The 24-team playoff featured six elimination games on Friday that kept hockey fans glued to their seats from noon to 1:30 AM. Elimination Friday saw five teams knocked out of the tournament, including the Pittsburgh Penguins and Edmonton Oilers who feature two of the biggest superstars in the league, Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid. Both 12 seeds in the Eastern and Western Conference advanced adding to the unpredictability and excitement.
With all that good hockey, hockey fans and analysts have become more open to this playoff format replacing what the NHL had before, expanding the number of playoff teams, and permanently introducing a play-in round.
One player who is 100 percent not on board with this is Braden Holtby
“I’m curious, do you think the NHL should adopt this 24-team playoff format for good moving forward?” Holtby was asked during his meeting with reporters on Friday.
“No,” Holtby said shaking his head.
You could see the terror in Braden’s eyes as he imagined such a scenario playing out in future years.
“I think this is a unique situation and the system we had before is the best way,” he concluded.
While Holtby believes the 24-team format should be placed in the dustbin of history, he has found some benefits to playing in an empty arena.
“The sightlines are nice,” Holtby said. “At least the backdrop they put up (over the seats) is great,” Holtby said. “That helps a lot. A lot of buildings are going to black seats, so if it’s the start of a period or something and no one is sitting down yet, you lose a lot of pucks in those seats. You don’t have to deal with that here. Sound-wise, you can hear everything, so that makes it a little bit easier that way.”
But during games, Holtby admitted, “I actually didn’t feel different at all. I felt pretty normal. A few of the guys were saying on the bench it’s kind of a hard time, which obviously as a goalie you don’t have to deal with. I was quite surprised. It seemed like a normal game.”
His only bubble beef? “I think I’m getting too much [sleep]. My body doesn’t know what to do.”
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