As Elliotte Friedman reported on Sportsnet’s Headlines last night, the NHL presented two different proposals for the schedule next season during general managers’s zoom call earlier this week.
The first option is pretty similar to what we used to see prior to this season – conference-based playoffs, home and away games with teams from opposing conference, and three games with teams from the other division in the same conference. The teams however will play four games against just five out of seven divisional opponents, leaving us with three games against remaining two teams within the division. This decision was very likely made given the new 32nd team entering the league and the NHL’s desire to keep a 82-game regular season schedule.
The another option means strictly-divisional playoffs, where four top teams from each division will advance to the playoffs, without wild-card spots. The NHL teams will play four times with divisional opponents and two times with teams from other divisions. The schedule would include games between rivals, for example more games between the Vancouver Canucks and the Toronto Maple Leafs as Friedman mentioned on Headlines.
The teams will have some time to decide which option they prefer.
Currently the NHL target to start the 2021-22 regular season is October 12th, approximately a week later than usual, with training camps opening on September 22. There’s still no clear understanding, when the 2021 NHL Playoffs will start. The US-based division could potentially start playoffs on May 15, while the North Division could continue playing the regular season for another week. According to Pierre LeBrun, the NHL wants to wait and see for another couple of weeks how the situation is developing.
The Syracuse Crunch earned another victory against the Rochester Americans on Saturday night. Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh boosted their point streaks to 13 and 11 games respectively.
Tonight’s @OneGroupIns Insurance Goal of the Game is the empty-netter from Katchouk. pic.twitter.com/XVaZxrGYhu— Syracuse Crunch (@SyracuseCrunch) April 25, 2021
The Orlando Solar Bears’ game against the Indy Fuel was suspended due to unsafe ice conditions at the ice rink in Indianapolis with 5:04 left in the first period and a 2-0 lead by the Solar Bears. The league is working on rescheduling.
April 25, 2021
Maxim Cajkovic scored his first playoff goal for the Val-d’Or Foreurs of the QMJHL, helping his team to earn a 7-2 victory against the Baie-Comeau Drakkar in Game 1.
Max Cajkovic goes to the net and bangs one home for his 1st goal of the playoffs. pic.twitter.com/2c1ahlihgN— Future Bolts (@LightningProsp1) April 24, 2021
The Ottawa Senators forward Artem Anisimov almost served yesterday as an emergency goalie, after Ottawa lost Anton Forsberg in pre-game skate, Matt Murray got injured early in the second period and Marcus Högberg fell down on the ice after making his first save of the game.
DJ Smith says Artem Anisimov would have been the emergency goalie tonight if something happened to Marcus Hogberg.— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) April 25, 2021
"Arty had the gear on and was ready to go in."
The Henderson Silver Knights coach Fred Brathwaite served as an emergency backup in yesterday’s game. Yes, he did it in the Atlanta Thrashers mask.
With Logan Thompson unavailable tonight, the person backing up Jiri Patera is....— Henderson Silver Knights (@HSKnights) April 25, 2021
Silver Knights goaltending coach Fred Brathwaite! Don't see that everyday pic.twitter.com/KxJlPjqvtz
Jonathan Bernier made 50 saves against the Dallas Stars, but the Detroit Red Wings still fell to the opponent in overtime.
Jonathan Bernier (50 saves) became the seventh @DetroitRedWings goaltender to make at least 50 saves in a game since 1955-56.— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 25, 2021
Only one other netminder in the last 40 years has done so for the franchise: Jimmy Howard (51 on Jan. 7, 2010 at LAK). #NHLStats: https://t.co/LQITDoYZ2y pic.twitter.com/GhNbVxhLf7
The Minnesota Wild clinched their playoff spot after beating the San Jose Sharks 6-3.
THE WILD WEST!#mnwild | @XcelEnergyCtr pic.twitter.com/bpkoz6ef5l— x - Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) April 25, 2021
Zdeno Chara played in his 1600th career game.
The fifth defenseman in NHL history to play in 1️⃣6️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ career games.#ALLCAPS | @LeidosInc pic.twitter.com/2Bv7IqKguL— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) April 24, 2021