On Friday, the NHL released it’s schedule for the qualifying round, and today we got a potential update for the schedule with some tentative start times.
Tentative game schedule and times for the first 5 days of the NHL’s return to play and Stanley Cup Qualifiers – no TV listings have been released yet. (📸 – @NoVa_Caps via NHL API) pic.twitter.com/trAjNjN27q
— NHL News (@puck_report2) July 12, 2020
To the surprise of nobody, it looks like the Leafs will be getting the prime time slots for game times during the qualifying round. It makes sense, considering that the Leafs tend to get that slot on Saturdays due to the size of the fanbase, even when they’re playing in a different time zone.
There are a couple other interesting things to point out with this schedule. First, it seems like most of the Canadian teams are getting similar prime time slots when possible, specifically Montreal because they’re the only other Eastern Canadian team in the playoffs. Otherwise, Edmonton, Calgary, and Winnipeg are rotating their prime time slots around, while Vancouver is consistently getting that time slot.
One thing that surprised me was that they didn’t give the round robin games the noon time slots, considering there will probably be less interest in games that aren’t as impactful on the playoff race. With how many games that will be happening in the afternoon while people are at work, it would have made more sense.