Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/21/14 at 05:45 PM ET
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
The NHL is a wannabe NFL. Their owners for the most part have football envy, and honestly, why wouldn’t they? But the NFL skews its schedule to produce as many intra-divisional showdowns as possible the final weekend or two of the season.
Three straight years the NFC east has featured a play-in game on the final Sunday; two years ago, Giants-Cowboys, last year Washington-Dallas, this year Eagles-Cowboys.
Major League Baseball may have diluted its schedule to a certain degree by realigning into two 15-team leagues that necessitates an inter-league matchup every day of the season, but league executives weren’t foolish enough to reduce the number of Yankees-Red Sox games. There will be 19 this season just as there were 10 years ago.
But the NHL, no; not the league that always skews to the lowest common denominator. It is such regarding the imposition of the hard cap. It is such regarding the introduction of the hard cap. It is such as it applies to a schedule that guarantees every ne’er do well franchise gets Sidney Crosby’s team in its building at least once a year.
Late-season matchups should ideally feature a succession of intra-division matchups. The Rangers play only four of their final 16 games within the Metro while playing eight against the west. The Islanders play five of their final 19 within the division, one fewer than they will play against teams from the West.
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