Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/27/12 at 07:31 PM ET
from Stu Hackel of the Red Light,
Another thing that first place will give the Sharks – as it does all division-winners — is home ice advantage in the first round. And that provision in the NHL playoff format can handicap other teams that have a better record but a lower playoff seed.
That inequity is most pronounced this season with the relative mediocrity of the Pacific and the even weaker Southeast compared to the league’s strongest divisions, the Central and Atlantic. The way things are shaping up, the winners of the Pacific and Southeast will finish with fewer points than three teams in each of the two powerhouse divisions, but have a higher first round seed.
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