The NHL playoffs are often referred to as the NHL's "second season." Why? Because they last almost as long as an entire regular season.
Of course I'm exaggerating. But at a point in time where the majority of sports interest if focused on the NBA playoffs and the beginning of the MLB season, NHL is not gaining any popularity points by having such a long postseason.
So I got to thinking—what if the NHL followed MLB's playoff format? I recently wrote an article depicting what the MLB playoff race would look like if it mimicked the NHL format, so here's a little reversal. If the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs followed the MLB format, here's how it would look:
- No. 1 - Boston Bruins (116) vs. No. 4 - Pittsburgh Penguins (99)
- No. 2 - Washington Capitals (108) vs. No. 3 - New Jersey Devils (106)
- No. 1 - San Jose Sharks (117) vs. No. 4 - Chicago Blackhawks (104)
- No. 2 - Detroit Red Wings (112) vs. No. 3 - Vancouver Canucks (100)
And while we're at it, why not make the first round a best-of-five series to cut the postseason down even more. I mean, seven hockey games in one series is A LOT of hockey...a lot of hard hits and high sticks.