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Playoff seedings


Guest Spinorama
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I don't typically agree with his articles but this one from Carchidi was an interesting read:

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/flyers/20120327_Inside_the_Flyers___Wacky_NHL_playoff_seedings_reward_underachivers.html

I liked the idea of some of the changes that were being proposed when trying to figure out what to do with Winnipeg. The idea of having divisions and division leaders is a great idea in concept but doesn't mean a whole lot when that division is ridiculously weak.

I haven't figured on a format that I like the most but I do like getting closer to rewarding teams that have been strong all season with the biggest prize, like baseball. Only the best get to challenge for the ultimate.

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if they dont go with my east-west and scrap the division format i'm all for this one. ITS BS that 2 teams with the 2nd and 3rd best record have to face each other in the 1st round while a crap team gets to face a equally crappy team. FIRE BETTMAN ITS HIS FAULT

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@Spinorama-

Charchidi is poaching from here again. I responded (in a lengthy diatribe) regarding playoff format over two weeks ago. I cited that the format that I like best is the format used from 79-83 (all division winners get into the playoffs and then the seedings go from 1-16). If we are going to piss and moan about a lesser team in a weaker division getting into the playoffs AND having home ice because of winning the division, then we should not limit that to just the conference level, but the league level.

If you did league level, here is what it would be today:

St Louis (1) v. Los Angeles (16)

NYR (2) v. Phoenix (15)

Vancouver (3) v. Dallas (14)

Pittsburgh (4) v. Ottawa (13)

Detroit (5) v. San Jose (12)

Philly (6) v. Florida (11)

Nashville (7) v. NJ (10)

Boston (8) v. Chicago (9)

The league has such parity now that I think the separate conference matchups for the SC playoffs are not necessary. I also really like the fact that you can have a western team play an eastern team (whom they are by and large not as familiar with as the other teams in respective conferences). It adds for intrigue and mystery.

In the above, you have 7 Eastern conference teams and 9 Western conference teams.

I can not even express at how huge an advocate of this format I am. Let the regular season be about divisional rivalries and let the SC playoffs be about seeding the entire league together. The story lines are so much great- while you still retain some of the normal rivalries.

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The league won't change the current set up because it is all about giving more market areas a chance to cheer for a team. Under the current system there is a higher chance, that geographically, teams that move on in the playoffs will not be all from one area.

For example, because the league has boosted Florida in the standings they have a greater chance of making it to the second round. This gives hockey fans in their region a team to cheer for. If they were at the bottom where they belong, they would have a greater chance of losing and then no teams would represent that geographic area. It's all about TV ratings, ad revenue, and fan support. The NHL could give a rat's *** about being fair. It's all about the money.

I support the league level setup. It's the fairest option and I think it would be way more entertaining. Imagine meeting a division rival in the Stanley Cup finals!

Edited by ratskull
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If you did league level, here is what it would be today:

i'm not so sure i like that. the travel right out of the gate would be brutal. the potential for 6 hour flights every 2 games for all 4 rounds strikes me as a problem. from opening day of the playoffs, east coast fans could have their teams playing 10:30pm games, and west coasters could have their guys going at 4:30. conceivably for each round. i have to stay up late to see the flyers, and vancouver fans have to miss the first half of games as they scramble to get home from work.

i like that the confrences don't mix until the finals. i like that things are kept segregated, and the best of the east meets the best of the west to settle things at the very end. i'm not a huge fan of the home-ice for division winners thing, but i'd rather keep that than have the confrences blend.

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St Louis (1) v. Los Angeles (16)

NYR (2) v. Phoenix (15)

Vancouver (3) v. Dallas (14)

Pittsburgh (4) v. Ottawa (13)

Detroit (5) v. San Jose (12)

Philly (6) v. Florida (11)

Nashville (7) v. NJ (10)

Boston (8) v. Chicago (9)

That would be interesting but as @aziz pointed out the travel would be brutal.

I'm still a fan of:

2 Conferences, 4 divisions

Winners of the divisions get the #1 & #2 seed in each conference. The rest are seeded by points as usual.

It's pretty simple but I think affective. I think that's how basketball does it although I haven't watched that sport in many years.

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That would be interesting but as @aziz pointed out the travel would be brutal.

I'm still a fan of:

2 Conferences, 4 divisions

Winners of the divisions get the #1 & #2 seed in each conference. The rest are seeded by points as usual.

It's pretty simple but I think affective. I think that's how basketball does it although I haven't watched that sport in many years.

So you're saying top 8 in each conference, but only the top 2 division winners get the benecial seeding, other division winner fends for itself based on points? I think I like that idea

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So you're saying top 8 in each conference, but only the top 2 division winners get the benecial seeding, other division winner fends for itself based on points? I think I like that idea

Exactly. Reward the top 2 teams for winning their division. The rest is based on points.

Something like:

-------Eastern Conf----------------------Western Conf

Division A----Division B---------Division C--------Division D

Flyers----------Red-Wings---------Avalanche----------Oilers

Caps-----------Canadiens----------Ducks---------------Flames

Rangers-------Senators------------Blackhawks--------Canucks

Penguins------Maple Leafs--------Blues---------------Sharks

Devils----------Sabres---------------Stars---------------Jets

Bruins----------Hamilton------------Wild-----------------Kings

Hartford--------Quebec-------------Blue Jackets------Seattle

So the playoffs would be:

East & West

1 Seed = Division A/B winner (highest points)

2 Seed = Division A/B winner

3-8 seed = based on points, head to head....

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@ratskull

I am not sure I am understanding what you are saying regarding geographic diversity. You use Florida as an example of better opportunity to move on in the playoffs. Are you saying that because they get home ice advantage despite being a lower quality team because they are a division winner?

Under my formate, the regions would be as follows:

St Louis- Mid West

LA- West Coast

NYR- East Coast

Phoenix- South West

Vancouver- North West

Dallas- South Central

Pittsburgh- East Coast

Ottaw- North East

Detroit- Mid West

San Jose- West Coast

Philly- East Coast

Florida- South East

Nashville- SouthEast

NJ- East Coast

Boston- North East

Chicago- Mid West

Northeast- 2

East Coast- 4

South East- 2

Mid West- 3

South Central- 1

South West- 1

West coast- 2

North West- 1

Under current format, the regions would be as follows:

NYR- East Coast

Boston- North East

Florida- South East

Pittsburgh- East Coast

Philly- East Coast

NewJersey- East Coast

Ottawa- North East

Buffalo- North East

St Louis- MidWest

Vancouver- NorthWest

Dallas- South Central

Detroit- Mid West

Nashville- South East

Chicago- MidWest

phoenix- Southwest

LA- West Coast

Northeast- 3

East Coast- 4

South East- 2

Mid West- 3

South Central- 1

South West- 1

West coast- 1

North West- 1

The only difference between the two is the Buffalo gets in and San Jose does not. Otherwise the regions (and teams) are identical.

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@aziz

"i'm not so sure i like that. the travel right out of the gate would be brutal. the potential for 6 hour flights every 2 games for all 4 rounds strikes me as a problem. from opening day of the playoffs, east coast fans could have their teams playing 10:30pm games, and west coasters could have their guys going at 4:30. conceivably for each round. i have to stay up late to see the flyers, and vancouver fans have to miss the first half of games as they scramble to get home from work.

i like that the confrences don't mix until the finals. i like that things are kept segregated, and the best of the east meets the best of the west to settle things at the very end. i'm not a huge fan of the home-ice for division winners thing, but i'd rather keep that than have the confrences blend."

The time zone is an issue. Most of the timezones would be 2 hours. Under my format, there would be 4 series in the first round that had time zone differences of 2 hours. What I would propose is that when playing in the western timezone, have a game start time of 7pm (so that the game would be on 9pm east coast and when the games are on the eastern time zone, have the start time at 8 so the games would start 6pm.

For the same arguments regarding the time zone you propose, I could also say back that fans of hockey living on the eastern time zone, rarely get to see any of the western conference series match ups and that to me stinks.

On the travel, maybe you could change to a 3-2-1-1 format. Truthfully, I don't like the current format because the home ice advantage does not come until the 7th game and I think that should be a reward sooner than the 7th game.

In the end, you are right in that is not rational for many strong arguments. Doesn't mean I can't wish. :-)

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So, you bust your but for home ice advantage all year, but you can't realize that reward / advantage UNLESS you get to a seventh game in your series?? Hardly seems like a reward / advantage at that point.

in a best-of-odd-number series, someone has to *end up* with an advantage. i think playoff competition should be on as equal a footing as possible, with no systemic advantage being given unless it has to be given. i.e., unless the series goes to that 7th game.

i don't want to see a team being given help up front. should be equal until it can't be equal anymore, imo.

and ignoring all of that, with 3-2-1-1, that game 7 ends up in the lower seeded team's arena. while i want to see as little bias in the series as possible, i'd be pretty pissed if my team had home ice coming in but had to win game 7 on the road.

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For the same arguments regarding the time zone you propose, I could also say back that fans of hockey living on the eastern time zone, rarely get to see any of the western conference series match ups and that to me stinks.

that's what centerice is for. ;)

and, from that, imo west coast games are boring.

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@doom88

7 series went to games 7's last year (where 5 of the 7 victors were the home team, supporting Aziz's points).

3 series went to games 6's (home team won 2 out of 3)

2 series went to game 5's (home team won both times)

2 series were white washes (1 home team / 1 road team)

So, over all, out of 14 series, the home team was the victor 10 out of 14 times. It would seem, at least in using last year as the sample, that for series clinching games, the odds are much better playing in your own building then on the road.

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@Vanflyer

I was talking about the current system and why I think the league does it. I wasn't referring to your formatting. I was just saying that by artificially moving teams in weaker divisions like Florida to the top 3, the league gives that team a better chance to get out of the first round because they play a weaker opponent and they have home ice advantage thus improving the chance that a more geographically diverse selection of teams survive longer in the playoffs.

If the Eastern conference was ranked properly Florida would play a tougher opponent and not have home ice and essentially their division wouldn't have a representation in the next round, which could lead to less fans watching the games because their region is not represented. Just speculation.

I think that the current playoff structure is ridiculous and should be changed. But, then again, I don't agree with a lot of things that the league does (Shootouts, All-Star game drafts, instigator rule etc.)

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@ratskull

Somebody here (I forget- perhaps you) mentioned letting the top two point getting division winners be seeded 1/2 accordingly and then the remaining 5 teams on points alone. I like that idea. The rational was that it would be HUGELY improbable that a 7th place team would have more points than a 2nd seed team and NOT be a division winner.

I like that idea and would even just put it one step further. Why not just give the highest point getting division winner the #1 seed and seed teams 2-8 on points alone.

You still have a couple of carrots for the teams to pursue during the regular season (points and #1 overall seeding).

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@ratskull

The same thing is going on over in the Western conference as well. LA just leap frogged over Dallas for the division lead with 90 points. But then Nashville, Detroit and Chicago all have more points than LA. So, by rights, LA should be the 7th seed (just like Florida in the east).

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