Photo caption[/media-credit]Wisconsin women’s basketball head coach Bobbie Kelsey realizes the Badgers’ need for consistency in games to come.After going 2-2 in their last four games, the Badgers appear to be more on track than they previously were early in the season, but that form comes following a winless beginning to conference play of 0-6. For a moment, the Badgers’ win against then-No. 7 Penn State Nittany Lions had them looking upward.“For our kids to come out and win that game says a lot about their resolve and their perseverance to get through the adversity that we’ve been experiencing this season,” Kelsey said.But despite the high they experienced after the big win, the Badgers were routed once again at home by an unranked Illinois Sunday, displaying the inconsistency Kelsey harped about.“Illinois poses a different challenge – they trap and get a lot of steals,” Kelsey said. “We didn’t come out with the energy and enthusiasm that we needed to.”As a result of their inability to play like they did against the Lady Lions, the Badgers were defeated at home 64-56, leaving Kelsey frustrated with the inconsistency she found her team immersed in.“My standards are pretty high, and I’m greedy and competitive,” Kelsey said. “I want them to understand that we can’t have lulls and dips. We have to be very consistent and our margin for error is very slim.”Kelsey reiterated multiple times how the Badgers are constantly learning from each game and from each other, but that can be hard to handle when it is accompanied by such little success.“Unfortunately, you want to learn winning instead of losing, but sometimes a loss gets your attention more than a win,” Kelsey said.A big piece of the puzzle is junior guard Morgan Paige. Despite the loss, Paige racked up 23 points against Illinois, following a 33-point effort against Penn State, displaying her ability to score in multiple ways. Kelsey said her craftiness is something some of her other players lack and something they can all learn from.“They’re learning, but Morgan has it today, and we need it,” Kelsey said.“She doesn’t let things that she’s doing bother her,” Kelsey added. “She continues to motor forward and I think that’s why she’s been so successful in her play.”Despite Paige’s leadership, she can’t do it all by herself, and it will be crucial in the coming weeks other players on the court step up.“I’m looking for anybody – freshmen, seniors, sophomores, I don’t care who it is – to step up and give Morgan some help,” Kelsey said.As of late, the Badgers’ roster is at an all-time low given the injuries and transfers the team has been forced to deal with. The adversity has made the Badgers’ rotation shallow with only about seven players touching the floor each game.“The injuries are people that we would have scoring,” Kelsey said. “I mean, you’re talking about potentially 40 points sitting over there, but I can’t wallow in that.”Kelsey believes the entire struggle the team has been through is what ultimately helps them persevere in the end of some games.“We don’t focus on that. We focus on who can play, who’s available, and then we try to get them ready to go,” Kelsey said.Despite the team’s early struggle, the Badgers are looking to bounce back. Their next matchups place them against two unranked teams – Ohio State and Indiana – before taking on No. 13 Purdue.“I know Ohio State is looking for a little bit of payback,” Kelsey said. “We’ll take that challenge as we always do and prepare for them.”
The gist: The top four teams in each conference will play each other once to determine seeding in the Stanley Cup playoffs, while the remaining eight teams in each conference play qualifiers to make the dance.Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ont. and Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alta., will play host to the first two rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs, with Rogers Place housing the conference finals and the Stanley Cup final. Should all go according to plan, with players staying healthy within the NHL’s bubble, the season is scheduled to end no later than Oct. 4. Here’s what you need to know about the round-robin and qualifying rounds and the start of the 2020 NHL playoffs:MORE: Everything to know about the NHL’s bubble citiesNHL playoff bracket 2020Eastern ConferenceRound robinThe top four teams will compete in a seeding round-robin tourney:DateGameTime/resultsAug. 2Flyers vs. BruinsFlyers 4, Bruins 1Aug. 3Capitals vs. LightningLightning 3, Capitals 2 (SO)Aug. 5Lightning vs. BruinsLightning 3, Bruins 2Aug. 6Capitals vs. FlyersFlyers 3, Capitals 1 Aug. 8Flyers vs. LightningFlyers 4, Lightning 1Aug. 9Bruins vs. CapitalsCapitals 2, Bruins 1Qualifying roundThe following are the matchups for the qualifying round, based on regular season standings/point percentage:SeriesResultsPenguins (5) vs. Canadiens (12)Canadiens win series 3-1Hurricanes (6) vs. Rangers (11)Hurricanes win series 3-0Islanders (7) vs. Panthers (10)Islanders win series 3-1Maple Leafs (8) vs. Blue Jackets (9)Blue Jackets win series 3-2Western ConferenceRound robinThe top four teams in the West face each other once:DateGameTime/resultsAug. 2Blues vs. AvalancheAvalanche 2, Blues 1Aug. 3Stars vs. Golden KnightsGolden Knights 5, Stars 3Aug. 5.Avalanche vs. StarsAvalanche 4, Stars 0Aug. 6Golden Knights vs. BluesGolden Knights 6, Blues 4Aug. 8Golden Knights vs. AvalancheGolden Knights 4, Avalanche 3 (OT)Aug. 9Stars vs. BluesStars 2, Blues 1 (SO)Qualifying roundBased on regular-season standings, the following are the matchups for the qualifying round in the West:SeriesResultsOilers (5) vs. Blackhawks (12)Blackhawks win series 3-1Predators (6) vs. Coyotes (11)Coyotes win series 3-1Canucks (7) vs. Wild (10)Canucks win series 3-1Flames (8) vs. Jets (9)Flames win series 3-1NHL playoff projectionsHere’s what the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs would look like if the qualifying rounds ended today (updated Aug. 9):Eastern Conference— Flyers (1) vs. Canadiens (8)— Lightning (2) vs. Blue Jackets (7)— Capitals (3) vs. Islanders (6)— Bruins (4) vs. Hurricanes (5)Western Conference— Golden Knights (1) vs. Blackhawks (8)— Avalanche (2) vs. Coyotes (7)— Stars (3) vs. Flames (6)— Blues (4) vs. Canucks (5)MORE: Here is a complete schedule for the NHL’s 2020 restartWhen do the NHL playoffs start in 2020?The 2020 Stanley Cup playoff qualifiers get underway on Saturday, Aug. 1. The Rangers and Hurricanes kick off the qualifying round with a Saturday matinee matchup in Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ont. The last games in both the qualifying and round-robin rounds are scheduled take place on Sunday, Aug. 9.The first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs officially get underway on Tuesday, Aug. 11. Teams will be re-seeded after the first two rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs.How do the NHL playoffs work?Prior to the start of the official Stanley Cup playoffs on Aug. 11, there are a few bells and whistles that are going to determine qualification and seeding in both conferences. Here’s how that will work:The top four teams in each conference play round-robin style to determine seeding for the top spots in the playoffs. Each team will play each other once, amounting in six games between Aug 2. and Aug. 9. The games will be played under regular season overtime and shootout rules.The remaining eight teams in each conference will play in a best-of-five series to qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs. Seeding is based on regular-season standings. These games are played under playoff overtime rules (golden goal). After the qualifying rounds and round-robin play is completed, teams advance to the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs. The highest seeds will play the lowest seeds, per usual, with re-seeding after both the first and second rounds.Every series from the first round to the last horn of the Stanley Cup Final are seven games, per usual, with the NHL’s two hub cities hosting the first two rounds. The conference finals and Stanley Cup Final will be held in Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alta.NHL standings 2020Eastern Conference The chase for the Cup is back on.After a four-month layoff, the ice is cooled, the teams are hot and the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs officially get underway on Aug. 11. The coronavirus pandemic has forced the NHL to get a bit creative with its restart, and because of that, hockey-starved fans get a little dose of semi-playoffs with teams jockeying for playoff position and playoff spots over a week span starting on Saturday. RankTeamWLOTLPointsPoints pct1Bruins441412100.7142Lightning4321692.6573Capitals4120890.6524Flyers4121789.6455Penguins4023686.6236Hurricanes3825581.5967Islanders35231080.5888Maple Leafs3625981.5799Blue Jackets33221581.57910Panthers35221581.56511Rangers3728579.56412Canadiens3131971.50013Sabres3031868.49314Devils28291268.49315Senators25341262.43716Red Wings1749539.275The Sabres, Devils, Senators and Red Wings all missed the playoffs.Western ConferenceRankTeamWLOTLPointsPoints pct1Blues42191094.6622Avalanche4220892.6573Golden Knights3924886.6064Stars3724882.5945Oilers3725983.5856Predators3526878.5657Canucks3627678.5658Flames3627779.5649Jets3728680.56310Wild3627777.55811Coyotes3329874.52912Blackhawks3230872.51413Ducks2933967.47214Kings2935664.45715Sharks2936563.450The Ducks, Kings and Sharks all miss out on the chase for the Cup.