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Bettman's Brackets Blowing

John Turnbull

Posted on April 17, 2018 18:56

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The seeding system for the NHL playoffs needs an overhaul.

Play hard for 82 games and finish high in the standings. This should be an advantage for an NHL team come playoff time, should it not? But thanks to Mr.Bettman and the NHL corporate brass trying to create divisional rivalries, this year the #1 and #2 seeds from each conference are very likely poised to meet each other in the second round.

Not long ago, it was (seeding ranks) 1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, 3 vs. 6 and 4 vs 5. Here it was a clear advantage to win your conference. It wasn't a guarantee, as we have seen this year on the Left Coast, but the possibility existed where the top two seeds in each conference could meet in the conference final. This is what true NHL fans want to see, not some fictional divisional rivalry. Plus the true Cinderella team could emerge from the bottom of the playoff pack, the David vs. Goliath scenarios that all pro sports need.

Admittedly, this year's playoffs match-ups won't occur every year as the top spots are usually more spread out through the four divisions, but it will happen again. Soon teams won't care about expending extra energy to rank number one in their conferences, and this, in turn, gives us medicore regular season hockey.

The trap, the diving like one is shot despite wearing bullet-proof (kevlar) equipment, and the delayed offside replay (one this year with the Oilers occurred well over a minute of play in the offensive end) already dilute the game far too much. Let's not suck out the incentive for accomplishment while we're at it.

Wake up NHL brass! Put the playoff brackets back to where they belong. I don't see anyone complaining about the format in the NBA. And that league is all just as much about profit as Moneybag's Gary is. So there is no excuse. Fix the playoff format by puting it back the way it should be. Sometimes moving backward moves forward and if it ain't broke, don't throw money at it to fix it.

John Turnbull

Posted on April 17, 2018 18:56

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Source: ESPN
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