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03-07-2013, 10:03 PM
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I know this is slightly unfair because teams are not playing next year's schedule and because the season is not complete, but... here would be the playoffs should they start NOW yet under the future alignment. I've listed "conference" seeds to show the proposed pairings.

1 Chicago vs. 6 Phoenix (cross-over)
2 Anaheim vs. 5 San Jose
3 Vancouver vs. 4 Los Angeles
7 Dallas vs. 8 St. Louis

1 Montreal vs. 6 Ottawa
2 Boston vs. 4 Toronto
3 Pittsburgh vs. 5 Detroit (cross-over)
7 Carolina vs. 8 New Jersey

Yuck. Here would be my modifications:

1 Chicago vs. 8 St. Louis
2 Anaheim vs. 7 Dallas (cross-over)
3 Vancouver vs. 6 Phoenix
4 Los Angeles vs. 5 San Jose

1 Montreal vs. 8 New Jersey (cross-over)
2 Boston vs. 6 Ottawa
3 Pittsburgh vs. 7 Carolina
4 Toronto vs. 5 Detroit (YES!)

Note, the MUCH improved balance between the series. No more 7v8 in the first round. There is still ONLY 1 cross-over max per conference, but it does not unfairly target the division winners (ha, though all 4 division winners end up with one in at least one of the above proposals).

You can wrap those ugly matchups in the first round with a pretty bow by listing teams by their "division" seeds, but we are not crowning division champions in the playoff (otherwise there'd be no cross-over), we are crowning conference finalists and eventually conference champions. Plus, especially in the East, the schedule will now be much less "divisional" than it is this year. Can I still hope for the BOG to look into this?

Now, if you opened up the wild-card to the entire league, you'd get this beauty:

1 Chicago vs. 16 St. Louis
2 Anaheim vs. 13 San Jose
3 Montreal vs. 15 Dallas (cross-over)
4 Boston vs. 9 Ottawa
5 Pittsburgh vs. 14 NY Rangers
7 Vancouver vs. 12 Los Angeles
6 Toronto vs. 8 Detroit
10 Carolina vs. 11 New Jersey

Only 1 cross-over and it is in neighboring timezones unlike ANA-DAL and PHX-CHI in the earlier 2 proposals. The Rangers make the playoffs based off of their 1 point besting of Phoenix (yay! for neutralizing the 14-16 split).

The numerical seedings do look off, but you can list teams by their divisional finish (1C Montreal vs. 2M Dallas; 2C Boston vs. 5C Ottawa).

Last edited by Crayton: 03-07-2013 at 10:15 PM.
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