THEY’RE FORCES OF NA­TURE

WHEN ICE SET­TLES, LOOK FOR LIGHT­NING AND AVALANCHE TO PLAY IN STAN­LEY CUP FI­NAL

Chicago Sun-Times - - CENTER OF ATTENTION - BY BEN POPE | BPOPE@SUN­TIMES.COM | @BENPOPECST

Noth­ing about the 2020 Stan­ley Cup play­offs will be nor­mal. Not the time of the year, not the 24-team field, not the best-of-five qual­i­fy­ing-round se­ries and cer­tainly not the bub­ble en­vi­ron­ments. Then again, noth­ing about the Cup play­offs is ever nor­mal. Last sea­son, the Light­ning — who amassed a record-ty­ing 62 vic­to­ries dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son — were swept in the first round. The sea­son be­fore, the Golden Knights made the Fi­nal in their first sea­son of ex­is­tence. The sea­son be­fore that, the Preda­tors — a No. 8 seed — made the Fi­nal.

So per­haps pre­dict­ing the post­sea­son, es­pe­cially in this sea­son of chaos, is fu­tile. But what’s the fun in that?

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