The #RaceForTheCup is Back On!
The normal flow of the sports calendar has been pushed back in 2020 because of the global pandemic that shut down North American prod sports for months. But now, a few months later, sports are back and the 2020 Race for the Cup is officially on!
The NHL restart has begun and the league has set up two different protective pandemic bubbles to ensure player safety and make sure that the Race for the Cup can start and finish without interruption.
The league invited 24 or its 31 teams to the restart which began on August 1, 2020, and placed the Western Conference teams in Edmonton and the Eastern Conference in Toronto. The early games pitted the lowest-ranked seeds against the teams that were in traditional playoff spots to see who would move on to the final 16.
These opening pre-payoff series pitted seed 5 vs. 12, 6 vs. 11, 7 vs. 10, and 8 vs. 9. After the dust settled on the opening bubble games, the Penguins, Rangers, Panthers, and Maple Leafs were eliminated in the East and the Oilers, Predators, Wild, and Jets were knocked out of the West.
The First Round
Now, the playoffs have started and, for the most part, it seems like any other playoff year. There may be no fans in the arena but everything from the excitement on the ice to the playoff beards are there in full-effect.
The first round has already produced some amazing hockey that none of us will soon forget. There was a big upset, with the 6th seeded Islanders taking out the 3rd ranked Capitals and an EPIC 5 overtime thriller between where the Lightning triumphed over the Blue Jackets.
The Race for the Cup
Now the Race for the Cup is on! There are 4 teams left in each division (Flyers, Lightning, Islanders, Bruins and Golden Knights, Canucks, Avalanche, and Stars) and who will hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup is up for grabs.
This is the most exciting time of year for any hockey fan, even if it is a few months late. For anyone who has ever laced up the skates and picked up a stick, holding the Cup up over your head is the ultimate dream.
These players who are vying for the cup started on frozen ponds, backyard rinks, and early morning ice times like everyone else. Now, their talent, hard work, and dedication have brought them to the highest levels of the game.
In the next few weeks, they will leave it all on the ice in the attempt to join the legends of the game and have their name etched on the most famous trophy in all of sports. Their lifelong dream could be realized and they could be immortalized along with some of the most famous names in the game like Maurice Richard, Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Sidney Crosby, Patrick Kane, and last year’s Stanley Cup MVP, Ryan O’Reilly.
The truth is, most hockey players will never make it to the NHL and participate in the #RaceForTheCup. Those who do though get there by out-training and outworking the competition. If you or your favorite hockey player dreams of racing for the Cup one day, check out all the hockey training products at Snipers Edge Hockey to get started.