Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/27/14 at 08:17 AM ET
from Chris Stevenson at the Ottawa Sun,
Based on Wednesday's standings, the matchups in the first round would be the same as with the old format and if form held and the teams with the most regular-season points won each series (admittedly not likely the way things have gone the last few years), the second-round matchups would be the same as under the old conference format.
Where it gets really interesting is if there's upsets in the first round. In that case, the team with the most points in the regular season is not guaranteed of playing the remaining team with the least points in the next round, which was the case in old format.
A hypothetical (based on Wednesday's standings): say in the West the wild card Phoenix Coyotes upset the Central Division champ St. Louis Blues while over in the Pacific Division, the division champ San Jose Sharks beat the other wild card team, the Minnesota Wild. Under the old format, the Sharks would get the Coyotes in the second round.
Instead, in this year's format, the Sharks get the winner of the other Pacific Divison matchup, the Anaheim Ducks (third most points) against the Los Angeles Kings (sixth most points).
From the Coyotes' standpoint, in that scenario, instead of having to play the Sharks, they would get the Chicago Blackhawks or the Colorado Avalanche, who had the fourth- and fifth-most points, respectively.
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