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By 98.5 The Sports Hub Staff
Brad Marchand's latest Instagram post is the latest indication of how close the NHL is to returning.
The Boston Bruins winger posted a message of eagerness to get back "under the lights" for the new-look, 24-team Stanley Cup Playoffs. Much like teammate David Pastrnak tweeted how much he missed hockey, Marchand isn't shy about sharing the same sentiment.
"I can’t wait to be back under the lights again. Been missing the game and the boys big time," Marchand tweeted. You can see the full post above.
The NHL is entering phase 2 of its reopening plan, with the need for "hub cities" to host the playoffs at the forefront of the discussion. The league also unveiled the plan for a unique 24-team playoff structure.
Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, Columbus, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver and Edmonton are among the 10 finalists to become hub cities. The league will choose one for each conference.
When the Bruins finally return to the ice, it will be part of a four-team, round-robin mini-tournament against the Lightning, Capitals, and Flyers to determine the top-4 seeds in the east. The Bruins only need to tie for the best record in the round robin, since they own the first tiebreaker with their point percentage.
With the 2019-20 NHL regular season officially completed, Marchand finishes with his fourth straight campaign of at least 85 points. He scored 28 goals and 59 assists for 87 points in just 70 games. David Pastrnak became a co-winner of the Rocket Richard trophy with a league-best 48 goals.