Over the last few hours, we’ve been on NHL overload as the league unveiled the Return To Play Plan. Commissioner Gary Bettman announced the 2019-20 regular season is done with and the focus is geared towards the phases and formats for the postseason. However, NHLPA executive director Don Fehr told ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski that there isn’t a “collectively bargained decision” on where statistics from the “qualification round” are going to be counted. So, what does this mean for Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak, who were prematurely deemed winners of the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy?
Don’t give Alex Ovechkin and David Pastrnak that Rocket Richard Trophy yet. NHLPA executive director Don Fehr tells ESPN that there’s been no collectively bargained decision on where statistics from the “qualification round” are going to be counted. NHL… https://t.co/IDmGactKbW
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) May 26, 2020
Here are the top 10 NHL players with the most goals from this season— Pastrnak and Ovechkin both lead with 48 goals.
The Bruins and Capitals join the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers as the top four seeds in the Eastern Conference. They will play in a round-robin tournament for seeding. The winners from the Qualifying Round play the top four seeds in the First Round. Again, here is another look at that Qualifying Round:
Here’s the kicker: neither Ovechkin or Pastrnak are going to be playing in the Qualifying Round. If statistics are going to be counted in that round, there is a possibility for a change in winner or winners in this case due to the play-in. Ovechkin’s chance for his ninth Rocket Richard Trophy would be in jeopardy.
Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews is just one goal shy of Ovechkin and Pastrnak and could likely score in the best-of-five series. It’s the same scenario for Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl, who is deemed the Art Ross Trophy winner for the season. Draisaitl would need five goals to tie with Ovechkin and Pastrnak. I wouldn’t rule New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (41 goals) out of the race either.
If statistics are not going to be counted in the Qualifying Round and are concluded as said by Bettman earlier today, Ovechkin and Pastrnak are still winners of Rocket Richard Trophy unless otherwise stated.
By Della Young