The NHL released the schedule with times for the Stanley Cup Playoff Qualifying Round and the round-robin that the Boston Bruins will play three games in. The league also announced that each team in the 24-team playoff format will play one exhibition game. All games will take place at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, the Eastern Conference Hub City.
The Bruins will kick off gameplay on Thursday, July 30 at 7 PM ET against the Columbus Blue Jackets. For the rest of the exhibition schedule, click here.
The Bruins first meaningful game will be Sunday, August 2 at 3 PM ET against the team they beat 2-0 in their last game (March 10) before the NHL Pause on March 12. The Bruins will get two full days off and then play an Atlantic Division rival in the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday, August 5 at 4 PM ET. They will close out the round-robin stage against the Washington Capitals on Saturday, August 8 (TBD).
The four round-robin teams will battle it out for the top four seeds in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Boston Bruins President Cam Neely acknowledged earlier this summer that he and the Bruins were disappointed that winning the President’s Trophy as the best team in the league could be rendered moot by this round-robin round.
“Obviously a little disappointed,” Neely said on May 28, following the announcement of the NHL Return To Play plan on May 25. “With what the team was able to accomplish in the first 70 games, and then kind of the point spread between not only the teams in our division but the teams in our conference, to kind of maybe have three games dictate where we fall in the conference standings is somewhat disappointing.”
As Neely pointed out then, the league has and continues to do their best to make this plan work.
“But the fact remains these are unchartered times for everybody, and we’re just hoping we can eventually get back on the ice and play meaningful hockey games,” Neely said. “I expressed my feelings about where it was headed, but for the good of the game, this is what they thought was best.”
Now, COVID19 permitting, the Bruins know when they could be playing those ‘meaningful’ games!
For the entire Qualifying Round and round-robin schedule, click here.
In June, Boston Hockey Now reporter Alex Thomas did extensive analysis on the round-robin opponents.