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A reasoning to support a Wildcard Playoff Play-in with 8-team Conferences

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02-24-2013, 06:16 PM
  #1
MoreOrr
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A reasoning to support a Wildcard Playoff Play-in with 8-team Conferences

To show my objectivity and to give you guys who are again falling all over yourselves in support of the newly proposed 4-Conference arrangement, I've come up with an idea about how a "wildcard" play-in could actually appease the PA and make some sense.

If the League is stilling insisting or planning on a home-and-home against every team in the League, and if it's still planning a top-4 Divisional Playoff, then that would leave 8-team Divisions, oh excuse me, Conferences with an imbalance in the number of games that some teams inside the Conference play against each other.
2 x 22 = 44 games
6 x 3 = 18 games
5 x 4 = 20 games

So, imagine this situation: The 4th place team finishes with 88pt, the 5th with 86 or 87pt, but those two teams have only played each other 5 times. If a 6th game between the two could be won by the 5th place team, and if that win would be enough to overtake the 4th place team in the Standings, then that 6th game would be the Wildcard game.

If, on the other hand, the 4th and 5th place teams have already played their even series of 6 games against, then no wildcard game should be played and the Standings go as they are.

That may not be what the League would do, but that would at least somewhat justify the Wildcard idea.

* One problem could be, what if there are two teams only 1 point below the 4th place team, and both have only played against the 4th place team only 5 times?


One could say that such a format could be used between any two teams in the top-4 which haven't played the 6th game against each other and the point difference is such that the lower team could overtake the other if it could win a 6th meeting between the two. But of course I doubt the League would apply it that far.


I still hate and absolutely do not agree with a strict top-4 Divisional Playoff!!!

And to the Mods, I fully expect that this post should be merged with perhaps the Matrix thread. I'm posting it now as a separate thread to at least draw temporary attention to it.

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02-24-2013, 06:42 PM
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Whether the League calls these groupings Divisions or Conferences is irrelevant - in this proposed alignment, the Eastern teams have a choice - they can be stuck with grossly unfair playoff qualification odds, or be stuck with the "burden" of an early trip to the West Coast that would probably work out to one such trip, per team, per generation, on average.

Call me biased, but if I were an Eastern team owner I think I would take my chances with the latter option.

Nevertheless, in any event, assuming the league does go with any form of the crossover rule (or "wild card") then the argument against my suggested 7-7-7-9 distribution remains invalid.


Last edited by Rupertslander: 02-24-2013 at 06:47 PM.
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02-24-2013, 06:57 PM
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Wasn't it just going to be that you play each team in your conference 4 times (so 4 x 8=32) or (4 x 7=28) and the rest of the league for the remainder of the games (22/23 teams, playing each either twice or three times)?

That was my understanding.

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02-24-2013, 07:31 PM
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If a wildcard is going to take place, it needs to be in place regardless if the 4th and 5th place teams are 1 point apart or 10 points apart and doesn't matter how many teams the 2 teams meet in the regular season.

Not a fan having the number of the postseason or play-in games spots determined by a series of what if scenarios.

Also not a fan of only having some conferences having extra spots over other conferences but it's a carrot to get the PA to accept the 4 group format.

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02-24-2013, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightygoose View Post
If a wildcard is going to take place, it needs to be in place regardless if the 4th and 5th place teams are 1 point apart or 10 points apart and doesn't matter how many teams the 2 teams meet in the regular season.

Not a fan having the number of the postseason or play-in games spots determined by a series of what if scenarios.

Also not a fan of only having some conferences having extra spots over other conferences but it's a carrot to get the PA to accept the 4 group format.
Why should some Conferences have extra Playoff spots over others? At least I've been told that this is a pure in-Conference Wildcard play-in, not between Conferences. Contrary to you, I'd be happier if it were between these phony Conferences and not be a strict top-4 within the Conference.

And why the hell should a team in 5th, 10pts behind the 4th, have a 1 game chance to take the 4th spot? That's just pure ******** and doesn't balance out anything.

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02-24-2013, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoreOrr View Post
Why should some Conferences have extra Playoff spots over others? At least I've been told that this is a pure in-Conference Wildcard play-in, not between Conferences. Contrary to you, I'd be happier if it were between these phony Conferences and not be a strict top-4 within the Conference.

And why the hell should a team in 5th, 10pts behind the 4th, have a 1 game chance to take the 4th spot? That's just pure ******** and doesn't balance out anything.
+1, though I will re-iterate that whether the League calls these groups Divisions or Conferences doesn't really matter to me.

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02-24-2013, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnLennon View Post
Wasn't it just going to be that you play each team in your conference 4 times (so 4 x 8=32) or (4 x 7=28) and the rest of the league for the remainder of the games (22/23 teams, playing each either twice or three times)?

That was my understanding.
No. Teams will play home and away outside the its own division/conference, and the rest within - that's 6 times for 7 team groups and 5-6 for 8 team groups.

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02-24-2013, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Mightygoose View Post
If a wildcard is going to take place, it needs to be in place regardless if the 4th and 5th place teams are 1 point apart or 10 points apart and doesn't matter how many teams the 2 teams meet in the regular season.

Not a fan having the number of the postseason or play-in games spots determined by a series of what if scenarios.

Also not a fan of only having some conferences having extra spots over other conferences but it's a carrot to get the PA to accept the 4 group format.
Having 5 playoff spots for the Eastern conferences and 4 for the Western conferences doesn't fix **** - it makes things worse.

The only way to make the playoffs fair is the cross-over rule as I previously discussed.

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02-24-2013, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoreOrr View Post
Why should some Conferences have extra Playoff spots over others? At least I've been told that this is a pure in-Conference Wildcard play-in, not between Conferences. Contrary to you, I'd be happier if it were between these phony Conferences and not be a strict top-4 within the Conference.

And why the hell should a team in 5th, 10pts behind the 4th, have a 1 game chance to take the 4th spot? That's just pure ******** and doesn't balance out anything.
My understanding that it was just within the conference as well but I'm curious too see more concrete details, if this proposal goes anywhere at all.

If another playoff stop or 2 are added, it should absolutely be a fixed number and not based on the gap between seeds. When MLB added the 2nd wildcard, there was never a caveat that the 2nd wildcard needed to finish within X number of games of the 1st to force then wildcard game. The networks alone will want the certainty that the game(s) is on the schedule regardless.

Then again, by this time next week there could be a number of new proposals out there and this wildcard format will be long forgotten.

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02-24-2013, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rupertslander View Post
Having 5 playoff spots for the Eastern conferences and 4 for the Western conferences doesn't fix **** - it makes things worse.

The only way to make the playoffs fair is the cross-over rule as I previously discussed.
Just don't see how a cross over works with 4 conferences. At least the CFL only has 2 groups (and still can't stand it).

If 5th in an eastern conference crossed over into the 4th in a pacific zone place. Do they advance in that bracket? Don't think that will address the travel concerns especially for the first seed in the pacific having to travel back and forth to the east coast in round 1. Though I acknowledge that was an extreme example I brought up.

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02-24-2013, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightygoose View Post
Just don't see how a cross over works with 4 conferences. At least the CFL only has 2 groups (and still can't stand it).

If 5th in an eastern conference crossed over into the 4th in a pacific zone place. Do they advance in that bracket? Don't think that will address the travel concerns especially for the first seed in the pacific having to travel back and forth to the east coast in round 1. Though I acknowledge that was an extreme example I brought up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rupertslander View Post
+1, though I will re-iterate that whether the League calls these groups Divisions or Conferences doesn't really matter to me.
That's why it makes a difference whether it's Conferences or Divisions. I'd absolutely prefer that it's Divisions, but that should entail a different scheduling matrix than the one apparently planned to use. As Conferences, therefore, and with the planned schedule matrix, crossovers between Conferences wouldn't make sense. Thus I see this whole 4-Conference plan as pure adulterated garbage! The Playoffs won't be the top-16, which it hasn't been anyway, and not the top-8, but rather just the top-4, which could include even poorer teams in the Playoffs than the current system already does.

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02-24-2013, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightygoose View Post
Just don't see how a cross over works with 4 conferences. At least the CFL only has 2 groups (and still can't stand it).

If 5th in an eastern conference crossed over into the 4th in a pacific zone place. Do they advance in that bracket? Don't think that will address the travel concerns especially for the first seed in the pacific having to travel back and forth to the east coast in round 1. Though I acknowledge that was an extreme example I brought up.
What I mean by a "crossover" is not and never has been a copy of the CFL's format.

Under my suggestion, essentially, regardless of whether it's four, five or six groups and regardless of whether those groups are called "conferences" or "divisions", the top 2 teams from each group plus whatever number of "wildcards" adds up to 16 teams is what qualifies for the playoffs. In the case of a four conference alignment that means eight wildcards.

For the first & second rounds, first in each conference always plays the bottom qualifying team to make the playoffs in its own conference, second plays second from bottom, etc. until we run out of teams in each conference.

Thus, when there are odd numbers of teams in conferences, it is the "middle" seeds which play one another, with home ice based on regular season record.

So, for example, if five teams qualify from an eastern conference, three in the Central and four in each of the other two, then in the eastern conference it is paired 1v5 & 2v4, and in the Central it is paired 1v3. The "crossover series" is therefore between second in the Central and third in the eastern conference.

Any series with long distance travel could be played as 2-3-2 format to mitigate the effect of travel.

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02-24-2013, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by MoreOrr View Post
That's why it makes a difference whether it's Conferences or Divisions. I'd absolutely prefer that it's Divisions, but that should entail a different scheduling matrix than the one apparently planned to use. As Conferences, therefore, and with the planned schedule matrix, crossovers between Conferences wouldn't make sense. Thus I see this whole 4-Conference plan as pure adulterated garbage! The Playoffs won't be the top-16, which it hasn't been anyway, and not the top-8, but rather just the top-4, which could include even poorer teams in the Playoffs than the current system already does.
The proposed scheduling matrix calls for teams to play the majority of games (44 or 46) outside their own group. So the argument that a crossover between these groups (whatever they're called) "doesn't make sense" is an argument I cannot accept.

I am not trying to suggest the four conference proposal is necessarily "superior" to all others, BUT, with a crossover the proposed alignment DOES in fact allow for the top 16 teams to qualify for the playoffs.

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02-24-2013, 11:58 PM
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A better solution...
  • have divisions that are effectively conferences DURING THE SEASON
  • FOR THE PLAYOFFS have
    • a western conference (Campbell?)
      • Pacific division with 7 teams
      • Central division with 8 teams
    • an eastern conference (Wales?)
      • Atlantic division (7 or 8 teams)
      • Northeast division (7 or 8 teams; not the same number as Atlantic)
  • top 3 from each division qualify for playoffs
  • from the teams that did not make top-3-seed, the 2 highest-ranking teams in western conference will be seeded 7 and 8 in the west.
  • ditto for eastern conference

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02-25-2013, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Mightygoose View Post
If a wildcard is going to take place, it needs to be in place regardless if the 4th and 5th place teams are 1 point apart or 10 points apart and doesn't matter how many teams the 2 teams meet in the regular season.
Exactly.

And the wildcard should ideally be for all 4 divisions, imo. 1-3 are locks, 4 and 5 play a 1-game play-in. Only the worst of the worst won't get a crack at the playoffs, and those teams don't deserve to complain about "fairness".

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02-25-2013, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by MoreOrr View Post
To show my objectivity and to give you guys who are again falling all over yourselves in support of the newly proposed 4-Conference arrangement, I've come up with an idea about how a "wildcard" play-in could actually appease the PA and make some sense.

If the League is stilling insisting or planning on a home-and-home against every team in the League, and if it's still planning a top-4 Divisional Playoff, then that would leave 8-team Divisions, oh excuse me, Conferences with an imbalance in the number of games that some teams inside the Conference play against each other.
2 x 22 = 44 games
6 x 3 = 18 games
5 x 4 = 20 games

So, imagine this situation: The 4th place team finishes with 88pt, the 5th with 86 or 87pt, but those two teams have only played each other 5 times. If a 6th game between the two could be won by the 5th place team, and if that win would be enough to overtake the 4th place team in the Standings, then that 6th game would be the Wildcard game.

If, on the other hand, the 4th and 5th place teams have already played their even series of 6 games against, then no wildcard game should be played and the Standings go as they are.

That may not be what the League would do, but that would at least somewhat justify the Wildcard idea.

* One problem could be, what if there are two teams only 1 point below the 4th place team, and both have only played against the 4th place team only 5 times?


One could say that such a format could be used between any two teams in the top-4 which haven't played the 6th game against each other and the point difference is such that the lower team could overtake the other if it could win a 6th meeting between the two. But of course I doubt the League would apply it that far.


I still hate and absolutely do not agree with a strict top-4 Divisional Playoff!!!

And to the Mods, I fully expect that this post should be merged with perhaps the Matrix thread. I'm posting it now as a separate thread to at least draw temporary attention to it.
I think you are thinking waaaaay too much and making it too complicated. If they are insisting on the home and home with each team, then I agree with how they will schedule the games as what you said. An extra game against 3 teams in the conference. Hoping they come up with a formula based on the prior year's standings to determine the extra game, but I doubt it. Anyways, if they implement the wild card, it will simply be 4th place vs 5th place. Maybe a 1 game, maybe a best of 3. My only hope is they treat them like play-off games and not regular season. So, no shoot-outs. Play OT until someone scores. In MLB, before they had the play-in game this year, all 1-game play-offs were counted in regular season stats and records.

To play devil's advocate on your point. If the teams have played 6 times and are 4-5, what if they have split at 3-3? Or, an equal amount of points when you throw-in the charity point. Have the 7th game to break the tie.

I am also assuming that if you had a case of teams being tied for 5th, they would use the current tie-breaker they use now.

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02-25-2013, 07:01 AM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rupertslander View Post
The proposed scheduling matrix calls for teams to play the majority of games (44 or 46) outside their own group. So the argument that a crossover between these groups (whatever they're called) "doesn't make sense" is an argument I cannot accept.
I 100% agree with that. More than 1/2 the games outside these mini-Conferences, but strictly a top-4 Conference Playoff... That's pure BS.

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02-25-2013, 07:38 AM
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I 100% agree with that. More than 1/2 the games outside these mini-Conferences, but strictly a top-4 Conference Playoff... That's pure BS.
OK, then 1 game against teams outside your conference (22 or 23 games) alternating the home game each year. 7 team conferences play their conference teams 10 times each (play one only 9) and 8 team conferences 8 times against 3 teams in the conference and 9 times against 4 teams in the conference.

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02-25-2013, 08:11 AM
  #19
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Love the proposed system.

Are there some flaws? Sure. But the current system has way more flaws.

I find it funny that certain people spend so much time complaining about this change, but yet the system we have has been unbalanced and unfair and its still produced entertaining hockey. The new system will as well. And it clearly benefits their tv partners, which is important.

I think a play in for the eastern conference makes good sense, but hopefully they get to 32 or 28 teams quickly, so all conferences have the play in.

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02-25-2013, 08:17 AM
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I can't see the PA going crazy about a wildcard race. Too much potential for injury, unneccessary extra games, etc. The wildcard spot should be based on one of two records. Ideally, in a divisional playoff format, use record vs division. The caveat to that is the uneven number of games played. Next idea, is the record vs all other conferences. If home/home vs all other conferences is put in place, it gives an equal sample for both teams. Caveat to this, if it's a divisional playoff format, you should use divisional(conference) standings, not leaguewide standings.

Basically, my thoughts come down to which scenario makes the best sense. My suggestions present a 'wildcard' feel without having to play any more games than needed. Both are easy enough to explain to the casual fan. Am I a fan of the'wildcard' thought? God no! But if it's a concession to the PA, I'm sure they'd like to see a safe one rather than risk injury from playing extra games.

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02-25-2013, 08:55 AM
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Its in everyones best interest to increase revenues. So at some point there will be a play in round.

The easiest way to do it is to say the two conferences with eight teams have a one game play in between 4th and 5th place. its not exactly even I'm terms of percentage chance of making the playoffs, but its close enough. Yes it adds an extra game for those two conferences, but the revenue generation will be worth it. And eventually, when they get to 32 teams all conferences will have that set up.

You could also argue that its a good trade off because the "western" conferences have tougher travel for the playoffs.

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02-25-2013, 09:06 AM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garry1221 View Post
I can't see the PA going crazy about a wildcard race. Too much potential for injury, unneccessary extra games, etc. The wildcard spot should be based on one of two records. Ideally, in a divisional playoff format, use record vs division. The caveat to that is the uneven number of games played. Next idea, is the record vs all other conferences. If home/home vs all other conferences is put in place, it gives an equal sample for both teams. Caveat to this, if it's a divisional playoff format, you should use divisional(conference) standings, not leaguewide standings.

Basically, my thoughts come down to which scenario makes the best sense. My suggestions present a 'wildcard' feel without having to play any more games than needed. Both are easy enough to explain to the casual fan. Am I a fan of the'wildcard' thought? God no! But if it's a concession to the PA, I'm sure they'd like to see a safe one rather than risk injury from playing extra games.
Your idea doesn't solve the fundamental issue hte PA has with the 4 divisions. There's a 57% chance of making hte playoffs in a 7 team conference while only a 50% in an 8 team conference. Determining the final playoff spot in an interesting way in an 8 team conference doesn't change the fact that only 4 out of the 8 make it.

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02-25-2013, 11:11 AM
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Your idea doesn't solve the fundamental issue hte PA has with the 4 divisions. There's a 57% chance of making hte playoffs in a 7 team conference while only a 50% in an 8 team conference. Determining the final playoff spot in an interesting way in an 8 team conference doesn't change the fact that only 4 out of the 8 make it.
cheswick,

I understand your reasoning here, and I agree with it. However, I also believe that the real question is not "Do I agree or disagree?" but rather "Does the PA agree or disagree?"

I will submit the idea that right now, WE DON'T KNOW. We know that the PA expressed concerns about 2 things 14 months ago: 1) Travel 2) Playoff equity.

We don't know if this release by HNIC is a leak from the NHL or not. We don't know how much input the PA had into it.

That said, I could see the PA saying "57% in 7-team conferences. 50% in 8-team conferences. If we playoff the 4-5 teams in the 8-team conferences, that's like 4.5 teams making the playoffs. 56%. Very close. We are ok with that."

The math really doesn't make sense to me. But, to further the discussion, while those mini playoffs are happening, the 7-team conferences will get an extra day or 2 of rest. From the PA standpoint, that makes sense to me if it is the western conferences, who have more travel, are the ones getting the benefit.

My 2 cents. Fire away...

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02-25-2013, 11:19 AM
  #24
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Covering this in other thread. http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh....php?t=1358803

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