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Sports How paths might have changed under expanded NFL playoffs

21:16  25 march  2020
21:16  25 march  2020 Source:   msn.com

KHL cancels remainder of playoffs

  KHL cancels remainder of playoffs The KHL has canceled the remainder of the Gagarin Cup playoffs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the league announced Wednesday. It's sad to say 'Goodbye' so early. See you in 2020-21! pic.twitter.com/Te187nYfHN — KHL (@khl_eng) March 25, 2020 The outbreak forced a pause after the first round when two of the eight remaining teams, Finland's Jokerit Helsinki and Kazakhstan-based Barys Nur-Sultan, withdrew due to travel restrictions. The KHLIt's sad to say 'Goodbye' so early.

a close up of Lovie Smith © Provided by The Canadian Press

Lovie Smith's coaching tenure in Chicago might not have ended had the Bears made the playoffs his final three seasons instead of missing out by one spot his last two years.

Playoff droughts in Cleveland and Tampa Bay wouldn't be nearly as long or painful had the Browns and Bucs sneaked their way into the post-season as the third wild card in 2007 and '16, respectively.

The last two Super Bowl champions could have had a tougher time winning titles if Kansas City (2019) and New England (2018) had to play games on wild-card weekend instead of earning byes.

The NFL's decision to expand the playoffs from 12 to 14 teams this season could have a major impact on the league based on how things have played out in the past.

KHL halts playoffs for 1 week to reformat, reschedule after 2 clubs withdraw

  KHL halts playoffs for 1 week to reformat, reschedule after 2 clubs withdraw The KHL will pause its Gagarin Cup playoffs for one week in order to create a new format and schedule for its six remaining teams after two clubs withdrew from the postseason, the league announced Monday. Finland's Jokerit Helsinki and Kazakhstan's Barys Nur-Saltan bowed out after the opening round of the playoffs due to the coronavirus outbreak and travel restrictions being implemented worldwide, according to The Hockey News' Steven Ellis. TheFinland's Jokerit Helsinki and Kazakhstan's Barys Nur-Saltan bowed out after the opening round of the playoffs due to the coronavirus outbreak and travel restrictions being implemented worldwide, according to The Hockey News' Steven Ellis.

While some might complain of a dilution of quality, the percentage of teams that made the playoffs with 32 franchises under the new format (43%) is essentially the same as it was from 1990-94 (44%) when the then-28 team league last expanded the playoffs from 10 to 12 qualifiers.

The NFL has been playing under this format of eight division winners and four wild-card teams since Houston was added as an expansion franchise in 2002.

During that span, the difference in the average record of the seventh-place team (9.1 wins per season) in each conference was negligible when compared to the worst team that made the playoffs each season (9.2), whether it was as the fourth-seeded division winner or the second wild-card team.

In all, 23 franchises would have benefited from at least one more playoff berth, led by Minnesota and Pittsburgh with four extra trips each. New Orleans, Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Tennessee and Tampa Bay — yes, Tampa Bay, which hasn't made the post-season since 2007 — all would have had two more playoff appearances if the seasons had played out the same way.

How to watch the Raptors' 2019 NBA championship run in Canada

  How to watch the Raptors' 2019 NBA championship run in Canada TSN and Sportsnet are showing all 24 games that led to the crowning of the Raptors as champs.TSN and Sportsnet are teaming up to show all 24 games the Raptors played in — including Game 7 against the Sixers — from March 20 to April 12.

Under the format in place since 2002, no team with a losing record would have gotten the third wild-card spot and the extra team would have been more likely to be a double-digit winner (nine times) than a .500 team (eight times).

Here's a look at some of the impact the new format could have had if things played out the same way since 2002:

BEST MATCHUPS

In many years the extra games would have either looked like duds or massive mismatches on paper. Devlin Hodges and the 8-8 Steelers matching up with eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City last season, for example. But in other years, the extra game would be an intriguing one. Here are a few of the best:

2018: No. 7 Pittsburgh at New England. The Steelers beat the Patriots 17-10 at home in Week 15 and could have had another shot in the wild-card round.

2010: No. 7 New York Giants at Chicago. Eli Manning and the Giants proved they are more than capable of making a Super Bowl run out of wild-card weekend. The 10-win 2010 version that missed the playoffs thanks to the strength of victory tiebreaker with eventual champion Green Bay, might have been a better overall team than the 2007 and '11 Super Bowl winners. The Giants at least would have been a good match for the Bears team that made it to the NFC title game thanks to the bye and a win at home over seven-win Seattle in the division round.

Brainstorming six Stanley Cup Playoff format ideas for 2020

  Brainstorming six Stanley Cup Playoff format ideas for 2020 With the conclusion of the 2019-20 season uncertain, the NHL has said all ideas for a playoff format is on the table. With that in mind, Ryan Dixon comes up with some ideas for how we could get a Stanley Cup awarded. The post Global athletes group calls for postponement of Olympics appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.About all we can say in terms of possible playoff formats should the NHL resume play this season is the same thing deputy commissioner Bill Daly told Good Show on Sportsnet 590 The Fan Thursday morning: Essentially, anything is possible.

2003: No. 7 Minnesota at St. Louis. A Week 17 collapse in Arizona cost the Vikings a playoff berth. Had they made it, a team led by Daunte Culpepper and Randy Moss could have provided a good match for Marshall Faulk, Torry Holt and the Rams.

TOUGHER PATHS

While much of the focus has been on the extra team that would have made the playoffs, the bigger impact might be on the team that misses out on the bye. In the past seven seasons, no team that has played on wild-card weekend has gone to the Super Bowl. While much of that can be attributed to the quality of the top teams, the extra rest and one less chance of an upset are also major factors.

Nine times in the 18 years of the current format, a team seeded second in its conference made it to the Super Bowl, with the Chiefs and Patriots winning it all that way the past two seasons.

The other champions are Tampa Bay (2002), New England (2004) and Pittsburgh (2008). The Steelers (2010), 49ers (2012), Falcons (2016) and Rams (2018) all lost the Super Bowl as No. 2 seeds. Would they have gotten that far without the wild-card bye?

FIRED COACHES

Four coaches were fired after finishing seventh in the conference, decisions that could have been different had their teams made the post-season those years. Smith had back-to-back seventh-place finishes for Chicago in 2011-12 after making it to the NFC title game the previous year. He was fired after winning 10 games in 2012 and the Bears have made it to the playoffs just once in eight seasons since.

NHL to make, miss playoffs: Our best, worst preseason predictions

  NHL to make, miss playoffs: Our best, worst preseason predictions Find line reports, best bets, and subscribe to push notifications in the Betting News section. Let's dive into our preseason article pointing out the best bets to make/miss the playoffs. We can't break these down by the good and bad, as all four looked likely to come down to the final week of the season, so we are going pick by pick. The picks Winnipeg Jets: No playoffs (+150) A run of four successive wins just before the season got suspended thrust the Jets back into the playoff mix, though they had the disadvantage of playing one more game than all the teams around them. If the season did end up being played out, I think the Jets would have ended up missing the playoffs.

The other coaches to get axed after coming in seventh place are Detroit's Jim Caldwell (2017), Tampa Bay's Jon Gruden (2008) and Minnesota's Mike Tice (2005).

STREAKS AND DROUGHTS

The Steelers would have a 10-year run of playoff appearances with an extra berth, having come in seventh four times since 2010, while making the post-season the other six years. In fact, coach Mike Tomlin would have made it to the playoffs in 12 of his 13 seasons in Pittsburgh.

New England would have an even longer run of 17 straight playoff berths, having coming in seventh with an 11-5 record in 2008 when Matt Cassel replaced an injured Tom Brady as starter in the season opener.

The two teams with the longest current playoff droughts would have had a little less pain. The Bucs, who last made it under Gruden in 2007, would have qualified the following year and in 2016 under the new format.

The Browns, who haven't been to the post-season since 2002, would have made it as a 10-win team in 2007 under coach Romeo Crennel.

So maybe the Bucs have even more going for them in their 2020 playoff chase than that new quarterback — what's his name?

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More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Josh Dubow, The Associated Press

As NHL announces ‘pause’ on 2019-20 season, next steps remain unclear .
Following the NBA’s decision on Wednesday night, the NHL officially suspended its season on Thursday. We’re in uncharted waters now and what comes next is completely unknown. The post Brendan Batchelor on how the Canucks are handling the COVID-19 situation appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.In fact, it seemed like the only reasonable path forward with the spread of coronavirus pandemic already observed in parts of Europe and Asia now taking hold in North America.

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