NHL Wild Card System
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05-14-2012, 12:55 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
This wildcard proposal sounds good. I like the idea but I have questions: who gets home-ice advantage? What if all 4th place teams is better than 5th place team, will this game still take place or no wildcard game? If the 5th place team points is better than 4th place team, then it should make sense to have the wildcard game to challenge the 4th place team. Then, the question is, who will get the home-ice advantage for one-game, winner takes all and joins the conference playoffs games?
In my opinion, the 4th place should defend their position for the wildcard game at home and force the 5th place team on the road, even, with better point standing than 4th place team. If all 4th place team is better then no wildcard playoff should be taken place for the year.
What if there are two "5th place teams" better than 2 "4th place teams" then how should the match-up be determined and who joins which conference bracket? What if one "5th place team" won and other 5th place lost, and this 5th place loser challenge the other 4th place team "wildcard" winner for the last-ditch effort to enter in the playoffs?
The problem with the wildcard system here: it punishes the first place team in the conference having to travel coast to coast. For example: if Vancouver is top-seeded and was supposed to face 4th place L.A. team and Buffalo is 5th place and is better than L.A. in standing. Buffalo squeaked out a win in OT on the road and face Vancouver. It will not wear out Vancouver but wore them out in travel-wise for the round 2 if normal format as following, 2-2-1-1 for the first round.
So I would propose that Buffalo will get only two home-game in the 7-game series while Vancouver get 5 home games in the playoffs. If L.A. wins the wildcard then the normal 2-2-1-1-1 format will apply here. If Buffalo wins the wildcard then punish Buffalo on the road for the series but will get home-ice for two games. The format will following as: 2-2-3. Should Buffalo wins their series, then Buffalo, again will get extra two home game but punish them with 5 road games in the playoffs for round 2. Format will be following: 2-2-3. Should Buffalo, as a wild-card emerges a conference winner then their punishment is over with normal 2-2-1-1-1 for the final 4 series but Buffalo will always be on the road due to their wildcard status regardless of better points than the other conference winners.
So I would use the 2-2-3 format for all 5th place wildcard winner even there is short travel between them but is of different conference and it punishes the wildcard team for finishing 5th place in the conference in the playoffs.
One final question: should the wildcard be taken place a day before the first round playoff game? Example: Buffalo-LA takes place on Tuesday then first round playoff game against Vancouver on Wednesday? If there is concert booked in Vancouver on a Wednesday and Vancouver's first playoff game on Thursday, should Buffalo-LA be taken place on Wednesday? It will give the first place considerable advantage otherwise it would not be fair because the wildcard winner get the momentum and potentially steal the game 1 of the series if they get a day off in between?
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