The new 24-team playoff format certainly won't please everyone in the NHL, but it gives a lifeline to a handful of teams that were on the outside looking in at the time of the league pause on March 12. And there is no coincidence that the NHL made it a point to include Montreal and Chicago, two of the biggest fanbases in the league, to provide yet another opportunity to recoup some lost revenue.
The new format also provides some intriguing matchups, not only in the play-in round, but also deeper into the playoffs. Could a play-in team go on an improbable run to the Stanley Cup? That remains to be seen. The new format is a whole new adventure and will surely feature plenty of unpredictability, as every Stanley Cup Playoffs does.
NHL Power Rankings: Who's got the edge when 24-team format starts? originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago