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NHL divisional playoff format is drawing criticism

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Old
04-21-2017, 11:20 AM
  #151
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Originally Posted by NickWIHockey View Post
playoff expansion is likely. I'd rather it be a short series than a 1 game thing. i would also like if the NHL added a tiebreaker game if 2 teams are tied in points at the end of the season. WHA had that, and it works. So this year Toronto and Boston would have played a tiebreaker for the 3 seed in the Atlantic, with the loser getting a wildcard.
I'd be all for a tie-breaker if and only if it meant the loser is out. A tie-breaker to determine 2nd vs 3rd place or 3rd vs the wild-card is a waste and I doubt the teams would want it. However, if two teams are tied for the last wild card spot, or 3rd when both wild-cards are coming from the other division? Go for it.

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04-22-2017, 11:55 PM
  #152
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I would like to see a league wide format that would look like this

The top team in the league gets a 'bye' in the 1st round... you worked hard in the regular season and are the best team you can rest for the first round

The 15 and 16th teams , play a one game sudden death game. Hosted by 15th team

Whoever wins ... Plays the 2nd best record team...

1st 3 rounds format will be 2-3-2 (due to potential travel headaches)

Finals format 2-2-1-1-1

Why this works: all year long you mainly play your division rivals.. then again in the playoffs? Kind of tiresome. This way you create new rivalries year after year. And for the finals ...yes the Bruins can potentially meet the Habs and Canucks can meet the Kings. Why the hell not?

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04-24-2017, 08:04 AM
  #153
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Originally Posted by rocketdan9 View Post
I would like to see a league wide format that would look like this

The top team in the league gets a 'bye' in the 1st round... you worked hard in the regular season and are the best team you can rest for the first round

The 15 and 16th teams , play a one game sudden death game. Hosted by 15th team

Whoever wins ... Plays the 2nd best record team...

1st 3 rounds format will be 2-3-2 (due to potential travel headaches)

Finals format 2-2-1-1-1

Why this works: all year long you mainly play your division rivals.. then again in the playoffs? Kind of tiresome. This way you create new rivalries year after year. And for the finals ...yes the Bruins can potentially meet the Habs and Canucks can meet the Kings. Why the hell not?
So, the owners reward for winning the President's Trophy is losing revenue on 4 potential home play-off games? Secondly, anything that simply seeds teams 1-16 is never happening so it is not even worth discussing.

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04-24-2017, 08:14 AM
  #154
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It's bull that the Pens and Caps (the 2 best teams left in the East) are pretty much damned into facing each other in the 2nd round when both likely could have and should have met in the ECF with the trip to the SCF on the line.

This divisional format is absolute crap

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04-24-2017, 08:35 AM
  #155
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Originally Posted by AlwaysSunnyInTampa View Post
It's bull that the Pens and Caps (the 2 best teams left in the East) are pretty much damned into facing each other in the 2nd round when both likely could have and should have met in the ECF with the trip to the SCF on the line.

This divisional format is absolute crap
Indeed, there is nothing good about the current format.

Sure, people can say 'you have to be able to beat anyone if you want to win the Cup', but the current system makes a mockery of the regular season. You end up with teams who did well face tough competition, while those who did worse get a much easier opponent.

To make things worse, you create a much tougher path for some teams. There is something wrong with the league when the second best team of the regular season has to play the fourth best in the first round, followed by the first and second best teams facing each other in the next. Not only get the best teams robbed of the opponents they deserved to face after their regular season, but they also might be more tired by the 3rd or 4th round due to having play such strong teams all the time.

Go back to the conference format and have either the division champions be ranked 1st and 2nd, or just guarantee them home-ice advantage. That way you don't end up with obscure situations like you currently do.

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04-24-2017, 09:03 AM
  #156
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Originally Posted by AlwaysSunnyInTampa View Post
It's bull that the Pens and Caps (the 2 best teams left in the East) are pretty much damned into facing each other in the 2nd round when both likely could have and should have met in the ECF with the trip to the SCF on the line.

This divisional format is absolute crap
And this hybrid divisional/conference format exists for the same reasons it existed in the 80's.

Things swing back and forth. This format will most likely change at some point. Especially if there's a larger realignment if/when that 32nd team comes to be. There was also the Metro this season too. If a 6th team in a division were to be better than the 3rd or 4th in the other division in future years, that would be another impetus for change.

I'm still in favor of my own previous idea(which, of course I would be) of getting a little crazy and allowing both conferences to have different playoff formats should they so choose, which recognizes the different geographical realities of each one. A strict 1-8 in the East is easy, division winners don't even need a seeding advantage. I think the 15 teams in the West should be able to get together, and vote on their own playoff format. Strict top 4, this wild card business, some sort of modified wild card, or 1-8, etc, however they want to do it, because 7pm isn't the same everywhere in the West.

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04-24-2017, 12:02 PM
  #157
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Originally Posted by AlwaysSunnyInTampa View Post
It's bull that the Pens and Caps (the 2 best teams left in the East) are pretty much damned into facing each other in the 2nd round when both likely could have and should have met in the ECF with the trip to the SCF on the line.
Aaaaaaaand, what if one of them lost in the 2nd round anyway?

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04-24-2017, 12:11 PM
  #158
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Aaaaaaaand, what if one of them lost in the 2nd round anyway?
I'm not sure how a hypothetical question helps here. The reason I'm bringing this up is that one of these teams IS going to lose in the 2nd round anyway and the current divisional format essentially guarantees that due to the fact that the Caps and Pens are liable to finish 1/2 in the Metro every year.

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04-24-2017, 12:13 PM
  #159
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Indeed, there is nothing good about the current format.

Sure, people can say 'you have to be able to beat anyone if you want to win the Cup', but the current system makes a mockery of the regular season. You end up with teams who did well face tough competition, while those who did worse get a much easier opponent.

To make things worse, you create a much tougher path for some teams. There is something wrong with the league when the second best team of the regular season has to play the fourth best in the first round, followed by the first and second best teams facing each other in the next. Not only get the best teams robbed of the opponents they deserved to face after their regular season, but they also might be more tired by the 3rd or 4th round due to having play such strong teams all the time.

Go back to the conference format and have either the division champions be ranked 1st and 2nd, or just guarantee them home-ice advantage. That way you don't end up with obscure situations like you currently do.
They should've just left the damn thing alone. It's needlessly complicated as well as inconvenient.

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04-24-2017, 12:14 PM
  #160
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And this hybrid divisional/conference format exists for the same reasons it existed in the 80's.

Things swing back and forth. This format will most likely change at some point. Especially if there's a larger realignment if/when that 32nd team comes to be. There was also the Metro this season too. If a 6th team in a division were to be better than the 3rd or 4th in the other division in future years, that would be another impetus for change.

I'm still in favor of my own previous idea(which, of course I would be) of getting a little crazy and allowing both conferences to have different playoff formats should they so choose, which recognizes the different geographical realities of each one. A strict 1-8 in the East is easy, division winners don't even need a seeding advantage. I think the 15 teams in the West should be able to get together, and vote on their own playoff format. Strict top 4, this wild card business, some sort of modified wild card, or 1-8, etc, however they want to do it, because 7pm isn't the same everywhere in the West.
I'm pretty sure that as soon as there's 32 team they're gonna do the divisions and conferences exactly like the NFL.

Personally in the event of a 32 team expansion I'd go back to the old playoff format, create 2 new divisions (bringing it to 6 total) bring back the old names (i.e Campbell conference, Adams division) and utilize a 5-5-6 split in both conferences. Sure it sucks for the division who has an extra team but it's a small discrepancy when you have 32 teams total. Plus the conferences would be balanced and there's not divisions with 8 teams in it. Anything more than 6 teams is ridiculous.

And geographically it's ridiculous that Edmonton shares a division with San Jose and Tampa shares a division with Canada, Buffalo and Boston.

Reduced travel my ass


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04-24-2017, 04:18 PM
  #161
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They should've just left the damn thing alone. It's needlessly complicated as well as inconvenient.
yep
wasn't broke but they tried to fix it
are they surprised that there's been some media grumbling about how silly this format is?

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04-24-2017, 08:59 PM
  #162
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yep
wasn't broke but they tried to fix it
are they surprised that there's been some media grumbling about how silly this format is?
But rivalries!!! And that's supposed to somehow excuse the fact that Ottawa also has home ice over the NYR who have more points than them. FUBAR isn't a sufficient enough adjective to describe the playoffs and divisions anymore.

BUT RIVALRIES!!!!!!!

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04-24-2017, 11:43 PM
  #163
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I'd expect playoffs to expand shortly. I assume a wildcard game is coming within the next 5 years.

I remember reading a single home playoff game is worth 1 million in profit to a team.
The wildcard game is getting pretty heavy criticism from fans and players in baseball. I'm not sure I ever see that coming into the NHL. If it does I'm betting it's a best of 3.

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04-25-2017, 01:26 AM
  #164
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The wildcard game is getting pretty heavy criticism from fans and players in baseball. I'm not sure I ever see that coming into the NHL. If it does I'm betting it's a best of 3.
But it gets rave reviews from ownership, extending playoff races, and team relevance through a bigger portion of the season, which means more tickets sold, and more eyeballs on the product, not to mention inventing an extra playoff game to get additional revenue.

Maybe a best of 3, but I bet with the next CBA we see some sort of play in game, similar to baseball.

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04-25-2017, 06:16 AM
  #165
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The Wildcard game is actual a great idea for baseball because its a must win game like the NFL playoffs and March Madness. Plus, baseball have less teams in the playoffs. There are 16 teams in the NHL playoffs, it wouldn't make sense for a wildcard game.

We had 18 overtime games in the first round. I don't know about you, but I love it.

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04-25-2017, 07:13 AM
  #166
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Originally Posted by AlwaysSunnyInTampa View Post
But rivalries!!! And that's supposed to somehow excuse the fact that Ottawa also has home ice over the NYR who have more points than them. FUBAR isn't a sufficient enough adjective to describe the playoffs and divisions anymore.

BUT RIVALRIES!!!!!!!
Yes
We should have just done first round strictly in division. None of these wildcard spots.

Again, divisional playoffs make sense because you have divisional based scheduling.

Metro teams had more points because they were a more top heavy division. Atlantic has more parity between the teams and they split points more.

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04-25-2017, 07:21 AM
  #167
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Yes
We should have just done first round strictly in division. None of these wildcard spots.

Again, divisional playoffs make sense because you have divisional based scheduling.

Metro teams had more points because they were a more top heavy division. Atlantic has more parity between the teams and they split points more.
the 5th place team in each division both had 94 points. metro's 6th had 7 more points. metros 7th had 8 more points. atlantics 8th had 8 more points. the metro had more points at the top because it had better teams and it was a better division as a whole.

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04-25-2017, 08:30 AM
  #168
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Yes
We should have just done first round strictly in division. None of these wildcard spots.

Again, divisional playoffs make sense because you have divisional based scheduling.

Metro teams had more points because they were a more top heavy division. Atlantic has more parity between the teams and they split points more.
Points well taken but these shenanigans never happened under the old format because at least it was points based and that's how the next opponent was determined. It was done regardless of division and it created different match ups. This new format has way too many quirks. The fact that the NYR are on the road in this series is bush league and it's even worse than Pittsburgh and DC have to play each other now instead of weaker seeds. This whole attempt at "creating rivalries" through systematic grouping of teams has felt like nothing short of a punishment and it's been the most un-enjoyable time I've ever had in my 10+ years as a Lightning fan.

We play in the trap, clutch/grab and pick play division and I've gotta sit through it EVERY year now it's a chore to watch and I'm getting sick of the teams we face only because we have to face them every year. It's like being subscribed to a dating site and it matches you 5 more times with that same person you already went out with and it didn't go well or drawing a bad monopoly card: ATLANTIC DIVISION PLAYOFFS: Do not pass go... do not collect $200, go straight to jail and play Detroit, Montreal, Ottawa or Boston have fun shmuck!

I swear to God I'd rather get a root canal than deal with this anymore.

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04-25-2017, 09:54 AM
  #169
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I'm pretty sure that as soon as there's 32 team they're gonna do the divisions and conferences exactly like the NFL.
When you say exactly, do you mean two conferences with a western division in it? That would make things more fair, but that's about as radical a shift as there could be in the NHL alignment.

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Personally in the event of a 32 team expansion I'd go back to the old playoff format, create 2 new divisions (bringing it to 6 total) bring back the old names (i.e Campbell conference, Adams division) and utilize a 5-5-6 split in both conferences. Sure it sucks for the division who has an extra team but it's a small discrepancy when you have 32 teams total. Plus the conferences would be balanced and there's not divisions with 8 teams in it. Anything more than 6 teams is ridiculous.

And geographically it's ridiculous that Edmonton shares a division with San Jose and Tampa shares a division with Canada, Buffalo and Boston.

Reduced travel my ass
A lot will depend on where the 32nd team is. Plus relocation is always a possible variable. If Seattle for example doesn't have a team, you'll have a possible Edm/SJ scenario. Who do you put with Van/Edm/Cal? Vegas? Winnipeg? Colorado? All would have issues. If it were the Jets, that's a division spanning 3 time zones again, and I'm not sure the Jets want that.

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yep
wasn't broke but they tried to fix it
are they surprised that there's been some media grumbling about how silly this format is?
They didn't set out to fix the 1-8 format. They set out to fix the issues in the western conference with the 1-8 format. The first public realignment plan had Detroit and Columbus in the Central, and they didn't want to have to go to the west coast more than other eastern time zone teams.

The last realignment was really about the teams in the middle of the NHL universe. Detroit, Columbus, Nashville, Minnesota, Dallas, Winnipeg. The eastern time zone is easy, and the west coast is where the west coast is, nothing you can do about it. The problem was the setup of the previous western conference. It spanned 4 time zones, and two divisions spanned 3 time zones. That's what they tried to fix.

They went to the 4 big divisions, and the plan was a strict top 4 from each make the playoffs, just like the 80's. The 3rd round might have been different, in that the Central and Pacific weren't linked, and the 4 remaining teams might have been re-seeded. That was just an idea, and they never got that far. Then the 5th place/4th place question started popping up, which was then linking the Central and Pacific, and that's when Detroit and Columbus wanted out of the west completely.

I'm not in the NHL office or anything, but that seems to be how they ended up with this current format. It was a compromise to try and help as many teams as possible, while making sure one size fit all, which is the same reason the previous western conference made no geographic sense. How was Columbus a western team? What is Columbus west of? Dallas is closer to Washington, Carolina, and Florida, but were in the Pacific division with the Sharks.

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04-25-2017, 11:52 AM
  #170
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The wildcard game is getting pretty heavy criticism from fans and players in baseball. I'm not sure I ever see that coming into the NHL. If it does I'm betting it's a best of 3.
Not really. But, the reality is, fans will complain about anything. If the MLB did 2 of 3 for the wild card, people would complain the division winners got too much time off and got rusty. If they did away with the wild card round altogether, people would complain that in some years there is no race. Two teams from the same division have the best records, one gets wild card, one wins division and neither really care which they get.

At least with the wild-card game, it gives some value to winning the division and punishes the wild card teams as they have to waste their best pitcher and cant start the next series with him. And, I am a Mets fan whose team was the top wild card last year and lost at home.

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04-25-2017, 11:55 AM
  #171
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They should've just left the damn thing alone. It's needlessly complicated as well as inconvenient.
It is really not that complicated and to whom is it inconvenient? What would make it, "convenient"?

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04-25-2017, 11:57 AM
  #172
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Points well taken but these shenanigans never happened under the old format because at least it was points based and that's how the next opponent was determined. It was done regardless of division and it created different match ups. This new format has way too many quirks. The fact that the NYR are on the road in this series is bush league and it's even worse than Pittsburgh and DC have to play each other now instead of weaker seeds. This whole attempt at "creating rivalries" through systematic grouping of teams has felt like nothing short of a punishment and it's been the most un-enjoyable time I've ever had in my 10+ years as a Lightning fan.

We play in the trap, clutch/grab and pick play division and I've gotta sit through it EVERY year now it's a chore to watch and I'm getting sick of the teams we face only because we have to face them every year. It's like being subscribed to a dating site and it matches you 5 more times with that same person you already went out with and it didn't go well or drawing a bad monopoly card: ATLANTIC DIVISION PLAYOFFS: Do not pass go... do not collect $200, go straight to jail and play Detroit, Montreal, Ottawa or Boston have fun shmuck!

I swear to God I'd rather get a root canal than deal with this anymore.
NYR would be on the road under the old system as well.

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04-25-2017, 12:04 PM
  #173
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When you say exactly, do you mean two conferences with a western division in it? That would make things more fair, but that's about as radical a shift as there could be in the NHL alignment.



A lot will depend on where the 32nd team is. Plus relocation is always a possible variable. If Seattle for example doesn't have a team, you'll have a possible Edm/SJ scenario. Who do you put with Van/Edm/Cal? Vegas? Winnipeg? Colorado? All would have issues. If it were the Jets, that's a division spanning 3 time zones again, and I'm not sure the Jets want that.



They didn't set out to fix the 1-8 format. They set out to fix the issues in the western conference with the 1-8 format. The first public realignment plan had Detroit and Columbus in the Central, and they didn't want to have to go to the west coast more than other eastern time zone teams.

The last realignment was really about the teams in the middle of the NHL universe. Detroit, Columbus, Nashville, Minnesota, Dallas, Winnipeg. The eastern time zone is easy, and the west coast is where the west coast is, nothing you can do about it. The problem was the setup of the previous western conference. It spanned 4 time zones, and two divisions spanned 3 time zones. That's what they tried to fix.

They went to the 4 big divisions, and the plan was a strict top 4 from each make the playoffs, just like the 80's. The 3rd round might have been different, in that the Central and Pacific weren't linked, and the 4 remaining teams might have been re-seeded. That was just an idea, and they never got that far. Then the 5th place/4th place question started popping up, which was then linking the Central and Pacific, and that's when Detroit and Columbus wanted out of the west completely.

I'm not in the NHL office or anything, but that seems to be how they ended up with this current format. It was a compromise to try and help as many teams as possible, while making sure one size fit all, which is the same reason the previous western conference made no geographic sense. How was Columbus a western team? What is Columbus west of? Dallas is closer to Washington, Carolina, and Florida, but were in the Pacific division with the Sharks.
Columbus was west of all 15 teams in the Eastern Conference. Same for Detroit. Just look at a map of the nhl teams. D*ll*s maybe closer to those cities, but they were still west of the 15 east conference teams, as well. Has to be a dividing line somewhere. Like I previously said, once you get past the line of Minneapolis/St Paul-Kansas City/Dallas, in the US, the population drops tremendously. Only have Colorado and Arizona before you get to the West coast.

Crazy thing is, we have people who want 1-16 league wide and want to see NY-LA in the first round. Ratings would be awful in the NY area if the Rangers had a road play-off game starting at 10pm.

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04-25-2017, 12:09 PM
  #174
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Points well taken but these shenanigans never happened under the old format because at least it was points based and that's how the next opponent was determined. It was done regardless of division and it created different match ups. This new format has way too many quirks. The fact that the NYR are on the road in this series is bush league and it's even worse than Pittsburgh and DC have to play each other now instead of weaker seeds. This whole attempt at "creating rivalries" through systematic grouping of teams has felt like nothing short of a punishment and it's been the most un-enjoyable time I've ever had in my 10+ years as a Lightning fan.

We play in the trap, clutch/grab and pick play division and I've gotta sit through it EVERY year now it's a chore to watch and I'm getting sick of the teams we face only because we have to face them every year. It's like being subscribed to a dating site and it matches you 5 more times with that same person you already went out with and it didn't go well or drawing a bad monopoly card: ATLANTIC DIVISION PLAYOFFS: Do not pass go... do not collect $200, go straight to jail and play Detroit, Montreal, Ottawa or Boston have fun shmuck!

I swear to God I'd rather get a root canal than deal with this anymore.
So, who has home-ice in a play-off series that your team is not even playing has you this upset? Interesting. Were you complaining the last 2 years when the Lightning got to the Conference finals and the Cup finals?

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04-25-2017, 12:21 PM
  #175
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Last year, the same thing happened. 4 of the top 5 by points were in the East. I do not recall people having bleeding hearts for the Rangers who as the 4th best team had to play the 2nd best, or that Pitt and Washington (1st and 2nd) had to play in the 2nd round. Don't recall anyone upset the Isles as the 5th best team had to play the 3rd best team.

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