A Random Hockey Rant

Up periscope.

Okay, yes I’m still alive. I’ve just been insanely busy at work, and don’t seem to find the time at home to do a lot of posting (or even keeping up on the news, for that matter), so posting here has suffered, along with my own site.

But we had a discussion at work today, that, seeing as it deals with the Canucks, could apply here. Especially with them being on the mini-roll that they appear to be on now.

For some reason we got around to discussing the format of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and I commented that they should abolish the East vs West format that they’ve used for years, and go back to the format that they used in the 70’s. The same number of teams (16) make the playoffs, but who you play is determined by where you finish in the overall standings. Therefore, the President’s Cup winner would play the 16th place team. 2nd plays 15th, and so on.

This puts things on a little more even keel for the Western teams that may or may not have to travel more once they get to the second round.

For example, in the 1993-94 playoffs, the Canucks had to travel to Calgary, Dallas and Toronto, spanning one, two and three time zones respectively. Who did the Rangers have to travel to play? The New York Islanders, Washington Capitals and New Jersey Devils. With the exception of going to D.C., they could have played each road game and driven home to sleep in their own beds each night. And Mark Messier had the gall to claim that it was a long hard grind for the Rangers. Didn’t have much sympathy then, Mess, and I still don’t.

Sure the Canucks could wind up playing Florida, Tampa Bay and Boston, for example, but they could also wind up in Calgary, Edmonton and Colorado.

This would bring back some parity to the league, and also send a wake up call to the weaker Eastern teams that would miss the playoffs entirely under this format.

Thoughts very much appreciated.

Down periscope.

1 Comment so far

  1. Jeffery Simpson (unregistered) on January 16th, 2006 @ 2:58 pm

    I’m not sure I like the idea. There’s something more intense now about western encounters now because of a history of great playoff series games. Vancouver v. Colorado is based on years of playoffs. If we have a great playoff series against a New York team then we don’t have the same regular season drama against them next year and beyond.

    Still it’s an interesting idea. Like no touch offside it should be given a try.

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