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WordsOfWisdom

New Playoff Format

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I put some thought into this and here's what I think the NHL needs to do (and why):

 

First the "WHY": 

With 16 teams getting into the playoffs, the focus of February and March is on the BOTTOM teams trying to get in. There are usually 20 franchises who have nothing to play for in the final two months. 10 have nothing to play for because they're gone from the playoffs. The other 10 have nothing to play for because they've clinched a spot and are just re-positioning by playoff seeding (and please don't tell me that means anything). So what you get is a playoff system that focuses the entire months of February and March NOT on Boston, Tampa, Pittsburgh, etc..... but on Florida, Toronto, and Columbus. We're going to "zoom in" and pour all of our media coverage for the next two months into talking about three .500 teams battling for 8th. (That's the current system.)

 

How to fix it:

The fix is simple. You create a system like the PGA uses in its golf tournaments. You establish a "CUT LINE" so to speak, but let's make it even easier than that. The regular season schedule would end at the end of February after ~70 GP.  At that point, the top 8 teams in each conference play on. The rest are eliminated. 

 

Eliminated teams play for #1 draft pick

The eliminated teams play each other in a one month mini-season (records reset to 0-0-0) for the right to draft #1. Final position determines draft order.

 

The winners move on

For the team that made the cut line (not playing for draft picks), they now play a one month mini-season among themselves to fight for a playoff spot. There would be a total of FOUR playoff spots per conference. So, these remaining teams would have ~12 GP against only the very best teams in the league. Again, everyone's record goes back to 0-0-0. Hypothetical 12-game season for Toronto might look like this:

 

  • TOR vs BOS
  • TOR vs TBL
  • TOR vs PIT
  • TOR vs WSH
  • TOR vs FLA
  • TOR vs NYI
  • TOR vs PHI
  • TOR vs BUF
  • TOR vs BOS
  • TOR vs TBL
  • TOR vs FLA
  • TOR vs BUF

 

Now, at the end of March we have our TOP 4 in each conference and the playoffs begin (in what would normally be round two). 

 

Think how much better this is:

  • Fans of bottom teams play for draft picks. (Their games mean something now.)
  • No more tanking for draft picks.
  • Teams at the top now have something to play for in March. Their records reset to 0-0-0, so they have to fight AGAIN from scratch to make the playoffs. No coasting!
  • All 31 teams are now playing MEANINGFUL games ALL 82 games of the season!  Same schedule length. Even more revenue now. 
  • Integrity in the positioning. The best teams really are the best teams. 

 

Thoughts?  :) 

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To be clear here, there would be TWO "mini-seasons" taking place simultaneously in the month of March:

 

1. The "mini-season" involving the 16 teams vying for a playoff spot. (The ones that made the cut at end of Feb.)

2. The "mini-season" involving the ~16 teams who missed the cut and are now playing for draft pick position.

 

So in total, you get to 82 games played for all 31 (soon to be 32) teams.  :) 

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On 2/19/2020 at 3:37 PM, WordsOfWisdom said:

How to fix it:

The fix is simple. You create a system like the PGA uses in its golf tournaments. You establish a "CUT LINE" so to speak, but let's make it even easier than that. The regular season schedule would end at the end of February after ~70 GP.  At that point, the top 8 teams in each conference play on. The rest are eliminated. 

 

If you're the type who likes to place more emphasis on divisional play then instead of going TOP 8 in each conference to make the cut line, it could be changed to TOP 4 IN EACH DIVISION make the cut line. 

 

So right now that would mean if the cut happened today, these teams are in (for the East):

  • Boston
  • Tampa
  • Toronto
  • Florida
  • Pittsburgh
  • Washington
  • Philadelphia
  • New York Islanders

 

Personally, I like the divisional approach better than the TOP 8 approach, because I don't like the idea of one division sending 6-7 teams onward. It destroys the meaning/value of being a top team within your own division. Even if it's a tougher division, I still prefer 4 teams per division making the first cut.  :) 

 

As an EXPERIMENT, I will demonstrate how my proposed playoff system would work as best I can while using the actual real world results. 

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:Cricketssmall:😐

 

Continuing with the premise that someone is reading this (lol).....  under my proposed new playoff format, the first cut would have happened NOW.

 

So here are your teams that made the "cut line":

 

EAST

  • Boston
  • Tampa
  • Toronto
  • Florida

 

  • Washington
  • Philadelphia
  • Pittsburgh
  • New York Islanders

 

WEST

  • Blues
  • Avs
  • Stars
  • Preds

 

  • Knights
  • Oilers
  • Canucks
  • Flames

 

(Again, imagine the intrigue these past few weeks with those teams battling for those spots.)

 

 

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Now that the first cut has occurred, everyone goes back to 0-0-0. 

 

So the Flyers played today (Sunday) for example, but they didn't play the Rangers (because the Rangers didn't make the cut). The Flyers played the Penguins today let's say, and won 5-3. Thus, the Flyers move to 1-0-0 on their "second season" and the Penguins are 0-1-0.

 

:) 

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