I Can’t Decide if the New Playoff System is Insane or Pure Genius

I can’t make this shit up.

Back Hand Shelf – Try explaining this to someone you know who isn’t into hockey (or hell, even someone who is): The top three teams from each of the league’s four divisions are guaranteed to make the playoffs, based on the number of points accumulated over the course of the season, with ties being broken first by the number of wins a team has and then by the number of wins it has in either regulation or overtime. After those three teams have been slotted into a divisional playoff setting in which they only play each other, the final two slots in the conference playoffs are taken from the best point totals (using the same tiebreaker system) from the remaining 10 teams in the Eastern Conference and eight in the West, regardless of division, but would not be slotted into their own divisional playoffs regardless of the division in which they play. After the first round of the playoffs, each team advances without being re-seeded, and so on, until the Stanley Cup Final.

I had to read this a couple times before I could piece it all together.

So let me get this straight. You’re telling me the third-place team in every division will make the playoffs, but the fourth place team in a tougher division could miss playoffs even though they have more points. And even if that fourth place team does make the playoffs they will have a worse seeding than the team with fewer points. It’s easier to make the playoffs if you play in the west because there are two less teams. And it’s possible for five teams in the same division to all make the playoffs.

Someone help me out here. Is this craziness or pure genius?


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