The NHL Should Change The Playoff Format Again

Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports. NHL: NHL Press Conference

There’s no better tournament than the NHL Playoffs, but could they be better? I think the NHL should change the Playoff format again. This time lets forget the Conferences. I want to see the top 16 teams, not broken up by East and West.

It’s clear that the NHL is looking to create more rivalries, and they have started to have ever team play each other at least twice a year. Now it’s time to tweak the Playoffs again. I’d like to see an all out battle, and who knows the Stanley Cup Finals may be “West vs West, or East vs. East”. I understand this idea is extreme, and it would take a complete reworking of the schedule, but the NHL could fix that.

If the NHL were using this idea for the 2014 Playoffs this is what the match ups would be.

  • Boston Bruins vs Dallas Stars
  • Anaheim Ducks vs Detroit Red Wings
  • Colorado Avalanche vs Columbus Blue Jackets
  • St. Louis Blues vs Philadelphia Flyers
  • San Jose Sharks vs New York Rangers
  • Pittsburgh Penguins vs Minnesota Wild
  • Chicago Blackhawks vs Los Angeles Kings
  • Tampa Bay Lightning vs Montreal Canadiens

The current system is fine, and the hockey has been great, but why not try to make it better. After all, for the NHL it’s about making money, and this would give them better exposure. It would showcase match ups that don’t happen year after year.  East vs. West was fine back when people cared about the All-Star game, and when travel was more difficult. but, I don’t think it really matters any more.

In reality this idea would be a fair way to decide the playoff teams, it gets rid of the ” if we were in the other conference” argument. If you are in the top 16 you get in if not sorry, try again next year.

Tags: 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs NHL Playoff Format NHL Playoffs

  • Pridenpoise

    The playoffs are fine the way they are.

    • Patrick Helper

      Yes I agree the Playoffs are fine, and they are great to watch. My idea is a way to drive rivals, and get the best teams in the race for the cup.

      • Pridenpoise

        As someone who lives in Southern Ontario, I don’t really give a rats ass about San Jose, Los Angeles, Vancouver etc. so I just don’t see how it would increase ratings or viewers, imho.

  • You’re terrible at your job.

    You have a typo in your headline and you spelled Stanley Cup wrong. Why should I care about anything you say? Stop relying on spell check and learn to be a journalist.

    • Patrick Helper

      Thank you for taking the time to point out the errors.

  • Numbers6

    Top 16 regardless of conference would bs better. Would lead to better races in March April also

  • Katie Stevens

    Here is yet another person who seems to not understand that realignment was about time zones. Forcing Eastern teams to go the West coast and put their road TV on at 10:00 and 10:30 hurts ratings and therefore decreases revenue for the league. So your idea is stupid and will never happen.

    • Patrick Helper

      Katie, I am someone who completely understands why the NHL did what they did. The point of this post was to have a conversation on ways to better the Playoffs. I think the NHL should get rid of Conferences. As for ratings, I think if your team is in the mix you would watch. But, thank you for reading.

  • me9876

    In order for this to drive rivalries, two teams would pretty much have to finish in the exact same position year after year. On the flip side, you don’t want the same match ups year after year or ot becomes stale.(or keeps some teams from not advancing because another “has thier number”)

    As for following your time no matter what timezone they play in: tell that to the 12 year old Bruins fan who’s parents won’t let him stay up till 12 to watch their match in Dallas.

    I agree that teh playoffs need changing (I’d personally like to go back to the last set up) but no conference match-ups just causes more problems and renders the divisional structure irrevelant.