The setup of the NHL playoffs is ridiculous.
Why does every team leading their division get a top three playoff spot in their conference?
The NHL should outright get rid of this rule. Every team should have an equal bid at the playoffs instead of all this crap about winning your division.
If the playoffs began at this point in the season, the Washington Capitals would grab the third seed in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile the Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, Buffalo Sabres, and Boston Bruins all have more points than the Caps—but sit lower in the playoff position because they didn't have the luck of being in the Southeast Division.
In the West, the Minnesota Wild lead the Northwest Division putting them in third place while the fourth and fifth place teams, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and San Jose Sharks, have 71 and 70 points apiece.
Last year the Colorado Avalanche missed the playoffs in the West with 95 points while the New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and New York Islanders clinched sixth, seventh, and eighth place seeds in the East with 94, 93, and 92 points respectively. What a joke.
The NHL needs to have the best teams in the playoffs. To do this they need to set up a few new rules.
First, the three division leaders in each conference should no longer get the top three seeds in the playoffs. Instead, these teams get a certain amount of cash to acknowledge that they won their division and nothing more, while the top eight teams in each conference make it to the playoffs.
The following scenario could really spice up the NHL season if it came into play. If a team that isn't going to make the playoffs (such as Colorado last year) has more points than a team in the other conference that is going to make it to the playoffs, the two teams battle head to head to decide who moves on.
If the team that is the "challenger" wins they would take the seed of the team they defeated.
These are my ideas on what the NHL should do to make the playoffs more about the best teams, instead of who got lucky and made it into the weak division and conference.