NHL's 2020 playoff schedule will be hockey fan's dream

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By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com

Hope 'ya like hockey, because you're getting it 'til you're blue in the face this summer.

With the NHL's Return-To-Play plans officially ratified on Friday, the league will finally move towards a return to action in Toronto and Edmonton, and with an Aug. 1 scheduled start date for what will be a daily hockey marathon.

The current plan, as first reported by ESPN's Emily Kaplan, is to roll out as many as six games per day. Those games will have local-time starts of 12 p.m., 4 p.m., and 8 p.m. And with Edmonton existing in Mountain Time, this means that those of us in Boston will see games begin at 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m., 8 p.m., and then 10 p.m. 10:30 p.m. in some cases.

Holy smokes. Talk about making up for the pause that's kept the game off ice since Mar. 12.

As mentioned, this marathon will begin on Aug. 1, when the league begins the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoff play-in qualifying rounds, as well as the round-robin tournament for seeding for each conference's top four teams.

The play-in rounds will feature a total of eight best-of-fives between each conference's No. 5 through No. 12 seeds. The No. 5 team will play the No. 12, the No. 6 will play the No. 11, the No. 7 will play the No. 10, and No. 8 will play the No. 9.

The round-robin, meanwhile, will see each of the conference's top four teams play one game against the competition under regular season rules. The team with the most points at the conclusion of that tourney will have the No. 1 seed in their conference's postseason structure. Regular-season point percentage will serve as the tiebreaker if necessary.

The Bruins, who finished the regular season as the Presidents' Trophy winner, will begin their round-robin slate on Aug. 2.

Here's your complete, daily schedule for the first stage of hockey's return. The exact times, channels, and everything else will be announced at a later date...

Saturday, Aug. 1

New York Rangers vs. Carolina Hurricanes, Game 1
Florida Panthers vs. New York Islanders, Game 1
Montreal Canadiens vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, Game 1

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Edmonton Oilers, Game 1
Winnipeg Jets vs. Calgary Flames, Game 1

Sunday, Aug. 2

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, Game 1

Minnesota Wild vs. Vancouver Canucks, Game 1
Arizona Coyotes vs. Nashville Predators, Game 1

Philadelphia Flyers vs. Boston Bruins

St. Louis Blues vs. Colorado Avalanche

Monday, Aug. 3

New York Rangers vs. Carolina Hurricanes, Game 2
Montreal Canadiens vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, Game 2

Winnipeg Jets vs. Calgary Flames, Game 2
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Edmonton Oilers, Game 2

Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Dallas Stars vs. Vegas Golden Knights

Tuesday, Aug. 4

Florida Panthers vs. New York Islanders, Game 2
Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Rangers, Game 3
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, Game 2

Calgary Flames vs. Winnipeg Jets, Game 3
Nashville Predators vs. Arizona Coyotes, Game 3
Minnesota Wild vs. Vancouver Canucks, Game 2

Wednesday, Aug. 5

New York Islanders vs. Florida Panthers, Game 3
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Montreal Canadiens, Game 3

Nashville Predators vs. Arizona Coyotes, Game 3
Edmonton Oilers vs. Chicago Blackhawks, Game 3

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins

Colorado Avalanche vs. Dallas Stars

Thursday, Aug. 6

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Columbus Blue Jackets, Game 3
Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Rangers, Game 4 (if necessary)

Vancouver Canucks vs. Minnesota Wild, Game 3
Calgary Flames vs. Winnipeg Jets, Game 4 (if necessary)

Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Vegas Golden Knights vs. St. Louis Blues

Friday, Aug. 7

New York Islanders vs. Florida Panthers, Game 4 (if necessary)
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Montreal Canadiens, Game 4 (if necessary)
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Columbus Blue Jackets, Game 4 (if necessary)

Nashville Predators vs. Arizona Coyotes, Game 4 (if necessary)
Vancouver Canucks vs. Minnesota Wild, Game 4 (if necessary)
Edmonton Oilers vs. Chicago Blackhawks, Game 4 (if necessary)

Saturday, Aug. 8

New York Rangers vs. Carolina Hurricanes, Game 5 (if necessary)
Montreal Canadiens vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, Game 5 (if necessary)

Winnipeg Jets vs. Calgary Flames, Game 5 (if necessary)
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Edmonton Oilers, Game 5 (if necessary)

Boston Bruins vs. Washington Capitals

Vegas Golden Knights vs. Colorado Avalanche

Sunday, Aug. 9

Florida Panthers vs. New York Islanders, Game 5 (if necessary)
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, Game 5 (if necessary)

Minnesota Wild vs. Vancouver Canucks, Game 5 (if necessary)
Arizona Coyotes vs. Nashville Predators, Game 5 (if necessary)

Philadelphia Flyers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Dallas Stars vs. St. Louis Blues

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Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.