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What do you think was the most exciting playoff format

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03-07-2012, 05:53 PM
  #1
saskriders
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What do you think was the most exciting playoff format

With the NHL still needing realignment, the CBA, and the uncertainty of the Coyotes staying in Phoenix, it is still very possible that the NHL changes its playoff format. Now I'm sure the regulars on the history board can remember at least the divisional playoffs, and are more knowledgeable about the years nobody here remembers. So I was thinking that your guy's perspective on this would be a lot more note worthy then most of those people on the main boards. So what do you think was the most exciting playoff format the NHL ever had

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03-07-2012, 06:31 PM
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saskganesh
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Between 75 and 79 they had best of 3 first rounds. (First place teams got a bye). Fast and furious. Bang its over.

The rest of the way teams were ranked 1-8, and reseeded every round.

In 80 and 81, they seeded 1-16 (but first round was now 3 out of 5).

Besides shorter (and deadlier) first rounds, what this all meant was that rival teams could meet in any possible round, whether it was the first round or the finals. I liked that.

I also liked the playoffs being over by the end of May.

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03-07-2012, 07:50 PM
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seeding 1-16 is by far the best way to do playoffs, imo. it increases exposure of the league. But it requires fundamental scheduling changes. i think the last NHL idea was a epic fail.

Go back to 6 divisions, but keep the interaction between western and eastern teams, like that proposal did.

If you even go back over the past 10 seasons, the top 16 is pretty much like the top 8 of each conference, and any time it isn't, the team with more points would have made playoffs instead.

Make the schedule a lot more equal, and top 16 works fine. It really works well enough right now, considering how equal the conferences are right now.

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03-07-2012, 07:51 PM
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I love the idea of having teams meet in any potential round. Would keep things fresh and interesting and still provide rivalry matchups.

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03-07-2012, 09:23 PM
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I prefer the 80's format of divisional play.

Rivalries are built on repeated playoff series. Bruins/Habs, Habs/Nords, Flyers/Rangers, Flyers/Isles, Isles/Rangers, Oilers/Flames etc.

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03-08-2012, 07:10 AM
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I think the idea of four divisions, and having to play out of your division would work better now than it did in the 80s and early 90s. I personally had no problem with the repeat matchups that we saw from one year to the next, but I can understand how some people might not enjoy that repetitiveness.

With 7-8 teams to a division, you have a small enough group that you're guaranteed to see the same teams meet with some regularity, but there're still enough permutations that it doesn't get stale.

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03-08-2012, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saskriders View Post
With the NHL still needing realignment, the CBA, and the uncertainty of the Coyotes staying in Phoenix, it is still very possible that the NHL changes its playoff format. Now I'm sure the regulars on the history board can remember at least the divisional playoffs, and are more knowledgeable about the years nobody here remembers. So I was thinking that your guy's perspective on this would be a lot more note worthy then most of those people on the main boards. So what do you think was the most exciting playoff format the NHL ever had
OT: Is that true about Phoenix? Haven`t read a lot lately about them.

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03-08-2012, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Eisen View Post
OT: Is that true about Phoenix? Haven`t read a lot lately about them.
There hasn't been a lot said about Phoenix lately, and a lot of people have taken the no-news-is-bad-news stance. There wasn't a lot coming out of Atlanta this time last year, and the general consensus seems to be that history will repeat itself.

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03-08-2012, 08:29 AM
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I couldn't give a crap about the format in the end. It's all basically the same once you get down to it; the Ducks series and some non-zero number of non-Ducks series'. I watch the Ducks until they're out and then I stop caring. How you pick who the ducks play doesn't matter at all.

I'll still watch the games and enjoy the stories, but they'll happen anyway so there's no need to try and micro manage them into existence.

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03-08-2012, 09:19 AM
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Iain Fyffe
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To me the only really exciting playoff series would be one used to break a tie at the top of the NHL standings. Or, perhaps, one between conference champions, which would probably be fair given unbalanced schedules.

The playoffs as they have existed for decades generally hold little excitement for me, since they basically entail giving poor teams a chance to eliminate good teams by playing only a small number of games, thereby making luck a huge factor.

I don't find luck exciting.

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03-08-2012, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
To me the only really exciting playoff series would be one used to break a tie at the top of the NHL standings. Or, perhaps, one between conference champions, which would probably be fair given unbalanced schedules.

The playoffs as they have existed for decades generally hold little excitement for me, since they basically entail giving poor teams a chance to eliminate good teams by playing only a small number of games, thereby making luck a huge factor.

I don't find luck exciting.
Luck doesn't win a best-of-seven series. Ever.

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03-08-2012, 12:02 PM
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Whatever they decide to do, I hope there is a possibility, that in some cases, divisional rivals could indeed meet in the final.

Thus if the "best" teams are in the same loop/division, we are not forced to have those teams meet early, and then we don't have to deal with an anticlimax two months after the playoffs start.

Bad final matchups help no one.

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03-08-2012, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saskganesh View Post
Whatever they decide to do, I hope there is a possibility, that in some cases, divisional rivals could indeed meet in the final.

Thus if the "best" teams are in the same loop/division, we are not forced to have those teams meet early, and then we don't have to deal with an anticlimax two months after the playoffs start.

Bad final matchups help no one.
Everyone (myself included) wants it both ways - we want the best matchup possible for the finals, which can really only be accomplished by having a 1-16 setup. But we also want rivalries to develop as a result of repeated playoff matchups, something which a 1-16 setup would offer too many permutations to provide. Additionally, the league wants to keep playoff pairs within the same time zone, geographically convenient, and as TV-viewer-friendly as possible, something that can't be accomplished if every team meets every other team.

The idea of having the best matchups and the idea of developing rivalries will always come at the expense of one another.

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03-08-2012, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck Aki Berg View Post
Luck doesn't win a best-of-seven series. Ever.
Well, of course it does.

The only way you could hypothesize otherwise is if you truly believed that the better team will always defeat the worse team in a single game.

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03-08-2012, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Taco MacArthur View Post
Well, of course it does.

The only way you could hypothesize otherwise is if you truly believed that the better team will always defeat the worse team in a single game.
I disagree - I think any team could theoretically beat any other team on any night, but you can't fall ass-backwards into taking four of seven.

I'm not saying luck is a non-factor, I'm saying you need more than luck in a best-of-seven series.

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03-08-2012, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck Aki Berg View Post
I disagree - I think any team could theoretically beat any other team on any night, but you can't fall ass-backwards into taking four of seven.

I'm not saying luck is a non-factor, I'm saying you need more than luck in a best-of-seven series.
Obviously you need more than luck in a seven-game series. Otherwise, my rec league team would have a chance to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in a seven-game series.

However, luck has a significant impact - even in a seven-game series.

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03-08-2012, 01:33 PM
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As a Bruins fan, I want more playoff series vs. the Division. IMO, the most entertaining games of the regular season are vs, the division, as are the more recent series vs. Montreal and Buffalo.

I would hate 1-16, talk about boring. 2 teams that have no history meeting each other at either 1030pm EST or 4PM PST, not thanks,. I was 100% in favor of the realignment, its a shame the scrapped it.

Hell, as a STH if they ditched all the regular season games vs, the Western Conference I would be doing backflips. Those are some of the most dreadful games of the season. Luckily someone thought it was worth it to buy my seats for 8x face value to see the Red Wings, so I guess I am in the minority.

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03-08-2012, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taco MacArthur View Post
Obviously you need more than luck in a seven-game series. Otherwise, my rec league team would have a chance to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in a seven-game series.
Haven't you seen Mystery, Alaska?
Luck is factor, when games are close, one lucky game is a tiebreaker. If you have 2 lucky games - nothing impossible - you can win 4-3 or 4-2 series which you should lose 2-4. Luck is definitely a factor, but not so big and it's minimalized in best-of-7 series.

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03-08-2012, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by begbeee View Post
Haven't you seen Mystery, Alaska?
Luck is factor, when games are close, one lucky game is a tiebreaker. If you have 2 lucky games - nothing impossible - you can win 4-3 or 4-2 series which you should lose 2-4. Luck is definitely a factor, but not so big and it's minimalized in best-of-7 series.
Iain's undoubtedly going to show up with a half-dozen studies, and I can't find them with a quick Google (and I'm too lazy to do the math myself ), but the effect of luck is bigger than I think you're trying to claim.

And no matter what the effect of luck is, it's not minimized (or minimalized) in a seven-game series, since the effect of luck would be lesser in a nine-game series, or an eleven-game series (or et cetera).

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03-08-2012, 03:25 PM
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Probably all have their pro and cons, it is sad in a way that we never got a RedWings-Av's stanley cup finals, or if nothing change a Habs-Leafs-Boston, etc...

the 1 vs 16, 2 vs 15 have is avantage, but also a lot of issue with tv scheduling.

The small division matchup, (first of a div vs a 4) etc... give great rivalry, but can strongly avantage some team in weak division.

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03-08-2012, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck Aki Berg View Post
Luck doesn't win a best-of-seven series. Ever.
No? Never? Are you really, really sure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck Aki Berg View Post
I disagree - I think any team could theoretically beat any other team on any night, but you can't fall ass-backwards into taking four of seven.
This is why I ask. Your second statement directly contradicts your first. Clearly if any team can beat any other team in a single game, then there is some smaller chance that that same team can beat any other in a best-of-seven.

This is simple mathematics. It's not debatable. You can't agree that a single game can be won by the worse team and then claim that the same team cannot win four of seven. It simply does not and cannot follow, unless you believe in magic.

That being said, I have actually seen that claim made by persons in the media. A big head-shaking moment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck Aki Berg View Post
I'm not saying luck is a non-factor, I'm saying you need more than luck in a best-of-seven series.
This is true, but that's not what you said. You said that no team can ever win a seven-game series due to luck. That is highly improbable, considering you admitted in the previous breath that any team can beat any other team in a particular game. The media does tend to use any ad hoc explanation they can dream up to explain a particular series result (their job is to produce narratives, not dispassionate analysis), anything to deny that luck plays a big role in the playoffs. Luck is boring, and they can't have the playoffs being boring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taco MacArthur View Post
And no matter what the effect of luck is, it's not minimized (or minimalized) in a seven-game series, since the effect of luck would be lesser in a nine-game series, or an eleven-game series (or et cetera).
Indeed. How can luck be "minimized" in 7 (or fewer) games, when compared to 82? Mr. Berg is making some very internally-incongruous statements.

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03-08-2012, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Taco MacArthur View Post
Iain's undoubtedly going to show up with a half-dozen studies, and I can't find them with a quick Google (and I'm too lazy to do the math myself ), but the effect of luck is bigger than I think you're trying to claim.
I don't feel like doing the math either, but will say that in a mismatch, with the lesser team having only a 35% of winning any particular game, this lesser team still has a 1.5% chance to win the best-of-seven in four straight. That's easy math.

Their overall chance of winning the series is less than 35%, but it's not zero.

Again, unless you believe in magic.

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03-09-2012, 04:31 AM
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Assuming the better team has a 65% chance of winning each game, and each game in independent and blah blah blah, then the chance they'll win a seven game series is about 80.0%

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03-09-2012, 05:07 AM
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Obviously luck had something to do with who will win in the playoffs, but if you think that luck is the only (or even the main) reason an inferior regular season team would beat a superior regular season team, you're out to lunch.

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03-09-2012, 06:37 AM
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Buck Aki Berg
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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
Mr. Berg is making some very internally-incongruous statements.
That's the nicest thing anyone has ever said about me

My belief on how far luck can take you really depends on what you and I consider to be 'luck', as well as where luck ends and everything else starts. We can all agree that a fortuitous bounce off the boards that goes in the net is luck, and we can argue that a blown call is lucky for the team that benefits. But what about a low-seeded team playing a higher-seeded team that they happen to match well with, were they "lucky" to have that opponent? Suppose five minutes into the first game their star goalie pulls a hamstring and can no longer play. Is that luck?

I believe that luck creates opportunities that wouldn't otherwise exist, but it takes a skilled team to capitalize on those opportunities and exploit them for everything they're worth. A lot of people think the Wings got lucky in 2002 against Vancouver - the common belief is that they don't win that series if Lidstrom doesn't score that lucky goal from centre ice in game 3. That belief has merit, but only because the Wings had the skill set to use that one goal as a starting point to build their comeback in the series. They knew they had blown Cloutier's confidence and shaken the Canucks, and they knew how to use that to their advantage.

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