Capitals would get first round bye in new 24-team playoff format

It’s looking like Washington Capitals hockey might be back after all.

The latest proposal from the NHL’s Return to Play committee talks about a 24 team playoff format for the participants. What does this mean for the Washington Capitals?

Washington has the third best record in the Eastern Conference. With 12 teams from each qualifying for postseason play, the Capitals will be one of the teams getting a first round bye on their side of the bracket.

They would have to face the winner of the Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Rangers series and in my opinion with regards to who I’d rather see out of the two, honestly, bring on either opponent.

Both teams have had quite the history with the Caps most recently with Carolina with what happened one year ago.

The Caps and Rangers also met in a few playoff series in this century. We’ve had some good series with them in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2015 but the Rangers have won the last three meetings.

Either way, it’s a revenge scenario for the Caps but who says they can’t get it done?

If you’re nervous about Carolina it’s OK to be. But like John Walton says it’s also OK to believe. But there’s more storylines in this 24 team playoff format besides the opponents.

What about the current players on the Caps? Alex Ovechkin was just denied a 50 goal season after coming up close to 48 before the season was paused.

You’ve got Braden Holtby on an expiring contract looking to get hot and get a solid raise whenever free agency begins. And let’s not forget about the new additions Brenden Dillon to try to help out the defense and Ilya Kovalchuk to boost the offense.

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With all these rumors floating around, Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic reported that the NHL Player’s Association is in the process of voting on the Return to Play format and we should know the results tonight.

Question for Stars and Sticks readers: What do you think of the latest proposal?