2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs: STRAP IN BITCHES!!!!

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Merlin

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This year's playoffs should be special. We are going to see a playoff collection of teams that are almost 100% healthy and ready to compete without the typical excuses that follow a long and grueling season. There won't be a bunch of dinged up players who don't show on the injury report. It's gonna be balls to the walls for the Cup.

Should be a special tournament. And the NHL leadership, btw, has done a great job of setting this thing up, from the Commish through the Players Association leadership. We are about to be treated to an outstanding playoff drama and it couldn't come at a better time with so many people having burned through every Netflix show they can think of.

Who's gonna be watching? I'm gonna be in full fledged playoff mode MFers, geared out and the whole nine. Go Knights! :biggrin: (y)
 

flv

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Hard to be excited by a league that has no schedule.
 

flv

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Finally a schedule! Good luck to all teams and fans. (y)
 

Boston Ram

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This year's playoffs should be special. We are going to see a playoff collection of teams that are almost 100% healthy and ready to compete without the typical excuses that follow a long and grueling season. There won't be a bunch of dinged up players who don't show on the injury report. It's gonna be balls to the walls for the Cup.

Should be a special tournament. And the NHL leadership, btw, has done a great job of setting this thing up, from the Commish through the Players Association leadership. We are about to be treated to an outstanding playoff drama and it couldn't come at a better time with so many people having burned through every Netflix show they can think of.

Who's gonna be watching? I'm gonna be in full fledged playoff mode MFers, geared out and the whole nine. Go Knights! :biggrin: (y)
I will be watching and can’t wait! Redemption for the Bruins!!
 

Merlin

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One thing that is going to surprise people will be the extra camera angles (12 additional cameras), taking advantage of no fans in the stands. (y)




Cup Qualifiers to be 'visually exciting' with new camera angles
LED screens, ice-level microphones will add to unique TV viewing experience
by Dan Rosen @drosennhl/ NHL.com Senior Writer
July 24, 2020

The NHL is planning to show fans camera angles they've never seen on a hockey broadcast when the Stanley Cup Qualifiers begin in Edmonton and Toronto on Aug. 1.

"Many times the considerations of where cameras go in arenas are based on where our fans are because we don't want to block our fans from the viewing experience," Steve Mayer, NHL senior executive vice president and chief content officer for events and entertainment, said Thursday. "We have no fans here, so we are able to walk around an arena like this and find the perfect, most ideal positions for every single one of our cameras."

The NHL Return to Play Plan, which has 24 teams competing for the Stanley Cup -- 12 in the Eastern Conference hub city of Toronto, and the 12 Western Conference teams in Edmonton -- does not include fans in the arenas because of health and safety regulations related to the coronavirus. Mayer said that means the NHL must create a made-for-TV product to showcase the race for the Cup.

League broadcast partners Sportsnet and NBC will be using 32 cameras in each arena, 12 more than normal for a national broadcast. They will also be using a JitaCam, a camera on a large, 360-degree crane that can be positioned over the ice.

Sportsnet will control the live broadcast feed from Rogers Place in Edmonton, which will host all of the Western Conference games in the Qualifiers and first two rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, as well as every game of both conference finals and the Stanley Cup Final.



NBC will control the feed from Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, site of all the Eastern Conference games in the Qualifiers and first two rounds of the playoffs.

In the Qualifiers, the top four teams in each conference will play a round-robin to determine seeding for the playoffs. The remaining eight teams in each conference will play best-of-5 series, with the winners advancing to the playoffs. The loser of each series will have a chance at the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft in the Second Phase of the NHL Draft Lottery, to be held Aug. 10.

"It is our goal to be able to show a hockey game in a manner that shows off the speed and you feel like you're part of the game, you're watching with the energy that sometimes doesn't come from the play on the ice," Mayer said. "We all want our game to translate better for television. We think that in this tournament, we're going to be able to accomplish that in even greater ways because of the way we can bring our fans right inside the game, down low, show the speed, hear the sounds."

Each game will also look unique to the television audience based on the set design the NHL is using in each arena, including LED screens, monitors and stages.

The NHL also worked with game presentation representatives from each of the 24 participating teams to gather audio that is unique to their home arenas, including goal horns, in-arena music compilations, motivational videos and specially produced clips from fans to replicate chants unique to each market.

"The energy of the set design and some of the things that we're planning on doing will make it visually exciting," Mayer said. "I'm super excited about the broadcasts, to be able to do some different things throughout the whole tournament, and giving our fans an amazing experience if they can't be here, at home."

Microphones will be placed throughout the arena, including at ice level, to pick up more of the sounds of the game.

"You'll hear more of what's taking place on the ice without the crowd noise," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "And in terms of set design, and what the arena's going to look like from a broadcast standpoint, if you see and recall what we do at all our outdoor games and our other events, Steve and his group are extraordinarily creative. We think this will make for a compelling television product."
The League will not be using virtual advertisements at the start of the tournament, Mayer said, though the regional networks covering games in the Qualifiers and first round of the playoffs will be able to use virtual advertisements on the glass behind each goal.
"We're looking at our environment in some ways as virtual, but we also, as we've talked about, are looking to grow this and be fluid," Mayer said. "There are possibilities as we get in later rounds to add a virtual component to the environment for the conference [finals] and the Final."

Commissioner Bettman said the idea is not to replace the normalcy of an NHL game, especially a playoff game, but to instead give a different look and feel on TV.

"There's nothing better in person from sporting standpoint than an NHL game," the Commissioner said. "The energy, the noise, the excitement of our crowds may be irreplaceable from that standpoint, but this is going to be made into a very entertaining and compelling experience."
 

Merlin

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Return to Play, preparing hub cities 'awesome challenge' for NHL
Staging postseason, keeping everyone safe amid pandemic monumental task
by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika/ NHL.com Columnist
July 24, 2020


The NHL is trying to make this look easy. This is the opposite. This is nothing short of a historic undertaking, something we've never seen before and hopefully never see again.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, which paused the season March 12 and has disrupted society around the world, the NHL is coming back with its largest, most complex event ever. From scratch, on the fly, in a matter of weeks, it is creating a completely new way of competing, living and viewing while keeping everyone safe.

The NHL is staging an unprecedented 24-team tournament in Edmonton and Toronto, starting Aug. 1 and ending as late as Oct. 4. It is making teams and staff comfortable while restricting them to Secure Zones and requiring them to follow strict protocols. It is overhauling the game presentation without fans in the stands.

[RELATED: Stanley Cup Qualifiers schedule]

The hurdles are immense, the details countless. The NHL is making the best of a bad situation. No, wait. That's an understatement. The goal is to transform a bad situation into something spectacular -- creative, different and made-for-TV, and yet worthy of the tradition the Stanley Cup.

"This is unheard of," said NHL chief content officer Steve Mayer, who oversees the production and has been in Edmonton for 11 days already. "It's an awesome challenge. Every one of us is just welcoming it. You know, like, 'bring it on' is the general call. Like, let's do it.
"I think when you're in the event business, you sort of look for moments like this where you seize the whole everything and you run with it, and in some ways, we're nuts. We've got a screw loose. But we love this kind of stuff. This is what we're all built for. This is what we do."

Remember, the regular season was humming along as usual, and then one day it screeched to a halt. There was no playbook to consult. Worse, there was no certainty as to how the pandemic would play out. Even worse, the situation was evolving differently, in terms of the coronavirus and local governments' responses to it, in each NHL market.



Long story short, the NHL determined it needed to return in NHL arenas because of the infrastructure they afforded. It came up with a list of things needed in a hub city and solicited proposals. Together with the NHL Players' Association and health officials, it crafted the Return to Play Plan.

The NHL thought the hub cities would be Las Vegas and Vancouver, then switched to Edmonton and Toronto for safety and logistical reasons. That increased the degree of difficulty.

"We lost two weeks when we decided not to go there," Mayer said, "because we were planning specifically for those two places."



The NHL has critical infrastructure and experience from staging games outdoors and overseas. It has played in cities from Shanghai to Stockholm and built rinks in baseball and football stadiums. It also has staged the World Cup of Hockey 2016 at what is now a hub, Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. The veteran event staff knows how to solve problems and has a been-there, done-that, can-do attitude.
This, though, is the ultimate test for every NHL department.

"This could not be done as well as it will be unless we have this team in place," Mayer said. "The difference between this and every other event we've done, we have had almost on every occasion at least a year to prepare, and (one of) our events can fit into one tenth of this.

"There is not one event that we've done that can remotely compare to the scale of this, because we've never had to open up the restaurants. We've never had to build team lounges. We've never had to have coaches rooms in multiple places. We've never had to put fencing around a city. We've never had a security detail even remotely like this. And we've certainly never had testing for 900 people in two sites."



You can't, for example, simply partner with local chefs to pop up two restaurants in Edmonton to give diners more options in the Secure Zone, including a sushi spot in Rogers Place. You have to do it without transmitting the coronavirus.
"You've got to make sure the seats are social-distanced," Mayer said. "We have to do a cleaning after every sitting. The way the servers come out, they have to be educated on how they present food. The menus, many of them are going to be online. You go to a bar code that's on your table and the menu pops up on your phone. These are all the various aspects of just what used to be, and it wasn't simple, but used to be …

"One step is now 10 steps. There's not a decision that's made without consulting the medical team, understanding protocol and how it fits in, and that just makes it so much more difficult."

And hopefully so much more rewarding. If the NHL pulls this off, the team that wins the Stanley Cup will have accomplished something that will be remembered forever. So will the team that made it possible.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said awarding the Stanley Cup would be a "relief." "The long journey," Commissioner Bettman said, "still has many miles to go."
 

flv

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Last chance to get your ROD$ on the Qualifying Round before the action starts.
 

12intheBox

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I’m listening to the Blues game now. Anyone ever done the nhl.com streaming thing? I’m tempted but I worry basically all the games will be blacked out.
 

Loyal

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I don't see you bastids talking up the LA Kings!
 
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