Due to the consequences of the pandemic on the number of regular season games that each team could end up playing, the Assembly of Members today voted unanimously to make changes to its regulations regarding the league standings and the playoffs format.
Considering that teams may not have played the same number of games at the end of the season, here are the criteria for establishing each of the divisions and league rankings:
- Highest points percentage.
- Best percentage of wins in regulation time and overtime in total divided by the number of games played.
- Best ratio of goals scored, on average per game. This ratio will be calculated as follows:
- The difference between the goals for average and the goals against average is divided by the total of the sum of the goals for average and the goals against average, i.e., the total number of goals by the team in a game.
- The goals for average and the goals against average will be calculated excluding goals in shootouts and considering the number of minutes played by each team.
- Best goals for average, always calculated considering the criteria set in point c) above.
Regarding the playoffs:
- Eighteen (18) teams are eligible to participate in the playoffs.
- The length of each of the first three (3) rounds will be determined by the Commissioner’s office by no later than April 1, 2021. In the event of uncontrollable circumstances related to the pandemic, the length of the various series could be revised. In such circumstances, the length of the series in question will have to be determined before the start of the series.
- The first three (3) rounds will take place within each of the three divisions according to the following scenarios:
- The first round series shall be played between the last four (4) teams in each division according to their ranking at the end of the regular season schedule, i.e., the third position against the sixth and the fourth against the fifth. The first two positions in each division will receive a pass for the next round.
- The second round series shall be played between the two (2) winning teams of the first round series of each division against the first two (2) teams in the final standings of the same division, i.e., first against fourth and second against third.
- For the Quebec divisions, the quarterfinal series shall be played between the four (4) winning teams of the second round series of the Quebec divisions. Position 1 of the Eastern Division will play against Position 2 of the Western Division, while Position 1 of the Western Division will play against Position 2 of the Eastern Division based on the final ranking of their respective divisions. For the Maritimes Division, the quarter-final series will be played between the two (2) winning teams from the second round series of the division based on the final standings of the same division.
Semi-finals will be played as a round-robin tournament between the three (3) winning teams of the quarterfinal series.
- Each team will play two games against each opponent in the tournament.
- A point-standing system will determine the positions; two points being awarded for a win, and no points awarded for any form of loss.
- Should the final round-robin game have no impact on the final round robin standings, then it will be cancelled.
- Should teams two (2) and (3) be tied in terms of points, a tiebreaker game will be played.
- Should the three (3) teams be tied, the regular season tiebreaker rules will apply to determine the first position. Teams that finished in positions 2 and 3 would then play a tiebreaker game.
The final series is played between the first two positions of the tournament in the semi-final round. The final will be played as a best-of-seven series. In the event of uncontrollable circumstances, the length of the final series may be reduced to a best-of-5 format, in which case the length of the final series must be determined before the start of the series.