Twenty Team Playoff: Embrace It NHL
This is going to smell extremely tendentious but in light of the Stars’ perpetual and annual pursuit of the 8th/final playoff spot, I believe it's high time for the NHL to expand the number of teams in the playoff pool by four.
When there were 21 teams in the NHL ("the Original 21") do you know how many of them DIDN'T make the playoffs? Five.
In its current 30 team incarnation it's still a 16-team playoff and it’s just too tight with so much parity. Year after year many good teams miss by really slim margins. I'm not saying there should be extra 7 game series but a quartet of one-game, wild card, win-and-you're-in tilt would be glorious (and profitable)
Here's the Razorprosal:
-Top 3 teams in each of the four divisions are locks
-The next 4 teams with the most points in the conference face-off in a one game Wildcard Play-in with the two top point-getters hosting the game. Two nights of do-or-die doubleheaders for your broadcast partners and fans = bonanza. Think of them as absolutely savory and delicious Stanley Cup hors d'oeuvres. Mouthwatering.
- The two extra games in each conference will also afford the top six teams an extra day or two of rest prior to opening their playoff series (bonus)
Here's how it would play out right now:
MTL, TB, DET playoff locks NYR, NYI, PIT playoff locks
WSH hosts FLA in play-in game #1
OTT hosts BOS in play-in game #2
(Other 6 E. Conf. teams hit the links)
STL, NSH, CHI playoff locks ANA, VAN, CGY playoff locks
MIN hosts DAL in play-in game #1
WPG hosts LA in play-in game #2
(Other 4 teams in West tee it up till September)
Twenty teams play post season hockey. Ten teams don't. Yes, I know, bloody brilliant.