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If NHL can award Stanley Cup, Crosby prefers a 24-team tournament

The Sabres would miss the party by three points, behind Montreal.
Credit: AP
Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby (87) skates during the third period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres, Thursday, March 5, 2020, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

BUFFALO, N.Y. — If the NHL finds a way to resume play this season, and crown a Stanley Cup champion how would they do it? Well, right now no one knows for sure if that  will even happen no less how it will happen.

If play is resumed and in some form the Stanley Cup playoffs are held, at least one superstar prefers a 24-team tournament.

Sidney Crosby tells Darren Dreger that he'd want more games in a given series. Crosby wants more games in a given series. To him, that does a better job of maintaining the "integrity" of a given playoff format. 

According to NBC Sports, "For instance, the 24-team playoff format pitched to Crosby might include typical best-of-seven series. While it’s important to note that Crosby emphasized safety, it’s common sense to view more games as more chances for exposure."

If the NHL did choose to do a tournament with the top 24 teams, the Sabres would be the first team out of it.

When the NHL schedule was frozen in March the Sabres held the 25th spot in the standings with 68 points, three behind Montreal. There were 13 regular season games remaining on the Sabres' schedule when play was halted by the coronavirus pandemic. 

In the middle of April, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told ESPN that the league was not all that interested in a March Madness-type tournament with few games. 

Of course, all these situations are just talk right now as no one has a real idea of when health officials will say that we're no longer in endangered by the coronavirus pandemic. 

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