yay for us to staying in probably the first or second hardest division in the league.
I'm inclined to think that the realignment will set our playoff hopes back a few years. We can't seem to crack Dallas and Minnesota, Nashville is a tough contender, and Chicago and Detroit are Chicago and Detroit.
Here's to hoping the Blues can rise to the occasion.
Does anyone know what type of scheduling will go into this? IE how many times do we play each team? And how will that work with a division that 7 teams vs. 8?
If I was Columbus, I would be pissed right now. It will be hard to move up with a division like this.
I almost think the 8 team divisions should have 6 teams make it into the playoffs - with 3 and 6 playing each other and 4 and 5 (Maybe a best of 3 series). Then you would have them match up against the top 2 in each division.
IMO, would make it a bit more even and give more teams a chance at the playoffs.
Statistically, you don't realize how huge a disadvantage it is to be in an eight team conference. Teams in the 7 team conferences have a 14% greater probability of making the playoffs every year. That means on average they will got to the playoffs 1 more time in seven years than eight team conferences. I like the format IF it were balanced. It's total BS that the big northeast team markets get a MUCH easier path to the playoffs. It's grossly unfair. It is WAY to great of a statistical advantage.
Current points percentage order, morning of 12/7. Color coded by new conference.
10. St. Louis
12. San Jose
16. Los Angeles
20. New Jersey
27. Tampa Bay
St. Louis (4) at Minnesota (1)
Detroit (3) at Chicago (2)
Los Angeles (4) at Vancouver (1)
San Jose (3) at Phoenix (2)
Washington (4) at New York Rangers (1)
Pittsburgh (3) at Philadelphia (2)
Buffalo (4) at Boston (1)
Toronto (3) at Florida (2)
Yes, the new regular season schedule would make things different, so it's not a perfect match. But it's a good snapshot of where things stand right this minute.
The only team that could claim "injustice" would be 13th overall Dallas, left out while 17th overall Washington gets in. Considering that every year the current conference structure creates "injustice" (outside-looking-in Blues and Calgary had more points than playoff-bound Philly/NYR the year Philly made Cup Finals), I'm not convinced of the injustice claimed by some about the new structure. Yes, mathematically it's easier to qualify in a 7-team conference temporarily in this pre-32 team league, but some of the outrage is misplaced IMO.
Here's a way to look at it: it's a seven month war to win your conference (six regular season months and a playoff month), followed by a Final Four month of all the conference champs for the ultimate prize. Like college sports, your main focus is winning your conference, and then if you can pull that off, you get to go for the whole enchilada.
Something I'm not seeing discussed much anywhere, huge potential plus: MORE HOME AND HOMES. The NHL should have "Home and Home Weekends." The seven-team conference extra team could have its home-and-home with the other conference spare team that weekend.
Now when your conference mates play out of conference, it's much more immediate a rooting interest that they lose. Consider how you feel about these kind of regular season games right now, and how you will feel about them next year:
Dallas vs. LA
Vancouver vs. Minnesota
Phoenix vs. Nashville
Chicago vs. Anybody (ok, no change there)
There's going to be fewer staged fights (hopefully) and more passion-filled scrums. The fights that do break out will be because guys are genuinely PO'd and so sick of each other.
I think all of this so severely outweighs the minor objections people have. Especially for folks who've only gotten into hockey in the past 15-20 years who missed the true Norris heyday, I think they should really give this new format a chance. I think it's going to create new fans pulled in by the intensity of some of these new games. Take 'em to a home-and-home game with the crowd worked up. It's been such a marketing of stars approach these past couple decades, and not enough team vs. team organic grudge narrative. There's plenty of skill in the league to market. Let the grudges get good, let's see the personalities come out more in the thick of battle.
If you couldn't tell, I'm a huge fan of the realignment plan.
[If they go with Gretzky, Howe, Lemieux, Orr (which I'm fine with) Smythe=Gretzky, Norris=Howe, Patrick=Lemieux, Adams=Orr]
I don't have any major beef with the realignment, however I am now conflicted with both my teams being in the same conference. I feel my hate for Detroit and Chicago growing......
On the plus side I will get to see the Blues at least twice a year.
Glad about the move. Just a heads up, if for some reason you happened to go to a road game in Wpg in Jan - it could happen .....here are some pointers
1 Wear a Tuque, if for fan allegiance reasons it can't be the Jets, Blue Bombers will do
2 The red glow and burning sensation in your face is normal, please don't be alarmed.
3 Make some wisecracks about the band Nickelback will earn you some musical cred....(though this will earn you cred in most places)
4 Ensure hotel and arena are as close as possible....this may lessen the importance of point 2
All in all Winnipeg is great little city, its underestimated and belittled sometimes here in Canada, but its feisty, loyal and a little unique.