Regardless of thrilling qualifying spherical, NHL confirms it received’t change playoff format (thank goodness)
There was lots of discuss for the NHL to incorporate extra groups within the playoffs and return to reseeding after each spherical primarily based on the qualifying match previous to the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs, however the league stays steadfast in preserving its post-season format simply the best way it’s.Fairly certain we are able to all agree that the NHL’s qualifying spherical of the playoffs was all types of superior. It actually performed to rave evaluations. And after enduring nearly 5 months with out hockey, it was precisely what all of us wanted – an excellent dose of chaos and mayhem and all types of issues taking place each single night time. It was, to borrow a title from William Shakespeare, a midsummer night time’s dream.
And, fortunately, we’ll by no means see it once more. The NHL has given each indication and made each promise that it is a one-off that was made mandatory by the havoc wreaked on the business by the coronavirus pandemic and that when issues return to regular, so will the NHL’s system for figuring out and culling its playoff individuals.
Simply to make sure, I emailed deputy commissioner Invoice Daly with the next question: “Simply needed to examine, however now that we’ve seen the outcomes of the qualifying sequence, do you suppose the league would possibly rethink its playoff format both by (a) instituting a play-in format of some variety and/or (b) reseeding groups after every spherical? (Please say no. Please say no.)” And his response to TheHockeyNews.com was blunt and concise: “No and no.”
Even with out the qualifying spherical, the NHL has the perfect playoff format in skilled sports activities. There was a big hue and cry to institute some type of qualifying spherical in future years, primarily based totally on the truth that it was so compelling. However what the qualifying spherical principally did was substitute the primary spherical of the playoffs. Yearly within the first spherical, we see that form of unpredictability and chaos and we merely acquired it a bit of earlier this time round. I stand to be corrected on this, however my prediction is that the primary spherical of the playoffs in 2020 won’t be, on the entire, as thrilling and compelling because it has been in earlier years.
And in actuality, the NHL already holds a pre-playoff qualifying match. In regular seasons, it goes from October to April, lasts 82 video games and is usually known as the common season. Beginning within the 2021-22 season, it is going to be used to slim the playoff subject down to precisely half the groups within the league. That makes each single sport necessary, each misplaced level a probably deadly blow. It makes the common season really imply one thing. Is it tough to make the playoffs in as we speak’s NHL? Completely. Nevertheless it’s presupposed to be actually, actually arduous to make the playoffs. Watering down the system by including even two play-in groups per convention would rob followers of the intrigue and pleasure of the final days and weeks of the season.
And as this nook has typically stated, that is the NHL, not the Port Huron Silver Stick Match. There’s nothing incorrect with demanding excellence and giving groups little or no margin for error. It’s that form of stress that creates the demand for trades and different personnel strikes that followers discover so compelling. For those who’re searching for a format that offers out mulligans and second possibilities, the Ted Reeve Hockey Affiliation’s ‘D’ Division Home League Championship is the place to be. If you wish to be enjoying in April, you ought to be an elite workforce. For those who can’t do this, get higher.
So far as going with the No. 1 vs. eight conventional format and reseeding after every spherical, that’s one other format wrinkle that the NHL has thought by extensively and it likes what it sees. Once more, No. 1 vs. eight and so forth can be the great and honest method to do issues, however that’s what the league used to do and it didn’t improve the division rivalries the best way the league would have appreciated. It does, occasionally, lead to two high-seeded groups going through one another within the second spherical of the playoffs and it generally ends in a high regular-season workforce being ousted from the post-season by the point it’s solely half over. However the level is that these two groups are literally assured to satisfy one another. The league has put a precedence on divisional rivalries and seeing them early within the playoff is what makes them so particular.
Previous to the pandemic, the NHL had hit on a playoff format that was already wildly thrilling and the very best in North American skilled sports activities. Throughout regular instances, it doesn’t want to alter a factor.
Need extra in-depth options, evaluation and an All-Entry go to the most recent content material? Subscribe to The Hockey Information journal.
Tags: stanley cup playoffs, Qualifying RoundConnect: Concerning the AuthorKen CampbellKen Campbell, The Hockey Information’ senior author, is in his second tour with the model after an eight-year stint as a beat reporter for the Maple Leafs for the Toronto Star. The Sudbury native as soon as tried out for the Ontario League’s Wolves as a 30-year-old. For sure, it did not work out.