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Seed The Playoff Teams Accordingly

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Has the race for the Pacific Division title been compelling? Of course. Four different teams—Phoenix, Dallas, San Jose and current leader Los Angeles—have enjoyed at least a brief ride at the top in recent weeks. But fans are jazzed about the race because it means a playoff berth. They get that. They don’t care about the nonexistent cachet of a division title.

Now the league is faced with the double embarrassment of having the Pacific Division and Southeast Division champs own home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, even though the Pacific champ will have the sixth-best point total in the conference, while the Florida Panthers will possibly have the seventh-best point total in the conference. Ugly.

Maybe the fact the NHLPA stomped its collective feet to derail realignment plans for next year will give both sides pause to come up with not just a new alignment plan but a playoff plan that will save the league further embarrassment. What’s wrong with two 15-team conferences seeded top to bottom with the top eight playing on in the spring? Or divide the teams up however they like geographically but seed them one through 16, thus ensuring the best teams have the best chances of succeeding?

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Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink


tuxedoTshirt's avatar

I like divisions.
Last year the whole Pacific just about made it.  This year it’s the central.
The Southeast had some of the highest point totals last year.
What’s the big deal?  The current system ensures that divisional games stay big.

(yes it’s easy for a Nuck fan to say, but I love a six game series and a four game intra-conference series.  Home and homes with everyone gives you none of that familiar animosity.)

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 04/05/12 at 07:37 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

I just hate those west coast playoff games. 10:30 starts are brutal. The East didn’t want the new format. The like being home in their own beds even during the playoffs.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/05/12 at 08:03 PM ET

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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.

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