By: Maria from Watertown | Follow Me On Twitter @mariaofh2otown
Commissioner Gary Bettman raised some eyebrows during a recent San Jose Sharks’ virtual town hall, where he apparently said that canceling the season without crowning a Stanley Cup Champion is not an option (music to my ears)! The NHL is considering some type of playoff format, either by way of a traditional or an altered structure. One could also infer that remaining regular-season games may likely be cancelled. For those teams who were on the playoff bubble and their fans, this will be a disappointing end to the season, but it is probably the right decision.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman reportedly said during a virtual town hall Tuesday that shutting down the 2019-20 season and not handing out the Stanley Cup is “not something I’m even contemplating.”https://t.co/MXsyaMzY2P
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 13, 2020
As a fan of the Boston Bruins, I would like nothing more than to watch our team battle to win the most revered trophy in all of all professional sports, Lord Stanley’s Cup. When the NHL halted play in mid-March, the Bruins had the best record in the league. David Pastrnak was on his way to a potential 50-goal season and is currently one of the top point-getters in the league, along with his linemate, Brad Marchand. Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak are the best goaltending tandem in the league, with Rask leading the NHL in GAA.
When the Bruins lost to the St. Louis Blues in game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals, not only we were many of us left stunned by that loss, we couldn’t help but wonder if the Bruins could make another run at the Cup, especially with the core of the team being another year older. Yet, the Bruins were on pace to give us what we want – another deep playoff run. That plan has seemingly derailed due to current circumstances, and fans may not be able to file into arenas, waive our rally towels and support our team for another run at the Cup.
The 100-point Bruins have the Vezina favorite in Tuukka Rask, a Hart candidate in David Pastrnak and Bruce Cassidy, who should be considered for the Jack Adams.
Times are pretty damn good for the Bruins. — Evan Marinofsky (@emarinofsky) March 11, 2020
With the NFL talking about ways to potentially have fans in the stadiums, simulating game day presentation experiences with ideas like pumping in crowd noise and MLB arguing about money with its players’ association, if there are to be Stanley Cup playoff games scheduled in 2020, the NHL and players’ association need to focus on these two issues which are paramount in my view:
The health, safety, and welfare of the players, team personnel, trainers, broadcasters, and all arena personnel; and
The quality of play.
The NHL has a unique opportunity to showcase its sport and provide fans with an opportunity to witness the most exciting playoff series of all the major four sports leagues. There should be no worry about having fans in the stands or simulating game day experiences – we will eventually flock back to the TD Garden in due time. Provide and something we are all desperately craving – the chance to watch the caliber of play that we have grown to love and expect during the Stanley Cup Finals. The Bruins, and the NHL, could likely win over some new fans.
I, for one, am willing to sit in the comfort of my home if it gives me the chance to see this one more time….
Below are the final game highlights before the league shut down and continue to wait on the NHL’s plan to get back to hockey moving forward. The B’s beat the Philadelphia Flyers by the score of 2-0 before the world came to a crashing halt.