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What do you think was the most exciting playoff format

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Old
03-09-2012, 09:45 AM
  #26
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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.
I don't think that anyone's saying that (in fact, I've already directly addressed that in the thread).

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03-09-2012, 10:03 AM
  #27
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
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.
Absolutely. Good thing no one has said that, eh?

All I'm saying is that luck is significantly and noticeably more important in the playoffs than the regular season. Thus making it less interesting to me, since to me finding out which team is the better team is a big part of the reason the games are played in the first place.

Each individual playoff game is just as interesting as a regular-season game, of course. It's still hockey. But the results of playoff series aren't as interesting as the regular-season results.

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Originally Posted by Buck Aki Berg View Post
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?
When I say luck, I mean things that are beyond your control. So in your above examples, the bounce off the boards is luck, as is the blown call I suppose. The goalie pulling a hamstring is also luck (mostly, assuming this goalie doesn't have a history of hammy injuries).

A favourable matchup is not luck.

However, it is still arguably unfair. The better-seeded team demonstrated over the regular season that they were a better team overall. They might match up poorly against a particular team, but to finish ahead of that team in the standings presumably they matched up well against most other teams.

So, to go back on what I just said a bit, it's partly luck. It's luck in the sense of who you draw in the playoff round. The matchup on the ice, however, is not luck. If you follow me.

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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.
Absolutely. Good teams will benefit more from a particular piece of luck than poor teams.

That doesn't relate well to "luck never wins a series, ever" though.

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03-09-2012, 10:42 AM
  #28
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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
Absolutely. Good thing no one has said that, eh?

All I'm saying is that luck is significantly and noticeably more important in the playoffs than the regular season. Thus making it less interesting to me, since to me finding out which team is the better team is a big part of the reason the games are played in the first place.

Each individual playoff game is just as interesting as a regular-season game, of course. It's still hockey. But the results of playoff series aren't as interesting as the regular-season results.


When I say luck, I mean things that are beyond your control. So in your above examples, the bounce off the boards is luck, as is the blown call I suppose. The goalie pulling a hamstring is also luck (mostly, assuming this goalie doesn't have a history of hammy injuries).

A favourable matchup is not luck.

However, it is still arguably unfair. The better-seeded team demonstrated over the regular season that they were a better team overall. They might match up poorly against a particular team, but to finish ahead of that team in the standings presumably they matched up well against most other teams.

So, to go back on what I just said a bit, it's partly luck. It's luck in the sense of who you draw in the playoff round. The matchup on the ice, however, is not luck. If you follow me.


Absolutely. Good teams will benefit more from a particular piece of luck than poor teams.

That doesn't relate well to "luck never wins a series, ever" though.
Okay, maybe I misunderstood something. I do strongly disagree with the hint that somehow the regular season does a better job of determining the better team.

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03-09-2012, 10:55 AM
  #29
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Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan View Post
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.
This^

You want rivalries? You want hate? This is the way to do it. 1 through 16 is kinda neat in the fact that there's more possibilities for match-ups, but it's even further away from creating rivalries as the current 1 through 8 setup. It would be neat at first like the 1-8 was, but fans still want rivalries and there's no better way to do it than having the divisional format.

The NHL expressed their want for rivalries when they pinned divisional foes against each other 8 times in the regular season recently, that failed. The only way to do it is in the playoffs and the only way to do that is with the divisional format. Period. Until then, they'll never have it right.

People also need to stop worrying about trying to set it up so the "best teams" play each other in the final. It's sports - it's not meant to be a perfect science. Some times the best two reg season teams will face off in the second round, some times in the conference final, and some times in the Cup final. It's unpredictable. Big deal. That's the way the cookie crumbles. Quit trying to control it.


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03-09-2012, 11:05 AM
  #30
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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
All I'm saying is that luck is significantly and noticeably more important in the playoffs than the regular season. Thus making it less interesting to me, since to me finding out which team is the better team is a big part of the reason the games are played in the first place.
It comes down to your definition of better. I like your concept that the best team is the one that is #1 in the standings after 82 games. But the prevalent view in North America seems to be that you have to "step it up" in the playoffs and to "outgrow yourself" to overcome even the one team that you usually match up poorly against. The outcome of the playoffs seems like God's judgement on the character of the teams and the players: teams/players who fail don't have the right mentality, teams/players who win have the right mentality. Of course this view has also gained ground in Europe since the playoffs were taken over from the NHL in the 1970s-1990s. A lot of people love the corresponding narratives and define better and best accordingly.

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03-09-2012, 11:17 AM
  #31
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Originally Posted by Theokritos View Post
It comes down to your definition of better. I like your concept that the best team is the one that is #1 in the standings after 82 games. But the prevalent view in North America seems to be that you have to "step it up" in the playoffs and to "outgrow yourself" to overcome even the one team that you usually match up poorly against. The outcome of the playoffs seems like God's judgement on the character of the teams and the players: teams/players who fail don't have the right mentality, teams/players who win have the right mentality. Of course this view has also gained ground in Europe since the playoffs were taken over from the NHL in the 1970s-1990s. A lot of people love the corresponding narratives and define better and best accordingly.
The Stanley Cup goes to the team that wins 4 7-game playoff series. Everyone knows it before the start of the season. So the team best equipped to win in the playoffs is the best team. And no, being equipped to dominate the regular season is not at all the same thing as being equipped to win in the playoffs. See the Washington Capitals of a couple of years ago.

I realize luck is a factor, but I think the Stanley Cup winner is much more likely to be deserving of being call the "best team" than the President's Trophy winner. Hell, I've seen teams that have already clinched their conference flat out throw away the chance at winning the President's Trophy by resting players down the stretch.

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03-09-2012, 11:19 AM
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I'm not concerned with watching to find out which team is "better", I'm concerned with watching to find out which team wins.

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03-09-2012, 11:20 AM
  #33
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Originally Posted by tjcurrie View Post
This^

You want rivalries? You want hate? This is the way to do it. 1 through 16 is kinda neat in the fact that there's more possibilities for match-ups, but it's even further away from creating rivalries as the current 1 through 8 setup. It would be neat at first like the 1-8 was, but fans still want rivalries and there's no better way to do it than having the divisional format.

The NHL expressed their want for rivalries when they pinned divisional foes against each other 8 times in the regular season recently, that failed. The only way to do it is in the playoffs and the only way to do that is with the divisional format. Period. Until then, they'll never have it right.

People also need to stop worrying about trying to set it up so the "best teams" play each other in the final. It's sports - it's not meant to be a perfect science. Some times the best two reg season teams will face off in the second round, some times in the conference final, and some times in the Cup final. It's unpredictable. Big deal. That's the way the cookie crumbles. Quit trying to control it.
I think you might have just convinced me to favor divisional playoffs. With the salary cap and free agency, I don't think you see as much disparity between the divisions as they did in the 80s

I hate the idea of seeding teams 1-16. It's also pretty much impossible to do fairly - teams would need to play basically even schedules - which not only hurts rivalries further, but would be extremely difficult with travel considerations, I'd think

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03-09-2012, 11:29 AM
  #34
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I think you might have just convinced me to favor divisional playoffs. With the salary cap and free agency, I don't think you see as much disparity between the divisions as they did in the 80s

I hate the idea of seeding teams 1-16. It's also pretty much impossible to do fairly - teams would need to play basically even schedules - which not only hurts rivalries further, but would be extremely difficult with travel considerations, I'd think
I'm gonna mark this day on the calendar Usually we're buttin heads

I'm seriously begging for the day they return to the divisional format. There's always gonna be imperfections no matter how you set it up, but we as fans for the most part want to see rivalries and bad blood between teams/players. Rather than waiting until game 4 or 5 to have some type of story line to make things get a little interesting.

Like you said, with the cap and free agency, there will still be more parody in the league. And in the event a 86 point team takes the 4th seed in one division while a 89 point teams takes 5th in another, that falls under the category of "OH WELL". Even if it was my team that got screwed. It's sports.

Personally, I grew up watching my North Stars play the Blues and/or the Hawks every year. Repetitive? I guess technically it was, but exciting? Hell yeah. Nothing in the current format, or any other format, can match something like that. And I'm sure it's the same for all the Oilers-Flames-Kings fans, Flyers-Caps-Penguins fans, etc etc etc.

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03-09-2012, 11:43 AM
  #35
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Okay, maybe I misunderstood something. I do strongly disagree with the hint that somehow the regular season does a better job of determining the better team.
The better team, in the sense of the team best able to deal with a wide variety of opponents, rather than the maximum of four you face in the playoffs. The overall better team, not the better-in-certain-circumstances team.

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Originally Posted by Theokritos View Post
It comes down to your definition of better. I like your concept that the best team is the one that is #1 in the standings after 82 games. But the prevalent view in North America seems to be that you have to "step it up" in the playoffs and to "outgrow yourself" to overcome even the one team that you usually match up poorly against. The outcome of the playoffs seems like God's judgement on the character of the teams and the players: teams/players who fail don't have the right mentality, teams/players who win have the right mentality. Of course this view has also gained ground in Europe since the playoffs were taken over from the NHL in the 1970s-1990s. A lot of people love the corresponding narratives and define better and best accordingly.
What you've said here is quite accurate I think. Regardless of what the playoffs actually are, they are built up far beyond that in terms of narratives.

In European football, as I understand it, the regular-season champions and the post-season cup champs are accorded roughly equal prestige. I think that's far more reasonable then the "you're nothing if you don't win the Cup" attitude common in North America.

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
The Stanley Cup goes to the team that wins 4 7-game playoff series. Everyone knows it before the start of the season. So the team best equipped to win in the playoffs is the best team. And no, being equipped to dominate the regular season is not at all the same thing as being equipped to win in the playoffs. See the Washington Capitals of a couple of years ago.
If the idea of "playoff teams" were really true, then the graph of Stanley Cup winners by regular-season position would not look the way it does. The way it looks is that the best regular-season teams have the best chance to win the Stanley Cup, in descending order, with some random chance thrown in. I've written about this before. The Stanley Cup results are exactly what you'd expect if you took the regular-season results to indicate each team's quality, then added more randomness due to short playoff series.

Perhaps when you see a "choking" team, it's merely luck playing a greater role than you realize? You'll certainly never hear luck mentioned as a reason in the media - they're all about heart and character and wanting it more. Anything to avoid it having anything to do with luck.

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I realize luck is a factor, but I think the Stanley Cup winner is much more likely to be deserving of being call the "best team" than the President's Trophy winner. Hell, I've seen teams that have already clinched their conference flat out throw away the chance at winning the President's Trophy by resting players down the stretch.
Great teams lose four out of seven games all the time. Do it in the regular season and no one notices. Do it in the playoffs and you're a choker. Whether or not you're a "winner" shouldn't depend on what the calendar says.

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Originally Posted by tjcurrie View Post
I'm not concerned with watching to find out which team is "better", I'm concerned with watching to find out which team wins.
If the better team doesn't have the better chance of winning, wouldn't a coin flip then suffice?

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03-09-2012, 11:54 AM
  #36
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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
The better team, in the sense of the team best able to deal with a wide variety of opponents, rather than the maximum of four you face in the playoffs. The overall better team, not the better-in-certain-circumstances team.


What you've said here is quite accurate I think. Regardless of what the playoffs actually are, they are built up far beyond that in terms of narratives.

In European football, as I understand it, the regular-season champions and the post-season cup champs are accorded roughly equal prestige. I think that's far more reasonable then the "you're nothing if you don't win the Cup" attitude common in North America.


If the idea of "playoff teams" were really true, then the graph of Stanley Cup winners by regular-season position would not look the way it does. The way it looks is that the best regular-season teams have the best chance to win the Stanley Cup, in descending order, with some random chance thrown in. I've written about this before. The Stanley Cup results are exactly what you'd expect if you took the regular-season results to indicate each team's quality, then added more randomness due to short playoff series.

Perhaps when you see a "choking" team, it's merely luck playing a greater role than you realize? You'll certainly never hear luck mentioned as a reason in the media - they're all about heart and character and wanting it more. Anything to avoid it having anything to do with luck.


Great teams lose four out of seven games all the time. Do it in the regular season and no one notices. Do it in the playoffs and you're a choker. Whether or not you're a "winner" shouldn't depend on what the calendar says.


If the better team doesn't have the better chance of winning, wouldn't a coin flip then suffice?
No. It's about watching how everything unfolds game by game. Forget who's the "better team", screw all that. Start the series and watch to see who brings it and who doesn't. A movie isn't as good if you just fast forward to the last scene. It's about everything that builds up to that. Is the winner always the better team? No, but that's the beauty of it. It's unpredictable and there's plenty of factors that determine the outcome. That's sports.

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03-09-2012, 11:58 AM
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The better team, in the sense of the team best able to deal with a wide variety of opponents, rather than the maximum of four you face in the playoffs. The overall better team, not the better-in-certain-circumstances team.
You're forgetting one important circumstance - the ability to withstand the physical and psychological pressure of a seven game series against the same opponent with no second chance. An opponent that has a specific and focused game plan to exploit your weaknesses over those 4-7 games. Then doing it three more times in short order. The regular season has nothing like that.

Quote:
If the idea of "playoff teams" were really true, then the graph of Stanley Cup winners by regular-season position would not look the way it does. The way it looks is that the best regular-season teams have the best chance to win the Stanley Cup, in descending order, with some random chance thrown in. I've written about this before. The Stanley Cup results are exactly what you'd expect if you took the regular-season results to indicate each team's quality, then added more randomness due to short playoff series.
Quote:
Perhaps when you see a "choking" team, it's merely luck playing a greater role than you realize? You'll certainly never hear luck mentioned as a reason in the media - they're all about heart and character and wanting it more. Anything to avoid it having anything to do with luck.
Or maybe it's because playoff hockey isn't exactly like regular season hockey, a view universally shared by every player and coach I've ever seem talk. I don't think luck was a major reason the Washington Capitals couldn't just run and gun their way through the playoffs like in the regular season.

Quote:
Great teams lose four out of seven games all the time. Do it in the regular season and no one notices. Do it in the playoffs and you're a choker. Whether or not you're a "winner" shouldn't depend on what the calendar says.
There is something to be said about peaking at the right time, though usually slumps that great teams go through can be explained by external factors (such as being so far ahead in the standings that it's hard to fully focus).

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03-09-2012, 12:21 PM
  #38
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The Stanley Cup goes to the team that wins 4 7-game playoff series. Everyone knows it before the start of the season. So the team best equipped to win in the playoffs is the best team. And no, being equipped to dominate the regular season is not at all the same thing as being equipped to win in the playoffs. See the Washington Capitals of a couple of years ago.
Absolutely. April 2010 Canadiens > April 2010 Capitals. And still, I think the 2009-10 Capitals are better than the 2009-10 Canadiens.

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I realize luck is a factor, but I think the Stanley Cup winner is much more likely to be deserving of being call the "best team" than the President's Trophy winner. Hell, I've seen teams that have already clinched their conference flat out throw away the chance at winning the President's Trophy by resting players down the stretch.
Fair point. But the question is: What's more telling in general, a regular season championship or a playoff championship. The NHL already uses a playoff championship system, so of course most teams don't care for the President's Trophy. But scrap the playoffs and award the Stanley Cup to the regular season champion: that's when the comparison starts. Which system is better? The one that determines the champion based on 82 games or the one that determines the champion based on 4x7=28 games (at most, the Bruins played 25 games last season)?

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In European football, as I understand it, the regular-season champions and the post-season cup champs are accorded roughly equal prestige. I think that's far more reasonable then the "you're nothing if you don't win the Cup" attitude common in North America.
The Cup is not "post season", it's a seperate competition parallel to the regular championship. It is a relict from the times when there was no league competition yet. Some Cup competitions like the FA Cup in England are still fairly prestigious because of their age and tradition, but not because they're considered as important or prestigious as the League championship. Even english top teams sometimes play reserve squads in the Cup to spare their regular players for League action. The League championship is far far more important and prestigious in almost every country. The European Federation has even discontinued the "Cup Winner's Cup" competition in 1999 because of its insignificance.

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03-09-2012, 12:41 PM
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Absolutely. April 2010 Canadiens > April 2010 Capitals. And still, I think the 2009-10 Capitals are better than the 2009-10 Canadiens.
Neither team came close to winning it all, so I don't see why anyone would care who was better. Considering how Montreal put the clamps on Washington in the final 2 games, one could certainly argue that they were a better team. Sometimes the best collection of talent isn't the better team.

I am very confident in saying Chicago was the best team that year.

Quote:
Fair point. But the question is: What's more telling in general, a regular season championship or a playoff championship. The NHL already uses a playoff championship system, so of course most teams don't care for the President's Trophy. But scrap the playoffs and award the Stanley Cup to the regular season champion: that's when the comparison starts. Which system is better? The one that determines the champion based on 82 games or the one that determines the champion based on 4x7=28 games (at most, the Bruins played 25 games last season)?
The one with the playoffs is much much better because the NHL playoffs are awesome

Even from a "best team" standpoint, I just don't see human beings maintaining the intensity over 82 games what they now do in the playoffs.

I get that "in theory," it's more likely the best team will have the best record over 82 games rather than 25, assuming they care as much about those 82 games as they do about the 25.

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03-09-2012, 01:27 PM
  #40
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You're forgetting one important circumstance - the ability to withstand the physical and psychological pressure of a seven game series against the same opponent with no second chance. An opponent that has a specific and focused game plan to exploit your weaknesses over those 4-7 games. Then doing it three more times in short order. The regular season has nothing like that.
And the playoffs have nothing like the marathon nature of the regular season either. The need to be ready to play 82 games over a span of six-plus months against an ever-changing array of opposing styles. That must mean the regular season is more important, because I describe it this way, right?

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Or maybe it's because playoff hockey isn't exactly like regular season hockey, a view universally shared by every player and coach I've ever seem talk. I don't think luck was a major reason the Washington Capitals couldn't just run and gun their way through the playoffs like in the regular season.
"Isn't exactly like" isn't exactly a difficult bar to get over.

I seem to recall studies suggesting that blocked shots are greatly affected by luck, and the Habs blocked a ton of shots that series. But luck doesn't make for an interesting narrative.

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
There is something to be said about peaking at the right time, though usually slumps that great teams go through can be explained by external factors (such as being so far ahead in the standings that it's hard to fully focus).
Some teams aboslutely do peak at the "right time". That's not the issue. The issue is whether this peak (real or apparent) is due to something in that team's makeup, or if we simply notice it because of its (possibly random) timing.

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The Cup is not "post season", it's a seperate competition parallel to the regular championship. It is a relict from the times when there was no league competition yet. Some Cup competitions like the FA Cup in England are still fairly prestigious because of their age and tradition, but not because they're considered as important or prestigious as the League championship. Even english top teams sometimes play reserve squads in the Cup to spare their regular players for League action. The League championship is far far more important and prestigious in almost every country. The European Federation has even discontinued the "Cup Winner's Cup" competition in 1999 because of its insignificance.
Yes, good point, I used the term post-season to equate it to the NHL. But what you're saying is, Europeans don't care about Cups? It's the league titles they respect? What a concept.

I wonder if everyone here realizes that the playoffs were not introduced in order to determine who the "real" winners are, but to make more money for the NHL (or NHA at the time) owners.

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03-09-2012, 01:46 PM
  #41
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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
The better team, in the sense of the team best able to deal with a wide variety of opponents, rather than the maximum of four you face in the playoffs. The overall better team, not the better-in-certain-circumstances team.


What you've said here is quite accurate I think. Regardless of what the playoffs actually are, they are built up far beyond that in terms of narratives.

In European football, as I understand it, the regular-season champions and the post-season cup champs are accorded roughly equal prestige. I think that's far more reasonable then the "you're nothing if you don't win the Cup" attitude common in North America.


If the idea of "playoff teams" were really true, then the graph of Stanley Cup winners by regular-season position would not look the way it does. The way it looks is that the best regular-season teams have the best chance to win the Stanley Cup, in descending order, with some random chance thrown in. I've written about this before. The Stanley Cup results are exactly what you'd expect if you took the regular-season results to indicate each team's quality, then added more randomness due to short playoff series.

Perhaps when you see a "choking" team, it's merely luck playing a greater role than you realize? You'll certainly never hear luck mentioned as a reason in the media - they're all about heart and character and wanting it more. Anything to avoid it having anything to do with luck.


Great teams lose four out of seven games all the time. Do it in the regular season and no one notices. Do it in the playoffs and you're a choker. Whether or not you're a "winner" shouldn't depend on what the calendar says.


If the better team doesn't have the better chance of winning, wouldn't a coin flip then suffice?
First bolded. Playoffs offer a competition between the top 8 teams in each conference as determined by the regular season which does not feature a balance schedule or other equalizing factors within the schedule. The SC champion team has to win 4 best of seven series in a situation where each team plays with roughly the same amount of rest and travel plus preparation time for each other. Not the case during the regular season.

Actually people do notice but recognize the factors that make up the schedule have to be considered. Playoffs teams have equal rest and prepartion time between games in a series. Rarely happens in a seven game stretch during the regular season.

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03-09-2012, 01:48 PM
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Doshell Propivo
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Regardless of the original motivation for creating a playoff system, the fact of the matter is that now it is the "be all and end all" of pro hockey. The regular season is basically a long, meaningless exhibition when compared to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Yes, players (the great ones) elevate their games in the spring. Yes the best teams pace themselves so that they can ramp it up when it matters most - in the playoffs (see the Isles in the 80's). And yes the Stanley Cup winner is truly deserving of being called "THE BEST" for that season.

This comment absolutely baffles me:
Quote:
Each individual playoff game is just as interesting as a regular-season game, of course.
HUH???!! I'd rather watch Project Runway reruns than a regular season FLA-PHI game, but if they meet in the playoffs, it's a whole different story. And an entirely different game.

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03-09-2012, 01:49 PM
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Stanley Cup

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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
And the playoffs have nothing like the marathon nature of the regular season either. The need to be ready to play 82 games over a span of six-plus months against an ever-changing array of opposing styles. That must mean the regular season is more important, because I describe it this way, right?


"Isn't exactly like" isn't exactly a difficult bar to get over.

I seem to recall studies suggesting that blocked shots are greatly affected by luck, and the Habs blocked a ton of shots that series. But luck doesn't make for an interesting narrative.


Some teams aboslutely do peak at the "right time". That's not the issue. The issue is whether this peak (real or apparent) is due to something in that team's makeup, or if we simply notice it because of its (possibly random) timing.


Yes, good point, I used the term post-season to equate it to the NHL. But what you're saying is, Europeans don't care about Cups? It's the league titles they respect? What a concept.

I wonder if everyone here realizes that the playoffs were not introduced in order to determine who the "real" winners are, but to make more money for the NHL (or NHA at the time) owners.
Actually the introduction or donation of Stanley Cup in 1893 necessitated the playoff format or the initial format of same as league champions had to be funneled somehow.

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03-09-2012, 01:57 PM
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Doshell Propivo
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On a another note - to those making comparisons to European football... Totally different. In the English Premiere League, there are 20 teams. Teams play each other home and away. 38 games. Period. Team with most points is champion.

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03-09-2012, 02:06 PM
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I'm gonna mark this day on the calendar Usually we're buttin heads

I'm seriously begging for the day they return to the divisional format. There's always gonna be imperfections no matter how you set it up, but we as fans for the most part want to see rivalries and bad blood between teams/players. Rather than waiting until game 4 or 5 to have some type of story line to make things get a little interesting.

Like you said, with the cap and free agency, there will still be more parody in the league. And in the event a 86 point team takes the 4th seed in one division while a 89 point teams takes 5th in another, that falls under the category of "OH WELL". Even if it was my team that got screwed. It's sports.
I don't even see this as an issue. Out of the teams you have the same schedule with you failed to come in the top four. You can't compare yourself to a team that has a completely different schedule.

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Personally, I grew up watching my North Stars play the Blues and/or the Hawks every year. Repetitive? I guess technically it was, but exciting? Hell yeah. Nothing in the current format, or any other format, can match something like that. And I'm sure it's the same for all the Oilers-Flames-Kings fans, Flyers-Caps-Penguins fans, etc etc etc.
This, the current format is terrible at creating rivalries. The only ones that are made in the playoffs are between teams that are both basically guaranteed to get to at least the second round (I mean how many of the Wings-Avs or Canucks-Hawks series were first round) and therefore have like a 50+% chance at playing each other. However when they are no longer both teams that are basically guaranteed second round, the rivalry dies (Wings-Avs is a good example)

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03-09-2012, 02:11 PM
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Every team has winning the Stanley Cup as their ultimate goal. They build and manage their team with this goal in mind. Why judge them by a different standard? Especially when it's very possible that teams would build and manage their teams differently if they were pursuing the regular season championship.

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03-09-2012, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
And the playoffs have nothing like the marathon nature of the regular season either. The need to be ready to play 82 games over a span of six-plus months against an ever-changing array of opposing styles. That must mean the regular season is more important, because I describe it this way, right?
So we agree that there are unique circumstances in the playoffs? That means the regular season winner isn't "the best in all circumstances" team.

Quote:
"Isn't exactly like" isn't exactly a difficult bar to get over.

I seem to recall studies suggesting that blocked shots are greatly affected by luck, and the Habs blocked a ton of shots that series. But luck doesn't make for an interesting narrative.
I'm not sure why everyone is focusing on that one series; the Capitals failed in the playoffs repeatedly.

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I wonder if everyone here realizes that the playoffs were not introduced in order to determine who the "real" winners are, but to make more money for the NHL (or NHA at the time) owners.
And it was the best decision they ever made

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03-09-2012, 02:47 PM
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Every team has winning the Stanley Cup as their ultimate goal. They build and manage their team with this goal in mind. Why judge them by a different standard? Especially when it's very possible that teams would build and manage their teams differently if they were pursuing the regular season championship.
You clearly and concisely made the point I was trying to get across.

I get that all things being equal, a larger sample size is better at getting "the correct answer," but not all things are equal.

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03-09-2012, 07:58 PM
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Neither team came close to winning it all, so I don't see why anyone would care who was better.
Because it's a familiar example of a playoff upset where a lower-ranking team defeated a higher-ranking team.

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Considering how Montreal put the clamps on Washington in the final 2 games, one could certainly argue that they were a better team.
A better team for which period of time? The 2009-10 season or only April 2010?

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Sometimes the best collection of talent isn't the better team.
Of course. Talent = potential ≠ actual performance. If the Florida Panthers finished ahead of the Washington Capitals in 2009-10, the inferior collection of talent would obviously have been the better team. Same if the Montreal Canadiens finished ahead of the Capitals. But in reality, in actual performance, not just in terms of talent level, the Capitals left the Florida Panthers far behind in the 2009-10 season. And the Canadiens too. Just not in April 2010.

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I get that "in theory," it's more likely the best team will have the best record over 82 games rather than 25, assuming they care as much about those 82 games as they do about the 25.
Fine, that's the whole point. No-one is trying to spoil your playoff fun.

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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
But what you're saying is, Europeans don't care about Cups? It's the league titles they respect? What a concept.
Generally speaking, yes. There is a huge exception though: the most prestigious trophy of them all, the European Champions Cup, awarded to the Winner of the Champions League. The Champions League is a Pan-European competition including all the best clubs. There are two stages like in the NHL: A group stage (≙ regular season) and a knockout stage (≙ playoffs). Sample sizes in the Champions League knockout stage are even smaller than in the NHL: at most 4x2 games (instead of 4x7). However, the Champions League knockout stage too is a historic relict from the days when the European Champions Cup was a pure Cup/knockout competition. With every country having its own league championship, there was and is no space and time for a real European football league analogous to the NHL. If there were a European league championship and European cup competition played out simultaneously, the Cup competition would soon lose its relevance and the league championship would be universally endorsed as the decisive and authoritative tournament. Just like it happened in every single country.

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Originally Posted by overpass View Post
Every team has winning the Stanley Cup as their ultimate goal. They build and manage their team with this goal in mind. Why judge them by a different standard? Especially when it's very possible that teams would build and manage their teams differently if they were pursuing the regular season championship.
Yes, good point, even if you dislike the playoff system, you cannot take the NHL regular season results as a 1:1 reflection of the actual quality of the teams. But the point of the critics is: it would be fairer to give the Stanley Cup to the best regular season team already. No need for playoffs.

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03-09-2012, 08:46 PM
  #50
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
So we agree that there are unique circumstances in the playoffs? That means the regular season winner isn't "the best in all circumstances" team.
There are unique circumstances in the regular season as well. There's no reason why a sprint must be better than a marathon.

The playoffs may be different (though they're not actually that different, if playoff results are to be believed), but that by itself does nothing to establish that playoff hockey is a better indication of good teams. Maybe the playoffs are different, but are worse for determining which are the best teams?

And did I not say "best in most circumstances"? I certainly meant to.

Edit: I said "overall" better, which implies better in a majority of circumstances, but not necessarily in all circumstances. Since it arose in the context of team matchups, clearly I did not mean in all circumstances.

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I get that all things being equal, a larger sample size is better at getting "the correct answer," but not all things are equal.
See above. The playoffs not being equal could in fact mean they are worse. The unproven assumption is that they are better.

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Originally Posted by Theokritos View Post
Generally speaking, yes. There is a huge exception though: the most prestigious trophy of them all, the European Champions Cup, awarded to the Winner of the Champions League.
That's certainly one situation where a playoff system is absolutely necessary. A regular season played by every team in Europe is simply not feasible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Theokritos View Post
Yes, good point, even if you dislike the playoff system, you cannot take the NHL regular season results as a 1:1 reflection of the actual quality of the teams. But the point of the critics is: it would be fairer to give the Stanley Cup to the best regular season team already. No need for playoffs.
Indeed, even regular-season results cannot be considered completely "accurate". Flukes can happen even over 82 games.

And you're right about the ultimate point. Playoffs are good and all, but it seems more fair to me to reward the team that wins more over a longer period of time than a shorter one. At the very least, the regular-season winner should not be ignored completely at the expense of the playoff winner, as we do in North America.

I'm not advocating that playoff champions should be ignored. Just that regular-season champions should not be.

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