By Adam (@ElSeldo)
Previously on The Bloggers Tribune, I’ve pushed the idea of seeding the Ontario Hockey League 1-16 for the playoffs, instead of by conference. This is because the West usually has the stronger teams, and some teams have been knocked out a round or two earlier than they should have (poor Erie Otters).
There are many good reasons why the NHL would never seed 1-16; television schedules travel from east to west coast for multiple rounds, lack of rivalry creation (to drive ratings), but imagine a #16 team upsetting things on their way to the Finals. That would be a great story.
The new playoff format that the NHL has is great for building rivalries – if the Leafs path to glory went through Ottawa and Montreal, ohhhh baby – but not great for giving the best teams the best chances to move on. The previous format of seeding teams 1-8 was okay at this, but giving division winners a leg up on seeds 1-3 was kinda trash.
What I’m going to do, is each week I’ll post the NHL playoff seedings in a 1-16 format, as well as the old 1-8 (using the current divisions). I’ll use my OHL rules and give conference leaders seeds 1 and 2.
What you’ll see is this week, that the better Philadelphia Flyers make the playoffs, while the lesser Los Angeles Kings (aka Flyers West) are eliminated as they rightfully should be.
Here are the NHL standings, seeding teams 1-16, as of Monday February 13th:
Highlighted in yellow is the swap between teams in and out of the playoffs. We get some interesting match-ups here. Washington and Philadelphia meet in the playoffs for the second year in a row, Boston and Chicago meet for the first time since the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals, and the Pittsburgh and Columbus match-up won’t happen and won’t eliminate one of the better playoff teams in the first goddamn round. Columbus gets former Central Division team Nashville, while Pittsburgh gives St. Louis a harder opponent than they’d probably dislike.
Seeding 1-8 by conference:
The East becomes chaos. The Metro is much better than the Atlantic, and claims 3/4 home ice spots. We get a Montreal / Boston series though, and Toronto remains Washington’s first round opponent. #Pray4Andersen
The West, stays as is. The 1-8 seeding actually fits with the current wild card, and that’s wild.
We’ll check in next week, and each Monday until I forget to do this or the season ends.