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Shorten The First Round Of The Playoffs?

from Sarah Kwak of Sports Illustrated,

We’ve reached the midpoint of the NHL playoffs, and maybe it’s the heat, with the temperatures in the upper 70s and 80s outside each of the arenas in the four cities remaining in the playoffs, or the two empty days before the conference finals start Saturday, but it’s got me thinking that maybe the NHL should think about tightening up the postseason. And maybe — just maybe — consider making the first round a best-of-five series.

Hear me out.

Of course, this year brought extenuating circumstances with the shortened schedule and the late start to the season, which necessitated a late finish. But still, one could argue a quicker first round would ensure better hockey at the end. Fresher players, fewer injuries, etc. I agree, of course, the first round is absolutely the best, with multiple games every night and the intensity of playoff hockey at its height. But a best-of-five first round would only magnify the intensity.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink



I like the first round as more teams create more interesting series’. I would not like to see it shortened.

Posted by timbits on 06/01/13 at 12:05 PM ET


Wasn’t there a lot more low-seeds beating high-seeds when they tried it before?  I can’t say that would make for “better” playoff hockey in the later rounds.

Posted by BobTheZee on 06/01/13 at 12:53 PM ET

awould's avatar

Shorten the series and you get fewer upsets. How many teams advanced the past few years that would’ve lost if it was best of 5?

Rangers and Wings would’ve been knocked out this year. Boston would’ve closed it out in 4 instead of being forced to play 7.

I think it’s a bad idea. It essentially treats the first round like the lower seeded teams are dispensable, which is what the NBA does because they are dispensable in that league.

Posted by awould on 06/01/13 at 01:04 PM ET


What I think they should actually do is shorten the season by 20 games. Start a month later, end a month earlier. They would overlap with football less in the fall and start playoffs before nba and get better press in the spring. And wouldn’t play until mid summer.

Posted by teldar on 06/01/13 at 02:18 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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