Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/05/12 at 06:18 PM ET
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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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.
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