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Strange playoff format in 1928-29 to 1941-42?

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01-04-2012, 06:43 AM
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plusandminus
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Strange playoff format in 1928-29 to 1941-42?

Looking at the 1941-42 season, I noticed some seemingly strange things about the playoff format during that season and previous ones. It seems as if it started in 1928-29 and ended after the 1941-42 season. At that time, there were only 6 teams left in the NHL, where 4 reached playoffs and it was 1st vs 3rd and 2nd vs 4th, for a place in the final.

Below is the format from 1928-29 to 1941-42...


7 or more teams played in the regular season. 6 reach playoffs.

Quarter finals: 3rd vs 4th. 5th vs 6th.
Semi final: winners vs each other
All games best of 3.

Simultanously as above:
Semi final: 1st vs 2nd.
Eventually best of 7.

Final. Eventually best of 7.


So the two best regular season teams plays each other - best of 7- for a place in the final.
Simultanously, teams 3-6 play each other for a place in the final. Not 3 vs 6, 4 vs 5, but 3 vs 4 and 5 vs 6.


What was the point? Didn't one want the two best regular season team to meet in the final?

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01-04-2012, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by plusandminus View Post
What was the point? Didn't one want the two best regular season team to meet in the final?
As I understand it, it was the NHL trying to drum up interest by guaranteeing that the two best teams would meet in the playoffs.

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01-04-2012, 12:02 PM
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Probably a big reason why there were no dynasties during this time frame. Also a big reason why no individual player from the time frame really stands out in the playoffs

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01-04-2012, 02:39 PM
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I don't have old standings in front of me at the moment but when there were two divisions the division leaders had a round 1 matchup against eachother. The winner player the winner of the winners of the 2v2 and 3v3 series.

An absolutely awful format. It isn't so bad that they tried it, but that it took 13 years to move to something more logical.

I think it definitely has something to do with why guys like Morenz, Shore, Clancy and Conacher lack that illustrious playoff record that players from later in the O6 had. They were denied a lot of easier games to win and compile stats, that all the players from the 40s - 60s got. Most of their games were tough games - against eachother.

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01-04-2012, 02:53 PM
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I think it definitely has something to do with why guys like Morenz, Shore, Clancy and Conacher lack that illustrious playoff record that players from later in the O6 had. They were denied a lot of easier games to win and compile stats, that all the players from the 40s - 60s got. Most of their games were tough games - against eachother.
I think it would only hurt guys who played on teams that regularly won their division, right?

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01-04-2012, 03:56 PM
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I think it would only hurt guys who played on teams that regularly won their division, right?
negatively, yes. And also teams that finished 2 nd after the league went down to 8 teams and abolished divisions. In the 14 seasons that they did this, this is how often teams were affected:

Boston 9
Toronto 6
Montreal 4
NY Rangers 4
Detroit 3
Maroons 2
Chicago 0

It obviously also positively affected the playoff resumes of longtime hawks, maroons and wings, who would have had the most 3 rd place finishes in these years (or 5 th /6 th in the 1939-42 years) and therefore got to play a first round against a fellow weak sister, boosting career playoff games and points.

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01-04-2012, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
negatively, yes. And also teams that finished 2 nd after the league went down to 8 teams and abolished divisions. In the 14 seasons that they did this, this is how often teams were affected:

Boston 9
Toronto 6
Montreal 4
NY Rangers 4
Detroit 3
Maroons 2
Chicago 0

It obviously also positively affected the playoff resumes of longtime hawks, maroons and wings, who would have had the most 3 rd place finishes in these years (or 5 th /6 th in the 1939-42 years) and therefore got to play a first round against a fellow weak sister, boosting career playoff games and points.
Well, it certainly didn't help Lionel Conacher (4 points in 35 career playoff games. 4 points in 31 career playoff games playing for the Maroons and Hawks of this era).

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01-04-2012, 10:18 PM
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Well, it certainly didn't help Lionel Conacher (4 points in 35 career playoff games. 4 points in 31 career playoff games playing for the Maroons and Hawks of this era).
I actually find it a tad troubling that you, of all people, are using a playoff point total to judge the playoff performance of a defenseman...

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01-04-2012, 11:35 PM
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I actually find it a tad troubling that you, of all people, are using a playoff point total to judge the playoff performance of a defenseman...
It's not the only thing - i realize Conacher was awesome at blocking shots especially in 1934 - but I think it's relevant when discussing defensemen who are usually praised for their offensive game

Edit: especially when you brought him up as someone hurt by the old system of playoffs, something I disagree with. He was pretty good in the playoffs, but definitely wasn't made to look worse by the playoff brackets like guys who played on the top teams


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 01-05-2012 at 01:08 AM.
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