Why round-robin tournament is now more important for Bruins

Scott McLaughlin
June 04, 2020 - 3:09 pm

The NHL has reportedly finalized a couple more parts of its return to play plan, and one of them adds a little more importance to the round-robin tournament in which the Bruins will be playing.

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According to multiple reports, the league will reseed after each round rather than sticking to a bracket, and every round after the best-of-five play-in series will be best-of-seven like usual.

It's that first part that's most important for Boston. The Bruins had the best record in the NHL and were well on their way to clinching the No. 1 seed at the time the season was suspended, but they'll have to play in a round-robin tournament with the Lightning, Capitals and Flyers to determine the seeding for the top four teams in the Eastern Conference.

If the league stuck to a strict bracket, seeding may not have been as important since that would mean the No. 1 seed wouldn't be guaranteed to face the lowest-remaining seed.

But now that the league is reseeding after each round, including the play-in round, the top seed in the conference will get the lowest-remaining seed in each round, meaning there's even more incentive for the Bruins to win this round-robin tourney and keep their No. 1 seed.

It also means that if the Bruins do finish first, they could potentially face the 12th-seeded Canadiens in the first round if Montreal manages to upset the Penguins in its play-in series.

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