Cam Neely ‘Disappointed’ Bruins Must Play In Round-Robin Tournament

The Bruins’ stellar 2019-20 regular season came to an official end Tuesday when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman revealed the league will go straight to a 24-team playoff format should play resume.

And for Boston, it was bittersweet.

The B’s racked up a league-best 100 points, which earned them the Presidents’ Trophy and a few individual awards, as well. And while — under normal circumstances — being the league’s best team has some advantages when it comes to playoff seeding, that’s not quite the case this time around.

The top teams in each conference will play a round-robin tournament to determine seeding. So, theoretically, the Bruins could end up as the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference while the Philadelphia Flyers could be No. 1.

That is something Cam Neely is disappointed by.

“Obviously a little disappointed with what the team was able to accomplish the first 70 games and kind of the point spread we had between not only the teams in the league, but the teams in our division, our conference,” the Bruins president said Wednesday during a Zoom call. “To kind of maybe have three games dictate where we fall in the conference standings is somewhat disappointing, but the fact remains these are unchartered times for everybody. We’re just hoping we can eventually get back on the ice and play meaningful hockey games.”

Other than that, Neely said he’s fine with the remainder for the format.

“I was involved in some discussions with the league on the format, listening to what some of the options were,” he said. “I expressed my feelings about where it was headed, but for the good of the game this is what they thought was best. They talked about some competitive games while the play-in rounds were going. From my perspective I thought the players would be amped up and ready to go regardless if there were round-robin games or games to get ready for the playoffs, knowing that other teams were playing competitive games.”

Now it’s just a waiting game for Phase 2 to begin before Boston (hopefully) begins its quest for the Stanley Cup.

More: How Bruins’ Anthem Singer Used His Voice To Give Back Amid Sports Pause

 

 

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images

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