The new playoff format - specifically, the wildcard/crossover rule
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02-27-2013, 01:34 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Originally Posted by
Buck Aki Berg
I wonder if the PA might try to force a 2-3-2 series format on the owners for series involving a crossover team to bring down travel. The owners sure as hell wouldn't like it, but it would be a reasonable request from the players' perspective if they're so concerned with travel. You can't appeal to travel concerns by having division-based regular season and playoffs, then have Vancouver/Nashville or San Jose/St. Louis criss-crossing the continent four times.
It's not that big a deal, it's been happening all along with the Conference-based playoffs and would continue to happen in the WCF and SCF. At least there won't be a senario where an Eastern Time Zone team plays a Pacific Time Zone team prior to the Stanley Cup Finals.
The NHL tried the 2-3-2 format way back when they first started the Conference-based playoffs in 1993-94. That year, the NHL still had two divisions per confernece but they started the playoff seeding that we know today, however for the Western Conference if two teams in different divisions played each other, the series would be 2-3-2 in an effort to reduce travel. The advantage seemed to go the the lower seeded Pacific teams who could claim home ice advantage by splitting the first two games on the road before having the next 3 at home. Consider the success of 7th seeded Vancouver and 8th seeded San Jose when they played higher seeded teams in the Central Division:
Vancouver: 4-1 vs Dallas (WSF) & 4-1 vs Toronto (WCF)
San Jose: 4-3 vs Detroit (WQF) & 3-4 vs Toronto (WSF)
every time, there was a split after the first two games
every time, the lower seeded home team went 2-1 or better in games 3-5
the lower seeded home team was 4-0 in Game 5, a game that would normally be a road game
2 of the 4 series' were done in 5 games with the lower seeded team advancing, the other 2 times the higher seeded team went into game 6 facing elimination
the Toronto Maple Leafs have the distinction of being the only team to win a 2-3-2 series where they were the higher seeded team (WSF vs San Jose) but had to win games 6 & 7; they also are the only team to go 0-3 on the road portion of games 2-5 (WCF vs Vancouver)
The NHL abandoned the 2-3-2 format after one season.
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