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02-07-2013, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Shockmaster View Post
When did I say they wouldn't? The point is that the Devils would be the tougher matchup for the Flyers. Thus, would you want that matchup in the first-round or in a later round?
You always want the easier match-up, but, you play who you play when you play them. For a franchise like the Flyers, if they play the Panthers in the 1st and win, then lose to the Devils in the 2nd, or if they lose to the Devils in the 1st, what difference does it make? A couple extra million $ for the Flyers, but they still didn't win the Cup.

Maybe because Colorado hasn't been very good lately. In a divisional format, no one will care about Jets vs Blue Jackets more than they would in the current format.
Probably right.

If both teams were good, it wouldn't matter. Detroit and Colorado would only play twice in the 4 conference format. Even if Colorado got better, there'd be no rivalry because of the divisional format.
But Detroit/Colorado was made and sustained in the playoffs, whenever they met. It was a rivalry that was specific to the great players that were on the teams at the time, and catapulted into the stratosphere of all-time rivalries by that one incident, and everything that came after it. It's not a generational thing.

Teams that are bad and don't draw ratings in the current format won't do any better in the 4 conference format.

There are a lot of teams though, almost a third of the league, that were never really part of the divisional playoffs from the 80's, and never got to benefit from it. They got thrown into a conference playoff format, where it's easier to get lost in the shuffle.

However there are more teams today, and in an 8 or 7 team group, you might get just as lost. Florida could still miss the playoffs for more than a decade, and be completely irrelevant. Certainly more difficult to miss the playoffs that often in a league where 16 of 21 teams made the playoffs each year.

There were a few years in the 80's when the entire Norris division was under .500, and yet still had a team in the 3rd round of the playoffs, just because of the way it was set up. Who doesn't like the Norris division though? Nobody really likes the SE division.

Granted, there were three O6 teams in the Norris, which made a huge difference. The SE was created with 3 southern expansion teams, a relocated WHA team, and what the old Patrick division felt it could throw away.

And what about the rivalries that have been created but will be destroyed by the new 4 conference alignment? Those teams would only play twice a year.
How many of them are there? Over the years, there have been a number of them. But like Detroit/Colorado, they sort of come and go. They get created and destroyed by the very nature of the conference playoff system.

And the fact that there are just more teams, which probably doesn't help the argument for divisional playoffs. It won't be exactly like the 80's. In turn, that could be an argument for divisional playoffs though, because it won't be exactly like the 80's.

I'm not saying this or that rivalry is less or more than another kind. Just different.

The current format isn't diminishing the rivalries like Boston/Montreal or Pittsburgh/Philadelphia. The 4 conference format will however diminish conference rivalries that have been created over the past 20 years.
It would certainly be more difficult to sustain them, no question. Fewer regular season games, only potential round for, say, the Bruins and Flyers to meet would be the 3rd round. Maybe the Finals, depending on if they reseed all 4 teams in the 3rd round.

If they threw that wrinkle into the mix, where Philly and Boston, or NY and Toronto could meet in the Finals, that would be something different, and potentially incredible. Of course you could also see Nashville and Anaheim, or any two teams out west that nobody would want to watch, in the Final. Depends on the level of risk/reward the league is willing to take.

So the idea should be to send the west coast teams to every single eastern conference team every year during the regular season?
I'm sure fans in the East don't have a ton of want to see teams from the west coast, but I've heard and read fans from teams further west talk about how they would like to be able to see Crosby(or whoever) come into their building every year though. Or see the Bruin, Canadien, or Leaf logo in person, more than once every few years.

Fans want to feel the history of the league. They want to see the top players live and in person. They want to feel like the team they cheer for is part of the league, and not just some money grab for owners and players.

Doesn't seem to have hurt the west that often over the past few years. 2007: Anaheim, 2008: Detroit, 2010: Chicago, 2012: Los Angeles.
True. For the players, travel has gotten better. Maybe the teams in the East would have less of a reason to hold onto their travel advantage if that's the case...

I'm just kidding, they would never do that.

But seriously, it's mostly for the fans. Fans in the east don't like staying up for late games. School and work the next day. Fans in the central don't want to either, for the same reasons, but they have to if they want to watch their team play a lot of their road games. Dallas has 3 division rivals 2 time zones away, in a sport that is played on any day of the week. Fans on the west coast have many games start at 4pm, or 5pm, before anyone gets home.

Going to a home and home schedule, with more east coast trips, doesn't help that. But if in return you get Crosby, Stamkos, Boston, the Rangers, Montreal, into your building every year, maybe it isn't a bad trade.

There are too many variables involved to ever make a perfect regular season and playoff system. Why should fans in Boston have to stay up late a few more times during the year so that fans in Dallas don't have to? Why should fans in Philly be deprived of more games against certain teams so that fans in Detroit get more games against those same certain teams? There are thousands of similar questions, and nobody has an inarguable answer to any of them.

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