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The NHL Schedule Maker Gets It Wrong

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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Comments

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Not sure how you equate scheduling for 256 games (NFL) that take place once a week at venues that for the most part have almost nothing other than football taking place in them and the occasional soccer game to trying to schedule 1230 games (NHL) at venues many of which regularly have multiple things going on every week.

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 01/21/14 at 05:32 PM ET

Alan's avatar

Brooksie will whine about anything, won’t he?

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 01/21/14 at 06:30 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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