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Playoff Start Date, Torts for Jack Adams, Matthews Cleared to Play

July 17, 2020, 11:40 PM ET [6 Comments]
Thomas Townsend
Columbus Blue Jackets Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Unless you have been living under a rock or as a hermit, which is more likely than you think these days, you probably already know that the NHL has a playoff schedule published. The Jackets open their series against Toronto on Sunday, August 2. And they have the prime time spot at 8 pm. The series continues on Tuesday the 4th at 4 pm. An interesting quark in the scheduling of 'bubble hockey playoffs' is that they are playing in the afternoons even during the weekdays. I'm glad I have a laptop work computer, but I would imagine that the US and CA will have a production dip greater than March Madness. After months lacking anything resembling competitive professional sports, long days of hockey playoffs will be a welcome site for sports fans everywhere. Although there will be no fans in stands I bet TV ratings will be huge.

Torts has been named a finalist for the Jack Adams Award for NHL's best coach. The two other finalist are Bruce Cassidy (Boston) and Alain Vigneault (Flyers). Interesting that all three are from the Eastern Conference. This is the 5th time Tortorella has been a finalist and has won the award twice before. He is taking a team that lost it's top scorer, a number one center and a Vezina-winning goalie in the off season to the playoffs. Not to mention the number of injuries and call-ups he had to deal with throughout the entire season. My guess is that the award will go to Bruce Cassidy, but it is nice to be considered top 3 in your profession.

Matthews tested positive for COVID-19. In an interview he stated that if was a mild case where is was mostly asymptomatic. It did result in 2-3 weeks away from the ice in quarantine. My guess is that it isn't going to have an impact on his game. None of the players have seen competition for months now, so rust is going to be a factor for everyone.

It will be interesting to see if the list of players opting out of these playoffs grows, my guess is that it will not. The other thing I will look for, especially in this play-in round, is injuries. Not skating competitively for months combined with playoff style hockey could have bad results. Contact will be high and guys will be skating all out, it's the playoffs. The Jackets were injury prone already this season...

Good Luck and GO JACKETS! (stay safe everyone)
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