View Full Version : How I would fix the NHL playoffs.

04-22-2012, 01:24 PM
I'm not writing this because the Pens are going to be one and done in yet another playoff season. I'm writing this because I think hockey has a real problem with the regular season being negated by higher seeded teams regularly beating lower seeded teams in the opening round of the playoffs. Just look at the eastern conference this year. Right now as it stands three of the top four seeds in the East will be golfing before April is in the books. I don't think that resonates ratings gold. Losing the Rangers, Pens, Bruins, and President Trophy winning Vancouver in the first round of the playoffs marginalizes the regular season to the point of irrelevance.

So here's how I would fix it.

1.) First scrap the divisions. Make it two 15 team conferences, with a balanced schedule. ( as best you can). 1 through 8 advance to the playoffs, as we have now.

Already things are better as you eliminate the chance that the 2nd and 3rd best team in the conference meet in the opening round.(witness Flyers -Penguins) Also you eliminate the chance that an inferior 3 seed will get home ice advantage over a team in a tougher division with more points. (Devils vs Florida this year for example)

2. Then I'd give an additional home game to the lower seeded team, but just for the opening round. In other words 5 home games to 2 in a seven game series for the superior regular season team.

3. Open the playoff series in the higher seeded teams building. Then the next 3 games go to the lower seeded team. Game 5 ( if needed) goes to the lower seeded teams building, then the final two games ( again if necessary) go to the lower seeded teams building.

I think many playoff series are lost in the opening game, where most of the pressure is on the team who had the better regular. By doing what I propose here the pressure would all go on the higher seeded team.

Again this would only apply to the first round of the playoffs. Once you go to the second round and beyond you go back to the traditional 4-3 seven game series with the same format of home and away you have now too.

What this would accomplish is it would make the regular season meaningful. Teams would play their ass off to avoid being a 5 seed or lower.