Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 11/24/13 at 05:05 AM ET
The New York Post's Larry Brooks seems to have something in common with the league's general managers: a bit of sticker shock regarding the NHL's "new" divisional playoff format's quirks:
[As] it stood following Friday night’s games, the hybrid divisional format would guarantee either the team with the East’s seventh- or eighth-best record advances to the second round, while the club with either the conference’s third or fourth best record is knocked out.
To refresh your memory: 1. The top three teams from each division qualify; 2. The two teams with the next best records within the conference qualify as wild cards; 3. The division winner with the most points plays the wild card with the fewest points in the first round while the other division winner plays the other wild card; 4. The second- and third-place teams within each division meet in the first round; 5. Divisional brackets apply to the second round.
So, in likely the earliest “If the playoffs began …” scenario on record, the East’s first round would be: Pittsburgh (30 points) vs. Montreal (26); Boston (30) vs. Detroit (27); Tampa Bay (29) vs. Toronto (27); Washington (25) vs. Devils (23).
Hence, either the seventh-place Capitals or eighth-place Devils would advance while either the third-place Lightning or fourth-place Maple Leafs would be one-and-done.
A team, therefore, is theoretically better served by being the second- (or third-) place team in a weak division than by finishing with the conference’s best record.
Continued with schedule grumbles, Michael Del Zotto talk, etc.
Add a Comment
Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.
Most Recent Blog Posts
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org