NHL 2019-20 regular season: Bruins win Presidents’ Trophy, Pastrnak and Ovechkin share Rocket Richard

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced Tuesday that the 2019-20 regular season has concluded. If and when Phase 4 of the NHL’s four-tiered plan is reached, the league will transition to a 24-team return to play format.

For the first time since the lockout-shortened season in 2012-13, an 82-game regular season wasn’t completed.

In Tuesday’s announcement, the teams that have earned a berth into 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs if the season resumes are the Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, Philadelphia Flyers, Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars.

Stanley Cup playoffs 2020: Everything you need to know

Of the eight teams that earned a bye into the first round of the playoffs, the Flyers were the only team not in the playoffs last season. Philadelphia last made the postseason in 2017-18.

The seven teams who won’t be competing for a Stanley Cup are the Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators, San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres. If played, the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs would be the first since the 1995-96 season to not feature a California team.

With the regular season officially concluded, here’s where the awards stand.

Who won the 2019-20 Presidents’ Trophy?

After falling short in Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, the Boston Bruins stormed out to points in 13 of their first 14 games and never looked back. Boston reached the 100-point plateau for the third consecutive season in their final regular-season game on March 10 when they defeated the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Presidents’ Trophy is awarded to the Bruins for the third time in franchise history having previously won it in 1989-90 and 2013-14.

Who are the division champions?

Atlantic Division

Boston clinched the Atlantic Division title for the first time in six seasons edging out the Tampa Bay Lightning, who came on late in the second half after a rough first couple of months. The Bruins had the top goaltending tandem in the league this season as the team sported the league’s best defense, allowing just 2.39 goals per game. It also doesn’t hurt to have the league’s top goalscorer in Pastrnak spearheading an offense that ranked ninth in the NHL.

Metropolitan Division

In the Metropolitan Division, the Washington Capitals are the champions for a fifth consecutive season, besting the Flyers by one point. Washington had the league’s second-highest scoring offense thanks to Ovechkin and defenseman John Carlson, who led all NHL blueliners with 75 points. The Capitals also feature a steady goalie duo of Braden Holtby and Ilya Samsonov, who has flown on to the season in his rookie campaign. In 26 games, the Russian ranks 11th in the NHL with a 2.55 GAA.

Central Division

No Stanley Cup hangover for the Blues as they won the Central Division for the first time since the 2014-15 season, squeaking by the Avalanche. Despite losing forward Vladimir Tarasenko to injury in late-Oct., the Blues still averaged 3.14 goals per game with the reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner Ryan O’Reilly leading the team with 61 points. Goalies Jordan Binnington and Jake Allen combined to allow the sixth-fewest goals in the NHL with Allen ranking second among qualified netminders with a 2.15 GAA.

Pacific Division

For the second time in its three-year existence, the Vegas Golden Knights won the Pacific Division. After Peter DeBoer replaced Gerard Gallant as head coach on Jan. 15, the team went 15-5-2 sporting the fourth-best record in the league during that span. The ageless wonder Marc-Andre Fleury played in 48 games this season with forward Max Pacioretty leading the team with 66 points, one behind his career-high. 

Who is the Art Ross Trophy winner?

For the third time in four years, an Oiler has won the Art Ross Trophy, but for the first time, it wasn’t Connor McDavid. Leon Draisaitl wins the award in 2019-20 after posting 110 points, including a league-high 67 assists, becoming the first German to ever win the award. Draisaitl joins McDavid and Wayne Gretzky as the only Oilers to earn the honor.

It was a breakout season for the 24-year-old setting a career-high in apples. As a leader on the best power-play unit in the league, the German forward led the NHL with 44 power play points.

With McDavid finishing in second behind Draisaitl, the two become the first set of teammates to finish in the top-two in scoring since the 2012-13 season when it was the Lightning’s Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos.

Who is the Rocket Richard Trophy winner?

Pastrnak and Ovechkin scored 48 goals this season to tie for the most in the league. For the first time in a decade, we’ll have co-winners of the award. The Lightning’s Steven Stamkos and Penguins’ Sidney Crosby shared the trophy in the 2009-10 season with 51 goals each.

The Great Eight wins the award for a ninth time and for the seventh time in eight years. Pastrnak wins the award for the first time in his career and becomes the first Bruin to win the honor.

Since the award was created in 1998-99 season, Ovechkin’s nine Rocket Richard trophies is the most in NHL history, seven more than the next closest batch of players.

Who is the William M. Jennings Trophy winner?

Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak (Bruins)

Rask and Halak share the award as the goaltenders on the team who allowed the fewest goals this season. Boston led the league in goals allowed (167) with Rask leading the NHL with a 2.12 goals-against average and placing second with a .929 save percentage.

Halak was just as strong in goal posting a 2.39 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage with his play earning him a one-year contract extension.

It’s the third time the Bruins have won the William M. Jennings Trophy with the other instances coming in the 1989-90 season (Reggie Lemelin and Andy Moog) and 2008-09 (Tim Thomas and Manny Fernandez). 

Who was the highest-scoring rookie?

Quinn Hughes, Canucks

For the second straight year, a Vancouver Canuck has tallied the most points by a rookie in a season. Elias Pettersson had that honor last season with 66 points in 71 games. This season, the Vancouver blueliner finished tops among rookies with 53 points in 68 games this season edging out Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar who finished with 50 in 57. Rounding out the top-five is Chicago Blackhawks forward Dominik Kubalik (46), Sabres forward Victor Olofsson (42) and New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox (42).

Hughes is the first defenseman to lead all rookies in points since the 1988-89 season when Rangers blueliner Brian Leetch had 71 points in 68 games. 

He’ll look to follow Pettersson’s footsteps and win the Calder Memorial Trophy. If Hughes were to win, it would be the first time the award was given to a recipient on the same team in consecutive years since the Bruins’ Bobby Orr and Derek Sanderson won it back-to-back in 1966-67 and 1967-68.

NHL ‘hub cities’: Evaluating Canadian markets’ viability of hosting games

Who are the scoring leaders on teams not competing for a Stanley Cup?

Sabres forward Jack Eichel is the highest-scoring player whose season is over. The Buffalo captain ranked 10th in the NHL with 78 points as the team’s league-leading playoff drought has extended to nine seasons.

Other notable players who will have to wait until next season before hitting the ice is the Kings’ Anze Kopitar (62 points), Red Wings’ Dylan Larkin (53 points), Sabres’ Sam Reinhart (50 points) and Sharks’ Timo Meier (49 points).

For the seventh time in its 28-year history, the Sharks have missed the Stanley Cup playoffs and just for the third time since the turn of the century (2002-03 and 2014-15). Big names, such as forwards Evander Kane and Logan Couture and defensemen Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns, will be at home for the foreseeable future.

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Espanyol and Leganes season ticket holders handed free passes

Espanyol and Leganes season ticket holders will be handed FREE passes for 2020-21 campaign to compensate for missing LaLiga games due to coronavirus shutdown

  • Espanyol and Leganes will hand season ticket holders free passes next season 
  • The move will compensate fans for missing games due to coronavirus shutdown 
  • Espanyol will reimburse 20 per cent of the value of fans’ current season tickets
  • LaLiga is set to resume in June after being provisionally suspended in March 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Espanyol and Leganes fans holding current season tickets will be handed free passes for the entire 2020-2021 campaign to compensate for missing matches due to the shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the two La Liga clubs said on Tuesday.

The Spanish top-flight is set to resume in June after being provisionally suspended in March with 11 rounds of matches remaining but, as in Germany’s Bundesliga, fans cannot attend the games in order to prevent further spread of the virus.

It is unclear when fans will be able to return to stadiums, with medical experts saying mass gatherings should be avoided until there is a vaccine, which is unlikely to be available until 2021.

Espanyol and Leganes will hand season ticket holders free passes for all of the next campaign

The measure will attempt to compensate fans for missing games during coronavirus shutdown

With the two teams struggling at the bottom of the standings, it is possible that one or both sides could be playing in the second division next season.

‘Leganes will automatically renew all its season ticket holders for the next season,’ said a statement from the club, based in the satellite city of the same name just outside Madrid.

‘Taking into account the implications that COVID-19 has brought to the country and specially the city of Leganes, the club wants to compensate its fans and season ticket holders.’

Barcelona side Espanyol said that in addition to offering its 27,833 season ticket holders free 2020-2021 passes, they would also reimburse 20 per cent of the value of their current season ticket to account for the matches they will miss.

Earlier this month, Getafe became the first Spanish top-flight club to offer season ticket holders free passes for the following campaign.

Espanyol will also reimburse 20 per cent of the value of their current season ticket for fans




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Ligue 1's 2020-21 season 'WILL start on August 23'

Ligue 1’s 2020-21 season ‘WILL start on August 23’ after current season was curtailed and PSG were awarded the title… with Ligue 2 starting a day earlier

  • The French government cancelled the 2019-20 Ligue 1 season last month 
  • PSG were declared champions while Amiens and Toulouse were relegated 
  • Yet a start date for the French 2020-21 season has now reportedly been set 
  • However, the LFP are still waiting for UEFA’s plans for European competitions 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

A date of Sunday August 23 has reportedly been set for the start of the 2020-21 Ligue 1 season, after the current season was cancelled by the French government. 

PSG were declared the champions this year after the 2019-20 season was curtailed last month due to the crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak. 

While protocol at the time stated that professional sports in France could not return before September, French outlet RMC Sport believe the August date has been set, with a reformed Ligue 2 starting a day earlier on August 22. 

Kylian Mbappe’s PSG were awarded the Ligue 1 title this season after the league was cancelled

PSG celebrate their 2019 league victory with celebrations for this year’s win on hold 

The new published dates have, according to the report, been agreed in accordance with broadcasters Médiapro, Canal + and beIN Sports. 

This week, French football league clubs voted in favour of expanding Ligue 2 to include 22 teams for the 2020-21 season. 

Though the change still needs to be approved by the French Football Federation (LFP), it would mean the bottom two in the second tier – Orleans and Le Mans – are saved from relegation, while Pau and Dunkerque, the top two in the third division, still come up.

French clubs have voted in favour of Ligue 2 becoming a 22-team division from next season

Promotion and relegation will be maintained between Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 on a two-up, two-down basis, and Ligue 1 would remain a 20-team competition. 

In terms of next season, the LFP are holding off on confirming the proposed start date until a calendar is published by UEFA for the completion of European competitions this season.

Lyon are set to miss out on the Champions League next season after an appeal was rejected 

Both the Champions League and the Europa League are in the last-16 stage, and reported plans state that UEFA intends to finish the competitions in August, after domestic leagues have finished their seasons.  

Meanwhile, on Friday, a French judge rejected appeals by Olympique Lyonnais, Amiens and Toulouse over the decision to end the season early amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The LFP’s decision to end the season with 10 games remaining meant that Lyon failed to qualify for Europe through the Ligue 1 standings while Amiens and Toulouse were relegated.  




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Eredivisie season almost certain to be CANCELLED

Dutch football in CHAOS as Prime Minister reveals games cannot be played for more than FOUR MONTHS… with top flight Eredivisie season almost certain to be CANCELLED

  • Mark Rutte announced organised events remain banned until September 1
  • The Prime Minister’s words have thrown the Eredivisie season into huge doubt
  • Rutte announced that Holland has to be ‘very cautious’ in tackling coronavirus 
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte has announced no professional football will be played in the country until at least September 1, which could signal the end of this season’s Eredivisie.

The football calendar has been decimated recently due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and it remains to be seen when players across the globe will return to action.

But on Tuesday, Rutte hinted that the Eredivisie season is almost certain to be cancelled after announcing that organised events remain banned until the beginning of September as they look to stop the spread of coronavirus.

No professional football will be played in Holland until September 1 at the earliest 

‘This is the maximum we can do at the moment,’ Rutte said at a press conference. ‘In particular, relaxing the social distancing rules too quickly will lead to a second wave of infections which needs to be averted. 

‘These are difficult considerations but it’s a question of better safe than sorry. We have to be very cautious.’ 

Rutte went on to admit that the decision to extend the ban on organised events until four months and 10 days time, was because ‘we can’t cope with the risks.’

The mayors of major cities had already stated their intentions to stop any football being played again before September, but now the government have officially confirmed this. 

Mark Rutte (pictured) announced organised events would remain banned until September 1

‘This means no professional football until September 1,’ the Prime Minister announced. ‘We cannot avoid having to make this sacrifice.’   

The Dutch Football Association (KNVB) will now have to assess the situation and declare what this means in regards to the remainder of the Eredivisie campaign.

If the Eredivisie season was to be cancelled, it would follow the Belgian top-flight in declaring the campaign over.

The Belgian top-flight broke ranks from the rest of Europe and called an immediate end to the 2019-20 campaign with just one match of the regular season to go before the play-offs, which usually determine the championship winner and the Europa League places.

The Eredivisie season is almost certain to be cancelled following the latest announcement

Furthermore on Tuesday, UEFA opened the door to domestic league and cup competitions being cancelled ‘in special cases’ due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The national member associations of European football’s governing body gathered for a conference call on Tuesday for an update on ‘a variety of calendar options’ to complete the 2019-20 season.

‘There was a strong recommendation given to finish domestic top division and cup competitions, but some special cases will be heard once guidelines concerning participation to European competitions – in case of a cancelled league – have been developed,’ a statement from UEFA read.  

 

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How the Premier League season works out according to experts Opta

How the season works out according to the Premier League’s stats experts at Opta… and it’s bad news for Manchester United as they miss out on a Champions League spot

  • The Premier League season is currently on hold due to the coronavirus crisis
  • Clubs want it to continue but there are fears the campaign may be cancelled
  • Opta have used data to work out how the final top-flight table would end up
  • Chelsea beat Manchester United to fourth, while Liverpool win the title easily
  • At the other end of the table, it’s bad news for Norwich City and Aston Villa 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

With the fate of the Premier League season still up in the air amid the coronavirus crisis, fans have been left to speculate about how the campaign will pan out.

Is there any chance Liverpool throw away their 25-point lead at the top of the table? Who wins the race for the final Champions League spot? And which three teams are destined to play Championship football next term?

Top-flight officials still have every intention of completing the season, and now have more time to do so after Euro 2020 was postponed by a year. But if 2019-20 does have to be scrapped, how would the table end up?

Virgil van Dijk and his Liverpool team-mates are currently 25 points clear at the top

That’s a question the stats boffins at Opta have attempted to answer by crunching the numbers to predict the results of every remaining game.

Using data on all 20 teams’ attacking and defensive qualities from the last four years, with extra emphasis on recent performances, they awarded points for each match to come up with a final table.

Opta then went through the same process another 9,999 times to estimate the likelihood of each team finishing in each league position – and it’s not good news for Manchester United.

According to their findings, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men fail to catch Chelsea in the race for fourth place and the final Champions League spot.

Manchester are in the race for the top four, but Opta believe they will finish fifth in the table

The Red Devils had been in a rich vein of form before the season was postponed earlier this month, but Opta find that they finish the season in fifth, two points behind Frank Lampard’s side.

Unsurprisingly, Liverpool win their first Premier League title with a whopping 101 points – a Premier League record and the second highest total in the history of Europe’s top five leagues, just a point behind Juventus’ total from 2013-14.

Manchester City, who finish second, end the season with 80 points, which would have been enough to win the title in the 1992-93, 1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99, 2000-01 and 2010-11 seasons. 

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are on course for a record-breaking season, according to Opta

Leicester return to the Champions League by finishing third, while Tottenham earn a Europa League spot after finishing sixth after picking up 17 points from their final nine games of the season.

At the other end of the table, Watford complete their great escape by finishing 17th to avoid relegation on goal difference ahead of Bournemouth.

The Cherries drop down into the Championship despite picking up 36 points – the highest tally of a relegated side since Newcastle back in 2015-16.  

They are joined by Norwich and Aston Villa, who are currently 20th and 19th in the table, and go down in the same positions. 

Opta have used years of data to simulate how the current Premier League table will end up

Troy Deeney (left) and his Watford team-mates would avoid relegation on goal difference

Elsewhere, Arsenal can only manage an eighth-placed finish, with Wolves one place above them and Sheffield United ending their first season back in the Premier League in ninth.

Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton complete the top half ahead of Burnley, Crystal Palace, Newcastle, Southampton and West Ham.

And it’s good news for Brighton, who avoid a return to the second tier after finishing just a point ahead of Watford and relegated Bournemouth.  





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