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NHL divisional playoff format is drawing criticism

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Old
03-28-2017, 12:27 PM
  #101
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Honestly, this is just standard pre-playoff whining by people who are nervous for an edge in the bracket.

Under the old system (division winners get the top two seeds), the Metro #2 would be crying about how they have to face a hot #6 seed instead of a slumping #7.

Under a division-neutral system, you'd get people crying about how a strong team in a cupcake division can get an auto-#1 and that's not fair.

Meanwhile, this format is almost certainly going to create a Washington-Pittsburgh or Pittsburgh-Columbus series, either of which would be bonkers. And if it ends up being Washington-Columbus, then you get Pittsburgh-Toronto in the other bracket. Which is potentially the biggest first round moneymaker in history. Something tells me the NHL is ok with that.
That people would whine anyway is true, but in my opinion it makes more sense to simply have the seeding 1-8, 2-7, etc., that is the "most fair" you can get imo. With that, I would also change the divisions back to a number of six. That kind of playoffs also makes sure that Washington and Pittsburgh meet in the ECF, not in the 2nd round.

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03-28-2017, 12:45 PM
  #102
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Originally Posted by True Hockey Fan View Post
That people would whine anyway is true, but in my opinion it makes more sense to simply have the seeding 1-8, 2-7, etc., that is the "most fair" you can get imo. With that, I would also change the divisions back to a number of six. That kind of playoffs also makes sure that Washington and Pittsburgh meet in the ECF, not in the 2nd round.
And this is the heart of the issue. 1-8 with 6 divisions works absolutely perfectly for the eastern conference. Other than the Caps being kicked out of the old Patrick division, it made total sense for everyone. 1-8 with 6 divisions does not work as well in the west. As proof, I can point to Toronto, Detroit, Columbus, and any other eastern team that didn't care enough about the integrity of the league when they wouldn't voluntarily go west to even up the conferences.

The previous format was perfect for the east, and while this current format is far from perfect for anyone, it does help teams in the west to some degree. Fans might not love it, but the people paying for travel and tv networks like it more. That's why my suggestion is for each conference to adopt the playoff format that works best for each one.

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03-28-2017, 01:09 PM
  #103
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What if the 1st place team was allowed to pick their matchup (within conference) for the first round, followed by the 2nd place team and so on and so on? I think that'd be interesting and would reward teams with the ability make a strategic decision.

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03-28-2017, 01:21 PM
  #104
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Originally Posted by Peekay Sooban View Post
What if the 1st place team was allowed to pick their matchup (within conference) for the first round, followed by the 2nd place team and so on and so on? I think that'd be interesting and would reward teams with the ability make a strategic decision.
Who would be making the pick? The GM? I doubt GM's would be happy about that, unless they couldn't get fired should their team lose to their chosen matchup. The risk would be too great, and the top team would just pick the 8th seed, 2nd would pick 7th, etc. I doubt owners would get involved at that level. The players wouldn't collectively want to give the other team motivation, nor would the coaches.

Great potential drama if the ultimate result isn't held against the GM's personally and financially, but not practical in any way.

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03-28-2017, 04:56 PM
  #105
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Originally Posted by KingsFan7824 View Post
Who would be making the pick? The GM? I doubt GM's would be happy about that, unless they couldn't get fired should their team lose to their chosen matchup. The risk would be too great, and the top team would just pick the 8th seed, 2nd would pick 7th, etc. I doubt owners would get involved at that level. The players wouldn't collectively want to give the other team motivation, nor would the coaches.

Great potential drama if the ultimate result isn't held against the GM's personally and financially, but not practical in any way.
The GM would make the pick but would of course consult with coaches and whoever else. Of course they would often choose the 8th seed but with parity being what it is a top seeded team might elect to choose to play against a different team that they feel are a better matchup against.

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03-29-2017, 03:30 AM
  #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peekay Sooban View Post
What if the 1st place team was allowed to pick their matchup (within conference) for the first round, followed by the 2nd place team and so on and so on? I think that'd be interesting and would reward teams with the ability make a strategic decision.
Screw that just go with a weighted lottery system like how the NBA does it's draft lottery.

#1 team has 25% of getting the home ice, 20% for #2, 15% for #3, etc. So much drama just to see who gets home ice.

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03-29-2017, 09:49 AM
  #107
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Since its inception, I've posted about how illogical the new format is. So I'm not even going to bother down that road again.

What I do find the most hilarious about it is that the casual or new fan is completely baffled by this format. It takes forever to explain and you can't help but laugh while doing it.

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03-29-2017, 10:26 AM
  #108
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Originally Posted by Peekay Sooban View Post
The GM would make the pick but would of course consult with coaches and whoever else. Of course they would often choose the 8th seed but with parity being what it is a top seeded team might elect to choose to play against a different team that they feel are a better matchup against.
Again, great potential drama, but if their team loses, would the loss be held against the GM of the team choosing their opponent when it comes time for a job review?

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Originally Posted by CoryForVezina View Post
Since its inception, I've posted about how illogical the new format is. So I'm not even going to bother down that road again.

What I do find the most hilarious about it is that the casual or new fan is completely baffled by this format. It takes forever to explain and you can't help but laugh while doing it.
Thank the PA for that.

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03-29-2017, 10:32 AM
  #109
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Originally Posted by KingsFan7824 View Post
Who would be making the pick? The GM? I doubt GM's would be happy about that, unless they couldn't get fired should their team lose to their chosen matchup. The risk would be too great, and the top team would just pick the 8th seed, 2nd would pick 7th, etc. I doubt owners would get involved at that level. The players wouldn't collectively want to give the other team motivation, nor would the coaches.

Great potential drama if the ultimate result isn't held against the GM's personally and financially, but not practical in any way.
But if that would be the case why hasn't that ever been the system? Logic dictates that it would be but every playoff system put forth, whether it is the current divisional system or the previous one that rewarded winning a division, does not give the best team the best advantage (i.e. playing the worst team) and so on.

If we as fans want the most competitive, fair playoff possible, it should be a 62 game season (home and away vs each, including Vegas), no divisions, no conferences, with the top 16 teams making the playoffs, #1 vs. #16, #2 vs. #15, etc. The reasons why this will never been done from a $$ stand point are obvious. But it makes you realize that the playoff system is not about competitive balance, rather about $$. Currently, it's how can we better guarantee the most eyeballs on "sexier" 1st round match ups than in the old system. This system has a higher chance of Caps-Pens, Habs-Leafs, Rags-Flyers, etc. than the previous one ever did which gets more people watching earlier in the playoffs before viewership fatigue sets in when fans' teams are eliminated.

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03-29-2017, 11:00 AM
  #110
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Originally Posted by True Hockey Fan View Post
That people would whine anyway is true, but in my opinion it makes more sense to simply have the seeding 1-8, 2-7, etc., that is the "most fair" you can get imo. With that, I would also change the divisions back to a number of six. That kind of playoffs also makes sure that Washington and Pittsburgh meet in the ECF, not in the 2nd round.
When will people get over this idea of what is "fair". They are not worried about being "fair". It is a business. How does 6 divisions "make sure" that Pittsburgh and Washington meet in the ECF? Are they going to be given byes? Are the refs going to be told to keep the Penguins and Caps on the PP during the first 2 rounds? The only time they did play under the 6-division system was in the 2nd round. So, what exactly is 6 divisions going to "make sure"?

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03-29-2017, 11:51 AM
  #111
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Originally Posted by Icedog2735 View Post
But if that would be the case why hasn't that ever been the system? Logic dictates that it would be but every playoff system put forth, whether it is the current divisional system or the previous one that rewarded winning a division, does not give the best team the best advantage (i.e. playing the worst team) and so on.

If we as fans want the most competitive, fair playoff possible, it should be a 62 game season (home and away vs each, including Vegas), no divisions, no conferences, with the top 16 teams making the playoffs, #1 vs. #16, #2 vs. #15, etc. The reasons why this will never been done from a $$ stand point are obvious. But it makes you realize that the playoff system is not about competitive balance, rather about $$. Currently, it's how can we better guarantee the most eyeballs on "sexier" 1st round match ups than in the old system. This system has a higher chance of Caps-Pens, Habs-Leafs, Rags-Flyers, etc. than the previous one ever did which gets more people watching earlier in the playoffs before viewership fatigue sets in when fans' teams are eliminated.
Can't argue with most of this, but they didn't change formats because of a desire to get the Caps/Pens(or whoever) in an earlier round. If the Thrashers don't move to Winnipeg, the thread on the sweater isn't pulled, and nothing changes.

It's hasn't been about competitive balance in decades. The last time would've been the 70's when the league did have a league wide playoff format. That's part of the reason there's an eastern and western conference to begin with. First, the travel and time zone issue. If the Rangers are 1st, Islanders 2nd, Devils 15th, and the Ducks 16th, the Rangers have a worse travel situation than not only the Islanders, but Devils too. Is that fair? Also, from the $$ standpoint, most people in NA, thus most fans, are in the northeast corridor. If at least one of those teams, primarily in a big market, is in the Final, that keeps the eyes interested. If the Avs and Stars were in a Cup Final, how many fans are watching? Would the possibility of a Final involving Bos/Mtl, Phi/Pit, or Mtl/Tor make it worth doing? Maybe.

My crazy 1-16 type format would be the 9 teams in the MTZ and PTZ are one conference, they get 4 playoff spots, and play each other in the 1st and 2nd round. The ETZ and CTZ teams are the other conference, they get 12 spots, and play each other 1-12 in the 1st and 2nd round. The 3rd round gets re-seeded with the 4 remaining teams. Cuts down on the travel and time zone issue of a full 1-16, and almost any team could play any other team in the Final.

Or, allow each of the current conferences to choose which playoff format works best for them. There's no reason the East shouldn't be 1-8, but that's not necessarily the case in the West. One size doesn't fit all when the two conferences aren't set up like the NFL or MLB, where they have teams in NY and CA fighting for some of the same playoff spots in each conference/league.

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03-29-2017, 12:00 PM
  #112
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The only reason the format is this way is to force rivalry matchups for TV ratings & ticket sales (MTL/TOR , MTL/BOS, NYR/WAS, PIT/PHI, etc etc). It makes all the sense in the world for the sport to have 2 conferences with 1-8 seeding but to get that you're going to need to give the NHL a reason to forego the extra "rivalry" revenue

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03-29-2017, 01:01 PM
  #113
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The only reason the format is this way is to force rivalry matchups for TV ratings & ticket sales (MTL/TOR , MTL/BOS, NYR/WAS, PIT/PHI, etc etc).
Have to disagree. Nothing changes with the alignment or format if the Thrashers don't go to Winnipeg. As a result of that, nobody could figure out who to move to the east to replace them. Because of that, we got the larger divisions and more of a "rivalry" format. Because the PA said no to the original idea from the league that was made public, we got the wild card. Because one size has to fit all, nobody is really happy.

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It makes all the sense in the world for the sport to have 2 conferences with 1-8 seeding but to get that you're going to need to give the NHL a reason to forego the extra "rivalry" revenue
All the sense in the world for the East to be 1-8. The West is more complicated, and should be able to collectively choose the format that works best for them. 1-8, that's great. Strict top 4, that's great. This or some alternate version of the wild card, that's great.

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03-29-2017, 01:06 PM
  #114
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Let the winners of each division be the #1 and #2 seed then the rest of the playoff position be based on the points totals of all the teams, so you actually get the 8 teams with the most points in the playoffs.

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03-29-2017, 01:09 PM
  #115
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The stupidity of the divisional playoffs is that you now play your division LESS in the regular season that you did in the 1-8 format.

Hey we are going to build rivalries but you are going to play your division less AND the other division less but hey you get a guaranteed sleep walk home game vs. an out of conference team.

As a Bruins STH when they went to this schedule I had much more games that I didnt want to go to, nor did anyone else when I tired to sell them.

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03-29-2017, 02:55 PM
  #116
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The stupidity of the divisional playoffs is that you now play your division LESS in the regular season that you did in the 1-8 format.

Hey we are going to build rivalries but you are going to play your division less AND the other division less but hey you get a guaranteed sleep walk home game vs. an out of conference team.

As a Bruins STH when they went to this schedule I had much more games that I didnt want to go to, nor did anyone else when I tired to sell them.
I agree 100%. The answer is to do away with the home and home with the opposite conference. Play 1 game, alternate the home team each year, and add more division games. I know, I know, EVERYONE needs to see McDavid come into their building. Too bad EVERYONE will not actually see him as EVERYONE will not have tickets. I also seriously doubt the Hurricanes are going to be able to sell more season tickets because people will buy packages just to get the Oilers game.

But, I also realize I am beating a dead horse with this one. League seems committed to the home and home with everyone, so not looking to start another conversation on here about it.

But, are you a bruins season ticket holder to see the bruins or see the other team?

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03-29-2017, 03:06 PM
  #117
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Originally Posted by patnyrnyg View Post
I agree 100%. The answer is to do away with the home and home with the opposite conference. Play 1 game, alternate the home team each year, and add more division games. I know, I know, EVERYONE needs to see McDavid come into their building. Too bad EVERYONE will not actually see him as EVERYONE will not have tickets. I also seriously doubt the Hurricanes are going to be able to sell more season tickets because people will buy packages just to get the Oilers game.

But, I also realize I am beating a dead horse with this one. League seems committed to the home and home with everyone, so not looking to start another conversation on here about it.

But, are you a bruins season ticket holder to see the bruins or see the other team?
Home and home with every team is the best change they made in several years.

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03-29-2017, 03:17 PM
  #118
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Home and home with every team is the best change they made in several years.
I agree with that. That should be a staple of every system moving forward.

What we have now isn't perfect, and I'd be in favour of a few other different systems, but those systems have their problems as well.

It's tougher to change then stay the same, so I'm expecting this system to stay for a little while longer.

It's a fine system. I think the rivalry system makes up for the other problems, and we get back to even.

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03-29-2017, 03:39 PM
  #119
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Home and home with every team is the best change they made in several years.
I disagree, but it has been discussed ad nauseum (sp?) on here. You will never be able to convince me otherwise.

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03-29-2017, 05:12 PM
  #120
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What was the original system the NHL had in place before t he PA nixed it? That was good, I'm not a fan of the current one blah.

Anyways home and home is good and fair could you imagine the whining that would happen if McDavid didn't play in Toronto until he was 23?

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03-29-2017, 05:33 PM
  #121
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Home and home with every team is the best change they made in several years.
Amen. Remember back when you didn't even play certain teams in some years so you could play 8 games against teams in your division? I got quite sick of watching the Canes play the Florida Panthers. What a crock of **** that was.

Due to the travel and the time zone issues, conferences are far more meaningful to me than divisions. And your goal in the playoffs is not to win your division, it's to reach the Final and win the cup. The Final is East versus West, not a 4 team mini tournament. The playoff structure should reflect that- a playoffs of the east and a playoffs of the west.

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03-31-2017, 09:43 AM
  #122
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I believe they did a 7-10, 8-9 first round in the AHL about 15 years ago. Not sure for how many seasons, but the general consensus was it was dumb.
For a couple years, and Chicago actually won the Cup coming out of the playin round as a 7 seed in 2001. a 7-10 series , provided it was no more than a best of 3, would be fun.

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03-31-2017, 10:10 AM
  #123
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I think that ties in points should be broken by a playoff. WHA had it, and there was a tiebreaker in 1972-73 between Minnesota and Alberta after they tied in all 3 tiebreaking metrics. If Teams are tied in points at the end of the season and split head to head ,then you have a playoff to determine who gets in. I also favor having a 7-10 and 8-9 best of 3 playin, with the winners getting 7 and 8 seeds and playing the top seeds. Even with 20 teams, we still wont have the same percentage of playoff teams as in the 80s when 16 of 21 made it , as we had 1-16 series, and had a couple big upsets in 1981, as the 14 seed Oilers and 13 seed rangers pulled upsets. Rangers actually made the conference finals before losing to the Isles. Since 1-16 aint happening, going to 10 teams per conference is the next best ting, and would make getting the 1 and 2 seeds important.

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03-31-2017, 10:25 AM
  #124
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What was the original system the NHL had in place before t he PA nixed it? That was good, I'm not a fan of the current one blah.
I believe the first public one was:

-NYR, NYI, NJ, Phi, Pit, Was, Car
-Bos, Mtl, Ott, Tor, Buf, TB, Fla
-Det, Clb, Chi, Nas, StL, Min, Dal, Wpg
-Van, Edm, Cal, SJ, LA, Ana, Ari, Col

It was home and home against teams outside of your division. That satisfied the Wings and Jackets complaint about having to go to the west coast more often in the regular season than other ETZ teams. The playoffs were top 4 in each, 1-4, which satisfied the Wings and Jackets complaint about potentially having to go too far west too often in the playoffs. I don't believe they figured out what to do for the 3rd round, as things never got that far. One idea was to re-seed the 4 teams, so that it wasn't always one of the central teams(i.e. Detroit or Columbus) potentially having to go to the west coast no matter what.

It was much simpler. It had its issues, but Det/Chi and Det/StL weren't broken up, and there was no convoluted wild card.

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03-31-2017, 10:30 AM
  #125
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I believe the first public one was:

-NYR, NYI, NJ, Phi, Pit, Was, Car
-Bos, Mtl, Ott, Tor, Buf, TB, Fla
-Det, Clb, Chi, Nas, StL, Min, Dal, Wpg
-Van, Edm, Cal, SJ, LA, Ana, Ari, Col

It was home and home against teams outside of your division. That satisfied the Wings and Jackets complaint about having to go to the west coast more often in the regular season than other ETZ teams. The playoffs were top 4 in each, 1-4, which satisfied the Wings and Jackets complaint about potentially having to go too far west too often in the playoffs. I don't believe they figured out what to do for the 3rd round, as things never got that far. One idea was to re-seed the 4 teams, so that it wasn't always one of the central teams(i.e. Detroit or Columbus) potentially having to go to the west coast no matter what.

It was much simpler. It had its issues, but Det/Chi and Det/StL weren't broken up, and there was no convoluted wild card.
Wasn't it first floated in early 2012? NHLPA rejected it as they wanted to use it as a bargaining chip with the CBA. Seem to recall that, but I could be mixing it up with something else.

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