i'm fine with it since teams play a large portion of there schedule between divisional oppenants. Once the schedule changes next year and teams play inter divisionally less, they should look at changing the seeding. right now i feel it's fair regardless of how crappy the division is.
I don't think its going to change anytime soon. I remember back in the late 80s the Norris division Leafs making the playoffs with 52 points and the Patrick Division Rangers & Pens sitting at home with over 80.
Let's assume that Montreal leads the division with 87 points at the end of the (hypothetical) season, and as a result, is 3rd overall. Following this line of thought, Florida has 90 points, but finishes 9th overall. How would you all feel?
We might be happy, but it'd probably last 4-5 games before they were bumped by a team that was superior despite being sixth-seeded.
Let's face it, a team that doesn't get enough points to make the playoffs while playing 8 games each against four other non-playoff teams that actually end up behind them in the standings probably isn't going to do too well in the playoffs, either -- and I think we'd realize that.
So I don't think it's fair to label them as weak. If everyone played the same amount of games against EACH team in the conference, then point totals would make sense for standings and the division leader shouldn't get a freebie. But, as it is, with 32 games played intra-division, I think it's fair.
I'll agree with this one. Since games are highly intra-division heavy, it is fair to rank the division leaders first, and then the rest of the conference by points. Otherwise you could have two strong teams from the same division victimizing 3 weak opponents all year, and end up higher in the seeding than a better team with a harder division. Admittedly, this can happen among division leaders, but after that it's straight up points. It's not perfect, but given the current schedule the ranking system is as fair as it gets.