The new playoff format - specifically, the wildcard/crossover rule
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03-07-2013, 09:32 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Here's my proposal for the playoffs in the proposed 4 uneven division format:
For each division, whether 7-team or 8-team, the top 3 teams make the playoffs.
Of the remaining 18 teams league wide, the 4 next teams with the highest points also make the playoffs, regardless of conference/division, etc. This gives you your 16 playoff teams.
Now, you rank all the playoff teams from 1-16. Team #1 gets to choose its first round opponent from teams #9-16, then Team #2 picks its opponent from the remaining teams #9-16 (not picked by team #1), etc. This goes on until Team #8 is left with the last team remaining from #9-16. Now you have your first round matchups. Teams #1-8 get home ice advantage, and they get to pick their opponent, which is an added incentive to get into the top 8. Also, they can't ***** about their travel schedule, because they get to pick their opponent. This also allows for all possible matchups in the playoffs, and eventually SCFs. Heck, I'm sure TSN could find a way to do another "PLAYOFF SEEDING NIGHT" where GMs will announce their opponents one by one, much like the draft lottery.
For rounds 2 and 3, you can either setup more picks from the upper seeded teams, or just match up the remaining teams based on points (i.e. 1v8, 2v7, etc.).
I like this idea because:
1) I think it solves the wildcard issue, with emphasis on getting to top 3 in your division, but also allowing for the last 4 teams to come from any division, whether 7-team or 8-team.
2) For the most part, it throws the argument of 'bad travel' out of the door, because top teams will pick their opponents. Want a good travel schedule? Don't pick an opponent from across the continent.
3) It gives higher seeded teams a choice in deciding who they think their easiest opponent is, instead of the standings. For example, even though the Kings were seeded 8th last year, maybe St. Louis would have avoided them in round 2 based on how they took out the Canucks in round 1. Maybe you are the top seed, but have trouble against the bottom seed team for whatever reason. Teams get a bit more control over their destinies as a reward for a good regular season.
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