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Here's an explanation of how the Stanley Cup playoffs would work under the new alignment plan.
"The top four teams in each Conference qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The first-place team would play the fourth-place team; the second-place team would play the third-place team. The four respective Conference champions would meet in the third round of the Playoffs, with the survivors playing for the Stanley Cup."
With the new conferences set up the way they are, we could see the following matchups more often in the playoffs:
Bruins vs. Canadiens Flyers vs. Penguins
Flyers vs. Rangers Rangers vs. Penguins
Canucks vs. Sharks Red Wings vs. Blackhawks
I don't know about you but those are some awesome matchups. Each of those teams are in a division with the other, meaning if they both finish in the top four of their conference, they could likely face each other.
The Rangers for example, might have to beat the Flyers and the Penguins to get to the Stanley Cup Final in the next few seasons, which will be a pretty tough road.
For hockey fans, this playoff system will give us awesome matchups that will have old and new rivals squaring off with regularity.
Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin will also play in the same conference, hopefully, setting up some Penguins versus Capitals playoffs series soon.