Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/17/05 at 07:20 PM ET
"There was a lot of talk (about an expanded playoff format)," said Shanahan, "but we couldn't schedule it because of arena availability." Under the proposal that his committee considered, the top six teams in each conference would automatically qualify for the playoffs, while the seventh-to-10th placed teams would compete in a best-of-three preliminary round, with the winners advancing to the main playoff round. The idea of a "play-in" round was adopted by the NCAA years ago to allow a 65th team to qualify for the 64-team tournament. According to Shanahan, an expanded playoff pool would enhance the playoff races on three different levels.
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