fine,” Berube said on The Zach Gelb Show. “I’ve known quite a little bit about it for a while now, but it seems like everybody is kind of getting on the same page here, which is important. When we get back on the ice and get going, who knows when that’s going to happen? But hopefully the players can start getting out to their arenas and start working and getting skating on their own and then we can slowly get back to getting practices and going a a team. But I liked everything I read about it, and like I said, I’ve known about it for a little bit. It looks fine.”

It is unknown where or when the games will take place. Bettman said there will be two hub cities – one for each conference – and that cities under consideration are Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Pittsburgh, Toronto, and Vancouver. 

Berube believes expanding the playoff field this year was the right call.

“Well, I think with 10 or 11 games remaining in the regular season, it’s only fair,” he said. “You never know what happens in those games. Those are important games. It always comes down to the wire in this league. Ten or 11 games is a lot of games left in the season and some of these teams could make the playoffs, so I only think it’s fair that they get a chance.”