Friday is an important day for the National Hockey League. Players are currently voting for a new 24-team playoff format that will replace the traditional 16-team Stanley Cup Playoffs to serve as the league's return to play plan. That's all due to the coronavirus pandemic causing the NHL to suspend their season indefinitely back in March.
With eight additional teams being added to the bracket this year, that means certain squads will receive an advantage. From teams ranked at the top of the conference standings, to those who had no shot of even making the playoffs, can all go on a run.
Here are five teams that will definitely benefit from the NHL's new format.
5. Montreal Canadiens
Before the pandemic hit North America, the Canadiens had no chance of making the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Rather, they were focused on the NHL Draft Lottery. But now, Montreal's slated to face off against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and they're already living rent free in their opponents heads. Reports indicate that the Penguins were opposed to the original best-of-three play-in round series due to playing against Canadiens goalie Carey Price, who owns a staggering .914 save percentage and 2.53 goals allowed average in 60 career playoff games. The Canadiens could shock the world and make a deep run in the playoffs, but it all relies on Price's play. They're already in the heads of their first round opponents, so they have an edge.