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

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