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NHL divisional playoff format is drawing criticism

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Old
06-16-2017, 02:43 PM
  #251
Acesolid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hal1971 View Post
Interesting video by SportNet on the nhl site, if you look closely, Quebec is included in a 4 teams division with Habs, Toronto and Ottawa

https://www.nhl.com/video/expansion-...694/c-52237603

Weird, apparently the nhl.com website posted a video with NFL-like divisions of four teams.

Could it be the future?

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06-16-2017, 02:56 PM
  #252
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Originally Posted by Acesolid View Post
Weird, apparently the nhl.com website posted a video with NFL-like divisions of four teams.

Could it be the future?
What a weird oversight, in such a fluff video.

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06-16-2017, 10:27 PM
  #253
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Originally Posted by MNNumbers View Post
Crayton,

As always, many kudos for willingness to think outside the box....

However, I disagree with any system which results in one team needing 3 wins to advance, and their opponent needing 4 wins. That's a HUGE change in the way things are done everywhere. If I had a veto, I would immediately veto that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom ServoMST3K View Post
I know I'm in a minority, but I'd like to see regular season excellence rewarded more, up to and including a bye in the first round.
Thanks, MNN. I agree that a system with "byes" is much more familiar than a system that spots a team 1 win in a series. Likewise, a 1-game knockout between #7 and #10 seems grossly unfair to the #7 team compared to the current system, but we should recall that the break between IN and OUT in the current system is harsher even still.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MNNumbers View Post
As for 'what's the fairest system....?' or, 'the best system?'

So, I say, keep it simple. I would prefer what Pat said: Just the top 4. We have 31 teams now. It's more balanced at 8-7-8-8 than at 7-7-8-8. Whether you have a wild card or not, someone's odds are going to be slightly different. So, Top 4. No wild cards, for me.

If you insist on a new system, I have a few suggestions (all feature 8 teams in each conference):

Best idea:
East: Top 8, seeded 1-8 based on Reg Season Points.
West: Top 4 in each Division, 2 rounds in division.
The reason for the difference is travel in the West.
The League would never do that, though, so......

If you want to guarantee the top 3 in each division a spot, then.....
Top 3 plus 2 WCs.
My Top dog rule here would be:
NO MORE THAN 1 CROSSOVER SERIES. (And, this is where there is no good way to handle this)
Those all seem like improvements over the current system. I don't see the NHL doing different formats between East and West, though I agree it is preferable.

If the idea of having a team start 1-0 in a series is a bridge too far, I still think the other portion of my proposed format is inline with the league's current MO. Make each division #4 play a wild-card game, thus forcing any cross-over team to start on the road in a one-off playoff game. According to the simulations this would (though many changes would) increase the value of each regular season game.

This is not the format I'd 'like' to see. I'm still holding out hope for a MLB-esque regular season; ha. The 4 conference idea is beginning to wane on me as I realize the optical benefits of 2 "champions" squaring off in the Finals. I don't mean to push this thread toward the crazy (sorry, e'ryone) but I also wonder (key word) what effect aspects like group play or double-elimination could have on the NHL playoffs; though 15 7-game series seems rather perfect. Baseketball anyone?

EDIT: I just googled "weird playoff system" and 8 of the top 10 pages were complaints about the NHL, 1 was a generic "playoff system" article on Wikipedia, and 1 was about the Belgian Football Playoffs (reading now).

EDIT2: Someone beat me to it and invented the playoff format to end all playoff formats (haha):
https://sports.yahoo.com/news/soccer...3465--sow.html


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06-16-2017, 10:33 PM
  #254
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The old format felt more random than now, which might contribute to the perceived parity problem.

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06-17-2017, 09:46 AM
  #255
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Originally Posted by Tawnos View Post
Totally inaccurate. The simple act of flying on an airplane has fatiguing factors that come from altitude, pressurized cabins, lack of humidity in the air (which leads to quicker dehydration), noise, and vibration.

I don't disagree that the TV times are a major factor too, but air travel itself has an impact on the body.
Not saying the flying does not have an impact on the body. It is just not as drastic for these guys as your average person.


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06-17-2017, 09:51 AM
  #256
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To continue the discussion....

I think that the 'strangeness' that people complain about comes from 2 places....

The use of the Wild Card entries. I say this because the "Top 3 + 2 more" arrangement is an attempt to do 2 things....First, keep most series with the division. Second, allow for a 5th place team in a strong division to qualify.
This strikes fans as 'weird' because of the crossover possibilities, and that fact that, since there are Wild Cards, when a year comes out like this one did, with the Metro having 1-2-3-5, then the system comes out not looking very goo.

Second, the familiarity, especially in the Eastern Conference, of the 1-8 system.

How to fix it?

Well, first the BOG and the PA have to sit down and discuss whether they NEED the Wild Card. There are a few possibilities here....
Top 4 in each division
Top 8 in each conference
No longer using the term "Wild Card" would solve lots of issues with optics.

I'm not aware of an occasion yet where the Top 8 would have yielded a 6-2 split, so NHL could do....
Top 8 qualify.
Bracket Seeds 1/8, 2/7, 3/6, 4/5 BUT....
NHL PLAYOFF COMMITTEE exists (somewhat like the NCAA Tournament Committee) to create the final bracket.
The lower seeds could shift up to 2 places to maximize Division Series...
And, the bracket will be designed SUCH THAT the possible 2nd Round matchups feature at least 3 teams from the same division.
Leaving it up to a Committee (which would actually be a quick conference call) saves the League the details of publishing the rules of how it would work, which are 'wonky.'

In this case, the Committee could look at the 2017 Eastern Standings, with its 1-2-3-5 in the Metro and say "Hey, everyone here is in the ETZ, let's just do a straight bracket".
And, at the same time, they could look at this year's Western Standings
CHI
MIN
ANA
EDM
STL
SJS
CGY
NSH, and adjust to create an all-division bracket.

So, the only thing the fans would have to adjust to is waiting until Sunday night for the Committee to balance things out. And, of course, there would be some accusations of nefarious activity in the Committee, and that would be ok, too.

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06-17-2017, 12:53 PM
  #257
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Originally Posted by MNNumbers View Post
So, the only thing the fans would have to adjust to is waiting until Sunday night for the Committee to balance things out. And, of course, there would be some accusations of nefarious activity in the Committee, and that would be ok, too.
And of course a couple guidelines should be published so that fanbases don't feel like such a committee has the capacity to give them the shaft. For example:

Rule #1) No team will be shifted more than 1 seed
Rule #2) No team shall play a more difficult seed than a divisional team they outperformed

1 WSH vs. 8 TOR // 4 CLB vs. 5 NYR
2 PIT vs. 7 BOS // 3 MTL vs. 6 OTT

Being able to shift the upper seeds AND lower seeds (each by only 1 spot) gives greater second-round flexibility. Don't guarantee division winners a Top 2, only a Top 3 spot (if any at all) so as not to conflict with the above Rule #2.

A "committee" smacks of amateurism, but 'hey' why not and I agree that it might be better than providing extensive, complicated rules. If you supply simple, ironclad rules like the 2 above you should get most teams to agree. The preferences of the committee should also be stated: increase divisional (or, "rivalry", in the case of something like COL-DET, for example) series and minimize timezone travel, so that the committee is forced to justify their selections.

Retracing; adding cross-over wild-card play-ins to an otherwise 80s-style (1v4, 2v3) playoff is also a good way to both improve the regular season competition and make the playoff format easier to understand.

EDIT: I suppose the West would then look like this if you used the same rules as the East:
1 CHI vs. 8 NSH // 4 EDM vs. 5 SJ
2 ANA vs. 7 CGY // 3 MIN vs. 6 STL
Two guaranteed cross-country series. Meh. If we allow #2 Minnesota to drop to #4 then we could get an all-division bracket.


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06-17-2017, 01:14 PM
  #258
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Originally Posted by Crayton View Post
And of course a couple guidelines should be published so that fanbases don't feel like such a committee has the capacity to give them the shaft. For example:

Rule #1) No team will be shifted more than 1 seed
Rule #2) No team shall play a more difficult seed than a divisional team they outperformed

1 WSH vs. 8 TOR // 4 CLB vs. 5 NYR
2 PIT vs. 7 BOS // 3 MTL vs. 6 OTT

Being able to shift the upper seeds AND lower seeds (each by only 1 spot) gives greater second-round flexibility. Don't guarantee division winners a Top 2, only a Top 3 spot (if any at all) so as not to conflict with the above Rule #2.

A "committee" smacks of amateurism, but 'hey' why not and I agree that it might be better than providing extensive, complicated rules. If you supply simple, ironclad rules like the 2 above you should get most teams to agree. The preferences of the committee should also be stated: increase divisional (or, "rivalry", in the case of something like COL-DET, for example) series and minimize timezone travel, so that the committee is forced to justify their selections.

Retracing; adding cross-over wild-card play-ins to an otherwise 80s-style (1v4, 2v3) playoff is also a good way to both improve the regular season competition and make the playoff format easier to understand.
And, further to the Committee....
In all rounds, home ice shall always be determined by regular season points.

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06-17-2017, 03:16 PM
  #259
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crayton View Post
And of course a couple guidelines should be published so that fanbases don't feel like such a committee has the capacity to give them the shaft. For example:

Rule #1) No team will be shifted more than 1 seed
Rule #2) No team shall play a more difficult seed than a divisional team they outperformed

1 WSH vs. 8 TOR // 4 CLB vs. 5 NYR
2 PIT vs. 7 BOS // 3 MTL vs. 6 OTT

Being able to shift the upper seeds AND lower seeds (each by only 1 spot) gives greater second-round flexibility. Don't guarantee division winners a Top 2, only a Top 3 spot (if any at all) so as not to conflict with the above Rule #2.

A "committee" smacks of amateurism, but 'hey' why not and I agree that it might be better than providing extensive, complicated rules. If you supply simple, ironclad rules like the 2 above you should get most teams to agree. The preferences of the committee should also be stated: increase divisional (or, "rivalry", in the case of something like COL-DET, for example) series and minimize timezone travel, so that the committee is forced to justify their selections.

Retracing; adding cross-over wild-card play-ins to an otherwise 80s-style (1v4, 2v3) playoff is also a good way to both improve the regular season competition and make the playoff format easier to understand.

EDIT: I suppose the West would then look like this if you used the same rules as the East:
1 CHI vs. 8 NSH // 4 EDM vs. 5 SJ
2 ANA vs. 7 CGY // 3 MIN vs. 6 STL
Two guaranteed cross-country series. Meh. If we allow #2 Minnesota to drop to #4 then we could get an all-division bracket.
Your western example here illustrates exactly the reason that the matter is so difficult.

Everyone can look at this year standings and see that:
The East should be a 1-8 straight seed (with a slight change to make a Mtl/Ott contest possible)
The West should be 2 1-4 division brackets

However, writing examples of rules to follow to get it there is very difficult. And, it's made more so by the fact that the Metro almost went 1-2-3-4, which totally kills your "guarantee the Division winner a Top 3 seed idea", even though the final bracket would not change much.

I think my published guidelines would be that:
It will be 3 Western reps who make the Eastern bracket
It will be 3 Eastern reps who make the Western bracket

And, those brackets will be made with these guidelines:
The basic bracket will be a Serpentine bracket.
Adjustments can be made by the committee.
Such adjustments will be made SOLELY for the purpose of increasing intradivisional matchups in Rounds 1 and 2.
Adjustments do NOT have to be made just because they are possible.
It is preferable to adjust among seeds 5-8, rather than 1-4 if such a choice exists.
How far up or down in seedings can be adjusted?
1) All teams could be adjusted up or down 1 place.
2) Teams can be adjusted 1 place further up or down IF the 2nd adjustment is with a team whose regular season points total was within 3 of their own.

No team will be adjusted so as to have a more difficult opponent (by reg season pts) than a divisional rival whom they out-performed in the regular season.

Finally, as stated before, Home Ice in all matchups is determined by regular season points.


And, with those guidelines, you would start with:
1-CHI, 2-MIN, 3-ANA, 4-EDM, 5-STL, 6-SJS, 7-CGY, 8-NSH,or
Minnesota crosses to be with 3 Pacific teams, and Edmonton with 3 Central teams - yuckkkkk. Although the ANA/SJS series wouldn't be bad.
So, 1-CHI, 4-MIN, 2-ANA, 3-EDM, 5-STL, 6-SJS, 7-CGY, 8-NSH, and that gives you your bracket. And, should Minnesota play to the Conference Finals, they get home ice. Note that, in this case, you would want to make EDMvCGY and ANAvSJS, but you cannot, because of the rule about outplayed divisional opponents. Also, note that Minnesota can be moved behind Edmonton because of the 3 pts rule.

In the East, start with:
1-WAS, 2-PIT, 3-CMB, 4-MTL, 5-NYR, 6-OTT, 7-BOS, 8-TOR or.....
Was v Tor, Mtl v NYR.....Pit v Bos, Colum v Ott. And, to me, this is fine as is.... Although creating Mtl v Ott is tempting. And were it done, I would prefer...
Was/Tor..Mtl/Ott and Pit/Bos...Cmb/NYR so that Washington gets the more advantageous 2nd Round series. (That is, I swap NYR and OTT seeds, rather than MTL and CMB seeds)


Last edited by MNNumbers: 06-17-2017 at 03:25 PM.
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Old
06-17-2017, 04:10 PM
  #260
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MNNumbers View Post
1) All teams could be adjusted up or down 1 place.
1b) Teams can be adjusted 1 place further up or down IF the 2nd adjustment is with a team whose regular season points total was within 3 of their own.
2) No team will be adjusted so as to have a more difficult opponent (by reg season pts) than a divisional rival whom they out-performed in the regular season.
3) Finally, as stated before, Home Ice in all matchups is determined by regular season points.

And, with those guidelines, you would start with:
1-CHI, 2-MIN, 3-ANA, 4-EDM, 5-STL, 6-SJS, 7-CGY, 8-NSH,or
Minnesota crosses to be with 3 Pacific teams, and Edmonton with 3 Central teams - yuckkkkk. Although the ANA/SJS series wouldn't be bad.
So, 1-CHI, 4-MIN, 2-ANA, 3-EDM, 5-STL, 6-SJS, 7-CGY, 8-NSH, and that gives you your bracket. And, should Minnesota play to the Conference Finals, they get home ice. Note that, in this case, you would want to make EDMvCGY and ANAvSJS, but you cannot, because of the rule about outplayed divisional opponents. Also, note that Minnesota can be moved behind Edmonton because of the 3 pts rule.

In the East, start with:
1-WAS, 2-PIT, 3-CMB, 4-MTL, 5-NYR, 6-OTT, 7-BOS, 8-TOR or.....
Was v Tor, Mtl v NYR.....Pit v Bos, Colum v Ott. And, to me, this is fine as is.... Although creating Mtl v Ott is tempting. And were it done, I would prefer...
Was/Tor..Mtl/Ott and Pit/Bos...Cmb/NYR so that Washington gets the more advantageous 2nd Round series. (That is, I swap NYR and OTT seeds, rather than MTL and CMB seeds)
I do like the addition of the home-ice rule. Like in the NBA it is (was) one of those rules that was rarely invoked and so was easily listed among the minutia; the casual TV audience won't notice the difference.

I would prefer something more universal than the 3pt rule (I've modified its listing above as 1b). Perhaps: a team may be shifted 2 seeds provided its opponent is not moved from its natural seed. Or, for the sake of simplicity, we should just expand the allowance of Rule #1 to 2 seeds all around and let Rules #2 and #3 keep us from absurd combinations. Either way, Minnesota can be put in the #4 slot for sensible Pacific and Central brackets.

For the Eastern Bracket I reasoned that, as #1, Washington should be the most heavily favored team in the first round and therefore matching them with the other Met. quarterfinal would increase the chances of divisional series. Both setups are fine; I suppose that is the quandary the committee will find itself in; and we'll all second guess their decisions.

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06-17-2017, 04:40 PM
  #261
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Originally Posted by Crayton View Post
I do like the addition of the home-ice rule. Like in the NBA it is (was) one of those rules that was rarely invoked and so was easily listed among the minutia; the casual TV audience won't notice the difference.

I would prefer something more universal than the 3pt rule (I've modified its listing above as 1b). Perhaps: a team may be shifted 2 seeds provided its opponent is not moved from its natural seed. Or, for the sake of simplicity, we should just expand the allowance of Rule #1 to 2 seeds all around and let Rules #2 and #3 keep us from absurd combinations. Either way, Minnesota can be put in the #4 slot for sensible Pacific and Central brackets.

For the Eastern Bracket I reasoned that, as #1, Washington should be the most heavily favored team in the first round and therefore matching them with the other Met. quarterfinal would increase the chances of divisional series. Both setups are fine; I suppose that is the quandary the committee will find itself in; and we'll all second guess their decisions.
I would be cool with dropping the 3 point rule. The reason for something like that is to assure fans that their team isn't going to be "done wrong" by the committee.

However, the rules about home-ice and opponents may be enough to do that, along with the idea that it's reps from the other conference who will make their bracket.

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06-17-2017, 04:59 PM
  #262
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1-8 in the East. Let the teams in the West vote on what they think is the best format for the conference that has to actually deal with various issues related to travel and time zones. One size doesn't necessarily have to fit all.

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06-18-2017, 06:13 AM
  #263
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Originally Posted by MNNumbers View Post
To continue the discussion....

I think that the 'strangeness' that people complain about comes from 2 places....

The use of the Wild Card entries. I say this because the "Top 3 + 2 more" arrangement is an attempt to do 2 things....First, keep most series with the division. Second, allow for a 5th place team in a strong division to qualify.
This strikes fans as 'weird' because of the crossover possibilities, and that fact that, since there are Wild Cards, when a year comes out like this one did, with the Metro having 1-2-3-5, then the system comes out not looking very goo.

Second, the familiarity, especially in the Eastern Conference, of the 1-8 system.

How to fix it?

Well, first the BOG and the PA have to sit down and discuss whether they NEED the Wild Card. There are a few possibilities here....
Top 4 in each division
Top 8 in each conference
No longer using the term "Wild Card" would solve lots of issues with optics.

I'm not aware of an occasion yet where the Top 8 would have yielded a 6-2 split, so NHL could do....
Top 8 qualify.
Bracket Seeds 1/8, 2/7, 3/6, 4/5 BUT....
NHL PLAYOFF COMMITTEE exists (somewhat like the NCAA Tournament Committee) to create the final bracket.
The lower seeds could shift up to 2 places to maximize Division Series...
And, the bracket will be designed SUCH THAT the possible 2nd Round matchups feature at least 3 teams from the same division.
Leaving it up to a Committee (which would actually be a quick conference call) saves the League the details of publishing the rules of how it would work, which are 'wonky.'

In this case, the Committee could look at the 2017 Eastern Standings, with its 1-2-3-5 in the Metro and say "Hey, everyone here is in the ETZ, let's just do a straight bracket".
And, at the same time, they could look at this year's Western Standings
CHI
MIN
ANA
EDM
STL
SJS
CGY
NSH, and adjust to create an all-division bracket.

So, the only thing the fans would have to adjust to is waiting until Sunday night for the Committee to balance things out. And, of course, there would be some accusations of nefarious activity in the Committee, and that would be ok, too.
This would be beyond ridiculous.

Why not just just have them play the regular season. Then, have a poll on this board about who everyone "thinks" are the best 16 teams in the league. From there, we vote on our favorite match-ups to create 8 series. Teams play all 7 games, regardless of outcomes. Then, from those 16 teams, we vote on who we feel are the best 8 teams and then vote for match-ups we would like to see, play all 7 games in each series. Finally, after the Finals, we all vote again on who we feel is the best team. However, this time all 31 teams are eligible as are teams from the KHL, SEL, CHL, AHL, ECHL, NCAA, USHL, and high school teams. The winner of that election wins the Stanley Cup.

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06-18-2017, 06:59 AM
  #264
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Originally Posted by patnyrnyg View Post
This would be beyond ridiculous.

Why not just just have them play the regular season. Then, have a poll on this board about who everyone "thinks" are the best 16 teams in the league. From there, we vote on our favorite match-ups to create 8 series. Teams play all 7 games, regardless of outcomes. Then, from those 16 teams, we vote on who we feel are the best 8 teams and then vote for match-ups we would like to see, play all 7 games in each series. Finally, after the Finals, we all vote again on who we feel is the best team. However, this time all 31 teams are eligible as are teams from the KHL, SEL, CHL, AHL, ECHL, NCAA, USHL, and high school teams. The winner of that election wins the Stanley Cup.
Having the regular season points decide the playoff teams, and then using good judgment to arrange a bracket, when the needs and desires of the East and west differ so much.....
Is no more foolish than a system of rules which dictates that the first round matchups be....
1/8, 2/3, 4/5, and 6/7....
And that the 1/2 meet in round 2.

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06-18-2017, 07:37 AM
  #265
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Originally Posted by MNNumbers View Post
Having the regular season points decide the playoff teams, and then using good judgment to arrange a bracket, when the needs and desires of the East and west differ so much.....
Is no more foolish than a system of rules which dictates that the first round matchups be....
1/8, 2/3, 4/5, and 6/7....
And that the 1/2 meet in round 2.
Why can't you accept the Leafs were NOT the 8th seed? They are no longer using top-8 in the conference so to call the Leafs the 8th seed and the Rangers the 5th is not valid. All people do on here is complain about the league's "judgment", yet we want more "good judgment" being used. This is not NCAA BBall where they have over 100 D1 teams in many different conferences and teams playing 30 games. There are teams that do not have any common opponents, so to come up with 68 teams is going to require judgment. If they had 31 teams, it wouldn't be necessary.

Again, I will ask, would you rather have the "1-2" match-up in the 2nd round or not at all? The argument that the winner is at a disadvantage because they had a "harder" series than their 3rd round opponent and thus beat-up sure meant a lot this year, didn't it?

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06-18-2017, 07:51 AM
  #266
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Originally Posted by patnyrnyg View Post
Why can't you accept the Leafs were NOT the 8th seed? They are no longer using top-8 in the conference so to call the Leafs the 8th seed and the Rangers the 5th is not valid. All people do on here is complain about the league's "judgment", yet we want more "good judgment" being used. This is not NCAA BBall where they have over 100 D1 teams in many different conferences and teams playing 30 games. There are teams that do not have any common opponents, so to come up with 68 teams is going to require judgment. If they had 31 teams, it wouldn't be necessary.

Again, I will ask, would you rather have the "1-2" match-up in the 2nd round or not at all? The argument that the winner is at a disadvantage because they had a "harder" series than their 3rd round opponent and thus beat-up sure meant a lot this year, didn't it?
To re iterate my post history on this thread.....
My preference is actually that the East does a straight 1-8. And the West a straight 1-4 in both divisions.

My 2nd preference is to do a straight 1-4 in all 4 divisions starting next year because the 8-7-8-8 alignment is near enough to balanced that you don't gain anything with the wild cards.

Crayton was looking for ideas better than the present system. I think the present system was invented in a blender. It makes no sense for the Rangers to play in Montreal's bracket because they are a Wild Card, and Toronto to play in Washington's.
If the same thing were to happen in the West, it would be EXACTLY what the league wants to avoid....needless travel and out of time zone starts.

I'm well aware of how the current setup functions. For many fans, however, who cut their teeth on the prior 1-8 system, this one is strange.

So, to me, the idea of balancing divisional matchups with regular season results is the challenge.

As I said... East 1-8, West 1-4 in both divisions would be great. But it won't happen. But then, neither will anything else on this thread.

I think Crayton started the thread for theoretical proposes. So, if he wants to play that game.... I can play...

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06-18-2017, 09:29 AM
  #267
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Originally Posted by MNNumbers View Post
To continue the discussion....

I think that the 'strangeness' that people complain about comes from 2 places....

The use of the Wild Card entries. I say this because the "Top 3 + 2 more" arrangement is an attempt to do 2 things....First, keep most series with the division. Second, allow for a 5th place team in a strong division to qualify.
This strikes fans as 'weird' because of the crossover possibilities, and that fact that, since there are Wild Cards, when a year comes out like this one did, with the Metro having 1-2-3-5, then the system comes out not looking very goo.

Second, the familiarity, especially in the Eastern Conference, of the 1-8 system.

How to fix it?

Well, first the BOG and the PA have to sit down and discuss whether they NEED the Wild Card. There are a few possibilities here....
Top 4 in each division
Top 8 in each conference
No longer using the term "Wild Card" would solve lots of issues with optics.

I'm not aware of an occasion yet where the Top 8 would have yielded a 6-2 split, so NHL could do....
Top 8 qualify.
Bracket Seeds 1/8, 2/7, 3/6, 4/5 BUT....
NHL PLAYOFF COMMITTEE exists (somewhat like the NCAA Tournament Committee) to create the final bracket.
The lower seeds could shift up to 2 places to maximize Division Series...
And, the bracket will be designed SUCH THAT the possible 2nd Round matchups feature at least 3 teams from the same division.
Leaving it up to a Committee (which would actually be a quick conference call) saves the League the details of publishing the rules of how it would work, which are 'wonky.'

In this case, the Committee could look at the 2017 Eastern Standings, with its 1-2-3-5 in the Metro and say "Hey, everyone here is in the ETZ, let's just do a straight bracket".
And, at the same time, they could look at this year's Western Standings
CHI
MIN
ANA
EDM
STL
SJS
CGY
NSH, and adjust to create an all-division bracket.

So, the only thing the fans would have to adjust to is waiting until Sunday night for the Committee to balance things out. And, of course, there would be some accusations of nefarious activity in the Committee, and that would be ok, too.
Committee's can be bought. No bueno

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06-18-2017, 05:20 PM
  #268
patnyrnyg
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Any system where a "committee" can override the standings regardless of their restrictions is ridiculous. The committee has the Leafs or Rangers get bumped up a spot over a small market team and everyone on here is whining about the $ being a factor. Anything that isn't based on standings is a waste of time.

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06-18-2017, 09:04 PM
  #269
MNNumbers
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Going back to my original thoughts on the subject (and please everyone, I am sorry if my suggestion about a committee sidetracked everything)....

First....
I am really convinced that hockey is a small-sample size game. On average, 5-6 goals a game. Small sample size events have a higher level of unpredictability. For that cause, things like hot goalie play or a few guys either really zoned in or slightly lacking in focus makes much more difference than a home game. Witness Nashville going all the way to the Finals. No one here was predicting that. It's a somewhat random event.

So, to that I say that the real answer is: Pick your system. It doesn't matter what it is. Each is as good as another, and if you re-ran the playoffs, there would be different results the next time.

However: For optics, the Top 3 + 2 Wild Cards seems clunky to me. And, I don't think I am alone.

For that reason, I think Top 4 in each division is simple, and best.

That being said, I think that the main issue that the league has is Time Zone alignment. So, to me, I think that the East and West, because of the geographic differences, are best served by 2 completely different schedule/playoff arrangements.

East should be:
home/home v West. = 30 games.
Versus own Eastern Division: 4 games = 28 games.
Versus other Eastern Division: 3 games = 24 games.
And, the playoffs should be Top 8, with a serpentine bracket that ignores Divisions

West should be:
Home/home versus all non-divisional rivals.
All other games within division
Playoffs: Top 4 in each division, and 2 rounds playoffs in division.

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