Ryan O'Reilly

NHL 2019-20 Final standings, playoff schedule, draft lottery results

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The NHL seeks to hand out the 2020 Stanley Cup despite the COVID-19 pandemic, so with that, Tuesday ranks as a big day as we spotlight the NHL 2019-20 Final standings, among other topics.

Commissioner Gary Bettman announced the league’s return-to-play plan, which includes a 24-team playoff format involving two “hub cities.” Plenty of dates still need to be determined, but there are key windows, such as “early June” for resuming skating in small groups, and “no earlier than the first half of July” for formal training camps.

NHL 2019-20 Final standings

Eastern Conference standings (top 12 make cut for NHL 24-team format)

East final NHL standings 2019-20
rankings based on points percentage, via NHL.com

EASTERN CONFERENCE (Scotiabank Arena)

Click here for updated TV info for the Qualifiers

Round-robin
Sunday, Aug. 2: Flyers vs. Bruins, 3 p.m. ET
Monday, Aug. 3:
Capitals vs. Lightning, 4 p.m. ET
Wednesday, Aug. 5:
Lightning vs. Bruins, 4 p.m. ET
Thursday, Aug. 6:
Capitals vs. Flyers, TBD
Saturday, Aug. 8:
Flyers vs. Lightning, TBD
Sunday, Aug. 9:
Bruins vs. Capitals, TBD

(5) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (12) Montreal Canadiens
Saturday, Aug. 1: Canadiens vs. Penguins, 8 p.m. ET
Monday, Aug. 3: Canadiens vs. Penguins, 8 p.m. ET
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Penguins vs. Canadiens, 8 p.m. ET
Friday, Aug. 7: Penguins vs. Canadiens*
Saturday, Aug. 8: Canadiens vs. Penguins*

(6) Carolina Hurricanes vs. (11) New York Rangers
Saturday, Aug. 1: Rangers vs. Hurricanes, 12 p.m. ET
Monday, Aug. 3: Rangers vs. Hurricanes, 12 p.m. ET
Tuesday, Aug. 4: Hurricanes vs. Rangers, 8 p.m. ET
Thursday, Aug. 6: Hurricanes vs. Rangers*
Saturday, Aug. 8: Rangers vs. Hurricanes*

(7) New York Islanders vs. (10) Florida Panthers
Saturday, Aug. 1: Panthers vs. Islanders, 4 p.m. ET
Tuesday, Aug. 4: Panthers vs. Islanders, 12 p.m. ET
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Islanders vs. Panthers, 12 p.m. ET
Friday, Aug. 7: Islanders vs. Panthers*
Sunday, Aug. 9: Panthers vs. Islanders*

(8) Toronto Maple Leafs vs. (9) Columbus Blue Jackets
Sunday, Aug. 2: Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs, 8 p.m. ET
Tuesday, Aug. 4: Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs, 4 p.m. ET
Thursday, Aug. 6: Maple Leafs vs. Blue Jackets, TBD
Friday, Aug. 7: Maple Leafs vs. Blue Jackets*, TBD
Sunday, Aug. 9: Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs*, TBD

[MORE: NHL announces full schedule for 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers]

Western Conference standings (top 12 make cut for NHL 24-team format)

West final NHL standings 2019-20
rankings based on points percentage, via NHL.com

WESTERN CONFERENCE (Rogers Place)

Click here for updated TV info for the Qualifiers

Round-robin
Sunday, Aug. 2: Blues vs. Avalanche, 6:30 p.m. ET
Monday, Aug. 3: Stars vs. Golden Knights, 6:30 p.m. ET
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Avalanche vs. Stars, 6:30 p.m. ET
Thursday, Aug. 6: Golden Knights vs. Blues, TBD
Saturday, Aug. 8: Golden Knights vs. Avalanche, TBD
Sunday, Aug. 9: Stars vs. Blues, TBD

(5) Edmonton Oilers vs. (12) Chicago Blackhawks
Saturday, Aug. 1: Blackhawks vs. Oilers, 3 p.m. ET
Monday, Aug. 3: Blackhawks vs. Oilers, 10:30 p.m. ET
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Oilers vs. Blackhawks, 10:30 p.m. ET
Friday, Aug. 7: Oilers vs. Blackhawks*, TBD
Saturday, Aug. 8: Blackhawks vs. Oilers*, TBD

(6) Nashville Predators vs. (11) Arizona Coyotes
Sunday, Aug. 2: Coyotes vs. Predators, 2 p.m. ET
Tuesday, Aug. 4: Coyotes vs. Predators, 2:30 p.m. ET
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Predators vs. Coyotes, 2:30 p.m. ET
Friday, Aug. 7: Predators vs. Coyotes*, TBD
Sunday, Aug. 9: Coyotes vs. Predators*, TBD

(7) Vancouver Canucks vs. (10) Minnesota Wild
Sunday, Aug. 2: Wild vs. Canucks, 10:30 p.m. ET
Tuesday, Aug. 4: Wild vs. Canucks, 10:45 p.m. ET
Thursday, Aug. 6: Canucks vs. Wild, TBD
Friday, Aug. 7: Canucks vs. Wild*, TBD
Sunday, Aug. 9: Wild vs. Canucks*, TBD

(8) Calgary Flames vs. (9) Winnipeg Jets
Saturday, Aug. 1: Jets vs. Flames, 10:30 p.m. ET
Monday, Aug. 3: Jets vs. Flames, 2:30 p.m. ET
Tuesday, Aug. 4: Flames vs. Jets, 4:45 p.m. ET
Thursday, Aug. 6: Flames vs. Jets*, TBD
Saturday, Aug. 8: Jets vs. Flames*, TBD

* – if necessary

2020 NHL Draft Lottery Results

The Draft lottery was won by a team involved in the Return to Play plan. That means there will be a Phase 2 drawing featuring the eight losing teams from the Qualifying Round. Those teams will each have a 12.5% chance to the top pick in the drawing, which will be held between the Qualifying Round and the First Round.

1. Placeholder team
2. Los Angeles Kings
3. Ottawa Senators (via San Jose)
4. Detroit Red Wings
5. Ottawa Senators
6. Anaheim Ducks
7. New Jersey Devils
8. Buffalo Sabres
========================
9. Placeholder team
10. Placeholder team
11. Placeholder team
12. Placeholder team
13. Placeholder team
14. Placeholder team
15. Placeholder team

If the COVID-19 pandemic forces the NHL to pull the plug on playing games the lottery would then include only the eight lowest teams by inverse of their regular season points percentage. That would mean Arizona, Chicago Columbus, Florida, Minnesota, Montreal, New York Rangers, and Winnipeg would be in the running for the No. 1 pick.

NHL AWARD FINALISTS
Ted Lindsay Award: Leon Draisaitl, Nathan MacKinnon, Artemi Panarin
Calder Trophy: Quinn Hughes, Cale Makar, Dominik Kubalik
Jack Adams Award: Bruce Cassidy, John Tortorella, Alain Vigneault
• Masterton Trophy: Stephen Johns, Oskar Lindblom, Bobby Ryan

Lady Byng Trophy: Nathan MacKinnon, Auston Matthews, Ryan O’Reilly
Vezina Trophy: Connor Hellebuyck, Tuukka Rask, Andrei Vasilevskiy
Selke Trophy: Patrice Bergeron, Sean Couturier, Ryan O’Reilly
Norris Trophy: John Carlson, Victor Hedman, Roman Josi
Hart Trophy: Leon Draisaitl, Nathan MacKinnon, Artemi Panarin

PHT Morning Skate: No friends in the bubble; Kraken reaction

Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from the NHL and around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit for the PHT Morning Skate? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.com.

• There will be no friends inside the NHL’s bubbles. Said Ryan O'Reilly: “Once you go on the ice it’s a war. I don’t think it’ll be too friendly around the bubble.” [TSN]

• The Maple Leafs are eager to dive deep into their closets and show off their personalities with no dress code during the Return to Play. [Sportsnet]

• Former Seattle senior advisor Dave Tippett is happy to see the Kraken moving in the right direction when it comes to preparing to enter the NHL. [NHL.com]

• A deep look at how NHL Seattle landed on Kraken. [ESPN]

• “The team chose a really-great logo that looks a lot like the letter ‘S’ but with an eye in it. And the secondary logo is even better because it is a ship anchor.” [Puck Junk]

• A first-half heater followed by a second-half slump. What will the Oilers get from James Neal against the Blackhawks? [Oilers Nation]

• Scrimmage time is allowing the Predators to gain confidence ahead of their meeting with the Coyotes. [Predators]

• Why Tomas Nosek could have opted out for the Golden Knights but chose to play. [Sin Bin Vegas]

• Could Pavel Buchnevich turn into a trade chip for the Rangers this off-season? [Blue Seat Blogs]

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Draisaitl, MacKinnon, Panarin are 2019-20 Hart Trophy finalists

Leon Draisaitl (Oilers), Nathan MacKinnon (Avalanche), and Artemi Panarin (Rangers) were named the three finalists for the 2019-20 Hart Trophy. The award is given to the “player judged most valuable to his team” and voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association at the end of the regular season.

Nikita Kucherov was last season’s winner.

This year’s winner will be announced during the conference finals.

It’s worth noting that Draisaitl, MacKinnon, and Panarin weren’t just Hart Trophy finalists, but also the three finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award, the player-voted alternative to the Hart.

[2020 NHL Stanley Cup Qualifiers schedule]

Hart Trophy cases for finalists Draisaitl, MacKinnon, Panarin

The Hart Trophy case for Leon Draisaitl

It’s not just that Leon Draisaitl topped all NHL scorers with 110 points. Voters must have struggled with the fact that it wasn’t even close.

Draisaitl’s teammate Connor McDavid finished a distant second with 97 points. Yes, it’s remarkable that Draisaitl was the only NHL player to crack 100+ points in 2019-20, and he added some extra gravy by reaching 110. Remarkably, Draisaitl was going on a goal-scoring tear toward the end of the regular season, finishing with 43 goals.

While “fancy stats” become more prominent in hockey debate circles — including among voters — Draisaitl’s blistering scoring pace will be hard to ignore.

Nathan MacKinnon’s Hart Trophy argument

There are two basic arguments against Art Ross winner Draisaitl: a) defense and b) quality of teammates.

MacKinnon enjoys his fair share of help on a talented, young Avalanche team, but injuries to the likes of Mikko Rantanen placed significant pressure on the Avs’ speedy center. While McDavid certainly helped Draisaitl reach 110 points, MacKinnon’s 93 points stands far higher than every other Colorado player (Cale Makar finished second in team scoring with 50).

Fans of more “complete” players might side with MacKinnon. As a Lady Byng finalist, MacKinnon played big minutes but only had 12 PIM. (Then again, Draisaitl only had 18, and Panarin just 20.)

A greater selling point might be that MacKinnon’s improved his defensive game without really sacrificing offense. Considering his promising Hockey Viz chart, via Micah Blake McCurdy’s indispensable site:

Nathan MacKinnon Hockey Viz Hart Trophy finalists

Artemi Panarin’s tremendous first Rangers season helps him rank among Hart Trophy finalists

Remember when people downgraded Panarin, believing that he was merely Patrick Kane‘s passenger?

Panarin keeps proving that he can deliver big numbers in different situations. The late-arriving NHL star also seems to somehow get better every season. Despite being limited to 69 games played, Panarin established new career-highs in goals (32) and points (95). Like MacKinnon, Panarin produced far more than any of his teammates (Mika Zibanejad ranked second on the Rangers with 75).

“The Bread Man” possesses the sort of creativity you love to see on the power play. Even so, Panarin did his greatest damage at 5-on-5, leading the NHL with 71 even-strength points.

Overall, Draisaitl, MacKinnon, and Panarin present viable cases as Hart Trophy finalists. Who do you think should be named the NHL’s MVP for 2019-20?

2020 NHL AWARD FINALISTS

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

2019-20 Selke Trophy finalists: Bergeron, Couturier, O’Reilly

2020 Selke Finalists Bergeron Couturier O'Reilly
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The NHL announced Patrice Bergeron (Bruins), Sean Couturier (Flyers), and Ryan O'Reilly (Blues) as the 2019-20 Frank J. Selke Trophy finalists.

The Professional Hockey Writers Association votes on the award, which goes to “the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.”

It’s been fascinating to watch the Selke Trophy debate evolve as advanced stats have become increasingly prevalent. While some PHWA voters may still weigh plus/minus heavily, the larger debate has become far more sophisticated.

With that in mind, you may see a wide variety of arguments for would-be Selke Trophy finalists. Despite being a winger, Mark Stone (Golden Knights) has commanded frequent attention. To many, Anthony Cirelli (Lightning) seems poised to go from dark horse candidate to future finalist. You’ll also see names you may not expect, such as Blake Coleman (now of the Lightning).

[2020 NHL Stanley Cup Qualifiers schedule]

But let’s consider the three finalists for the 2019-20 Selke Trophy:

The Selke Trophy cases for finalists Bergeron, Couturier, O’Reilly

Four-time Selke winner Patrice Bergeron

Bergeron, 34, may have lost a few steps, but he’s still a key part of a Bruins team that ended up being the only squad in the NHL to eclipse 100 standings points. Bergeron dominates in the faceoff circle, and generally centers an incredible line with Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak.

The Bruins center is tied with Bob Gainey for the most Selke wins all-time with four, while this is a record ninth consecutive time Bergeron has been a finalist.

Sean Couturier continues to gain mainstream attention

We’re finally probably at the point where Sean Couturier isn’t underrated. Or at least we’re getting there.

Couturier continues to be a workhorse who drives play for the Flyers, who enjoyed a surge to the Round Robin level of the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers. Couturier logs significant penalty kill minutes, contributes offensively, and is a beast on draws.

Maybe voters would prefer to give Couturier the award, rather than these other two Selke finalists, who’ve won at least one each?

Ryan O’Reilly goes for two Selke wins in a row

Some viewpoints hinge on which metrics people weigh the most. While there are certain analytics that bump Bergeron and Couturier down in the eyes of some, O’Reilly tends to bridge the “traditional” and “fancy stats” gap the most of the three Selke finalists.

He certainly checks the traditional boxes. ROR is another faceoff beast on a team that can be suffocating defensively. As much as these awards are based on 2019-20, O’Reilly certainly made an impression with his outstanding work during the Blues’ 2019 Stanley Cup run.

Bergeron and Couturier rank as inoffensive choices, but O’Reilly might be the frontrunner overall.

Then again, that’s for you (and eventually, the PHWA) to decide:

NHL AWARD FINALISTS
Ted Lindsay Award: Leon Draisaitl, Nathan MacKinnon, Artemi Panarin
Calder Trophy: Quinn Hughes, Cale Makar, Dominik Kubalik
Jack Adams Award: Bruce Cassidy, John Tortorella, Alain Vigneault
• Masterton Trophy: Stephen Johns, Oskar Lindblom, Bobby Ryan

Lady Byng Trophy: Nathan MacKinnon, Auston Matthews, Ryan O’Reilly
Vezina Trophy: Connor Hellebuyck, Tuukka Rask, Andrei Vasilevskiy
Norris Trophy: John Carlson, Victor Hedman, Roman Josi
Hart Trophy: Leon Draisaitl, Nathan MacKinnon, Artemi Panarin

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Carlson, Hedman, Josi are 2019-20 Norris Trophy finalists

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John Carlson of the Capitals, Roman Josi of the Predators, and Victor Hedman of the Lightning have been voted finalists for the 2019-20 Norris Trophy. The award is given to league’s top defenseman “who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.”

The Norris Trophy is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association at the end of the regular season.

The winner will be announced during the conference finals.

[2020 NHL Stanley Cup Qualifiers schedule]

The case for John Carlson: He led all defensemen in scoring with 15 goals and 75 points. Those 75 points are the fifth-highest total at the position in the last decade. Carlson only played 69 games due to the NHL pause, and his 1.09 points per game is the best by a blue liner since Ray Bourque (1.26) and Sergei Zubov (1.14) were productive in 1993-94. The Capitals’ vet was a plus possession player (51% Corsi), had an expected goals against per 60 of 2.7. This is his first time as a finalist and he’s looking to become the franchise’s first winner since Rod Langway’s back-to-back victories in 1982-83 and 1983-84.

The case for Victor Hedman: The Lightning defenseman was third in scoring among defenseman with 55 points in 66 games.  He averaged 24:04 of ice time per night, posted a 2.14 expected goals against per 60, and his 54% Corsi was in the top 10 for blue liners, per Evolving Hockey. This is Hedman’s fourth straight season as a Norris finalist; he won the award in 2017-18.

The case for Roman Josi: Josi (65 points) finished behind Carlson in scoring among defensemen and, like the Capitals blue liner, led his team in points. His impact on the Predators was noticeable. When he was on the ice, the team had nearly a 20% better chance to score compared to league average versus less than 1% when he was off, per HockeyViz. He posted a 53% Corsi rating and a 53% expected goals for percentage, per Evolving Hockey. This is his first time as a finalist for the award and would be the first winner in franchise history.

NHL AWARD FINALISTS
Ted Lindsay Award: Leon Draisaitl, Nathan MacKinnon, Artemi Panarin
Calder Trophy: Quinn Hughes, Cale Makar, Dominik Kubalik
Jack Adams Award: Bruce Cassidy, John Tortorella, Alain Vigneault
• Masterton Trophy: Stephen Johns, Oskar Lindblom, Bobby Ryan

Lady Byng Trophy: Nathan MacKinnon, Auston Matthews, Ryan O’Reilly
Vezina Trophy: Connor Hellebuyck, Tuukka Rask, Andrei Vasilevskiy
Selke Trophy: Patrice Bergeron, Sean Couturier, Ryan O'Reilly
Hart Trophy: Leon Draisaitl, Nathan MacKinnon, Artemi Panarin

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.