Potential Playoff Matchups

Dec 6, 2017
107
Ann Arbor, MI
I looked around but didn't find a thread discussing potential first round matchups and with 8 games or less left for each team, I think it's time to discuss it.

Because of the absolutely inane system the NHL is using, with the current standings, we'd pull toronto in the first round. Here are all the eastern conference matchups...

Tampa (106)
Jersey (86)

Boston (104)
Toronto (97)

Washington (95)
Philly (89)

Pitt (92)
Columbus (89)

Moving up to the one seed would mean only having to play one of tampa and toronto.

Having three of the four best conference teams in the same division really shows the weaknesses in this system. A 100+ point toronto team is going to have to open up, on the road, against either boston or tampa......
 
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TFP

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Dec 10, 2007
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The fact that Boston-Tampa and Nashville-Winnipeg are both set to face off in the 2nd round shows how stupid the new seeding system is. Both of those should be the conference final matchups (in an ideal world, of course).
 

cshea

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Yeah, it is a stupid format. The Bruins reward for having the 3rd best record in the NHL could be drawing a 100+ point, 5th best record Toronto in round 1.

Just go back to seeding 1-8 and be done with it.
 

brunansky

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They're probably waiting until the 32nd team is added in the Western Conference, likely Seattle. At that point, my guess is they'll realign and switch to a playoff format similar to the NFL.
 

wiffleballhero

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It seems so patently awful to have the seeding system as they have it that I wonder if I have been missing something.

It seems like an exercise in setting up a system to create rivalries that just ends up making the regular season something between a total joke and a sources of injustice for a stack of teams every year.

I might be a little hazy on their reasoning, but it seems to me that if the NHL is really committed to rivalries, they should make the regular season even more unbalanced and just let in the top 4 from each division. The wild card is weird and extraneous. It makes sense in the NFL because of the bye and the differences in the total number of games, but in hockey, not so much.
 

joe dokes

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Yeah, it is a stupid format. The Bruins reward for having the 3rd best record in the NHL could be drawing a 100+ point, 5th best record Toronto in round 1.

Just go back to seeding 1-8 and be done with it.
I could live with the division winners, regardless of record, getting 1 and 2, and seeding the rest 3-8. I think if there are going to be divisions, then winning them should have some value.


I might be a little hazy on their reasoning, but it seems to me that if the NHL is really committed to rivalries, they should make the regular season even more unbalanced and just let in the top 4 from each division.
Wasn't that the format for quite a while? "Adams division semi-finals" and the like.
 

j44thor

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It seems so patently awful to have the seeding system as they have it that I wonder if I have been missing something.

It seems like an exercise in setting up a system to create rivalries that just ends up making the regular season something between a total joke and a sources of injustice for a stack of teams every year.

I might be a little hazy on their reasoning, but it seems to me that if the NHL is really committed to rivalries, they should make the regular season even more unbalanced and just let in the top 4 from each division. The wild card is weird and extraneous. It makes sense in the NFL because of the bye and the differences in the total number of games, but in hockey, not so much.
If they were committed to rivalries they wouldn't have only 4 games between division "rivals" during the reg season.

I like the idea of 1-2 for the division winners and seeding 3-8.
 

timlinin8th

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I like the idea of 1-2 for the division winners and seeding 3-8.
I do too, which is why the NHL will end up taking the top four teams in each division and have the first two rounds of the playoffs be straight divisional rounds as soon as the 32nd team gets added (an idea I hate)

Because RIVALRIES!... instead of playing the best competition available :(
 

lexrageorge

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The days of playing solely division opponents the first 2 rounds got stale real quick. It may have been that the divisions had fewer teams, but playing Buffalo, Hartford or Montreal every playoff season did get old.

Seeding the division winners 1-2 and going 3-8 by record would work well. If the 2 best teams are in the same division, that format at least pushes their meeting until the conference finals.
 

joe dokes

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Rabbit hole report.....quite the interesting wikipedia list of Adams division members over time (haven't bothered to look at the corresponding playoff formats):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adams_Division

1974–1976
Changes from the 1973–74 season
  • The Adams Division is formed as a result of NHL realignment
  • The Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, and Toronto Maple Leafs come from the East Division
  • The California Golden Seals come from the West Division
1976–1978
Changes from the 1975–76 season
  • The California Golden Seals moved to Richfield, Ohio, to become the Cleveland Barons
1978–1979
Changes from the 1977–78 season
  • The Cleveland Barons merge with the Minnesota North Stars. The merged franchise continues as the Minnesota North Stars, but leaves the Smythe Division to assume the Barons' place in the Adams Division to prevent the Adams from dropping to only three teams.
1979–1981
  • Boston Bruins
  • Buffalo Sabres
  • Minnesota North Stars
  • Quebec Nordiques
  • Toronto Maple Leafs
Changes from the 1978–79 season
1981–1992
Changes from the 1980–81 season
  • The Minnesota North Stars and Toronto Maple Leafs move to the Norris Division
  • The Hartford Whalers and Montreal Canadiens come from the Norris Division
1992–1993
  • Boston Bruins
  • Buffalo Sabres
  • Hartford Whalers
  • Montreal Canadiens
  • Ottawa Senators
  • Quebec Nordiques
Changes from the 1991–92 season
  • The Ottawa Senators are added as an expansion team
After the 1992–93 season
The league was reformatted into two conferences with two divisions each:
 

timlinin8th

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Gotta first place bump... Bruins still got the one game in hand, are one point up and own the tiebreaker over Tampa. The remaining schedules -

Bruins: Sat, FLA; Sun, Philly; Tues, TB; Thu, FLA; Sat, Sens; Sun, FLA.

TB: Tomorrow, Rags; Sun, Preds; Tues, Bruins; Fri, Sabres; Sat, Canes.

Hopefully TB go into NY tired tomorrow, want to see their losing streak continue since they close out the season with two weaker opponents. Bruins playing the Panthers three times in a week is gonna suck, and onviously the next head-to-head is going to be huge.
 

wiffleballhero

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Bummer that with the OTL today they can't clinch vs. TB on Tuesday. No matter what, with the ROW tiebreaker, they need more than just that game now, even if Nashville wins tonight.
 

BoSoxFink

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Bummer that with the OTL today they can't clinch vs. TB on Tuesday. No matter what, with the ROW tiebreaker, they need more than just that game now, even if Nashville wins tonight.
I thought they held the tiebreaker against Tampa so that if they tied they would win?
 

wiffleballhero

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Assuming both teams get to 82 games, the first tiebreaker is Regulation and Overtime Wins (excluding shootouts).

Second tie-breaker is head to head, at least according to NHL.com

The actual first tie-breaker is 'fewer number of games played' or points percentage.
 

wiffleballhero

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And so it goes. With the NASH win, now if the Bruins win vs. TB they guarantee a tie on points and will need only a TB tie or loss or one other point of their own to put away the top seed in the conference.
 

wilked

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3 games left - @panthers, Senators, Panthers

Anything less than 2 wins and they are probably playing Toronto first round as a 2 seed

2 wins, 4 points should lock the top seed (5 points clinches) and set up a date with either Devils or Flyers (currently neck and neck)

Florida needs to win out practically, so if the Bs can take care of business in that first game it might make that last game meaningless for the Panthers
 

RedOctober3829

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3 games left - @panthers, Senators, Panthers

Anything less than 2 wins and they are probably playing Toronto first round as a 2 seed

2 wins, 4 points should lock the top seed (5 points clinches) and set up a date with either Devils or Flyers (currently neck and neck)

Florida needs to win out practically, so if the Bs can take care of business in that first game it might make that last game meaningless for the Panthers
Who has the tiebreaker at this point?
 

Salem's Lot

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Who has the tiebreaker at this point?
If Tampa wins their final 2 games in regulation or OT, they would have 114 points and 49 ROW. The Bruins would need 5 out of 6 points in their final 3 games in order to pass them, because two ROW for the Bruins in their next two would give them 114 points but only 48 ROW. So Tampa would win the tiebreaker. However, if Tampa wins one of their last two in a shootout, they would also finish with 48 ROW and the Bruins (assuming 2 ROW in last 3) would win on the HTH tiebreaker.
 

cshea

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Depends on how they finish, but most likely Tampa. Their max out is 114 points and 49 ROW.

B’s would need 3 wins to get to 49 ROW, but it would be moot since they’d have more points.
 

cshea

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Bruins are still in the drivers seat. 2-0-1 or better and they are the 1. Tampa losing points would obviously help, but the Bruins are still in decent shape regardless.
 

wilked

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In my opinion this next game tomorrow at Florida is the key to the whole thing. Win that and they are truly in the driver's seat (Florida will have nothing to play for in their final game, and Senators will be Senators). Lose that game and they are likely 2 seed.
 

j44thor

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A lot of interesting games tonight starting with PIT @ CBJ and TOR @ NJD
Didn't realize PHI was only 2pts behind PIT/CBJ though further behind in ROW. I'd love to see a PHI/PIT first rd match-up.

Also interesting that TOR who has nothing to play for besides staying sharp is at NJ tonight. A TOR win in reg combined with a PHI win vs CAR move NJD to the 8th seed which obviously helps the Atlantic conference #1 seed.

A PHI Win or OTL and B's win in regulation knocks FL out.
 

wiffleballhero

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Not looking good all of the sudden.

Bruins have to win out on points. A tie is no good. Indeed, if TB wins tonight, tomorrow is garbage time either way.

The tiebreakers will not help them anymore. So let's hope Carolina can win in regulation (nice third period Buffalo) and the Bruins can find their grove for a couple days.
 

MiracleOfO2704

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Philly leads 1-0 early in the 2nd. Any point eliminates Florida and gives the Bruins a shot at the division if Tampa drops points tonight.
 

wiffleballhero

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A "Game 7" tonight for the Blues and Avs. If StL gets at least a point, they're in. If the Avs win in regulation, they're in. Should be quite a game.
I hope this creates the rare tied-game-pulled goalie situation.


How does the Philly game affect the Bruins having a shot at the division if Tampa drops points tonight?
The Philly win makes Sunday's game garbage time for FLA. They are out.

It could be garbage time for the Bs as well if things don't go right tonight
 

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I hope this creates the rare tied-game-pulled goalie situation.




The Philly win makes Sunday's game garbage time for FLA. They are out.

It could be garbage time for the Bs as well if things don't go right tonight
I understand this. It still all hinges on TB tonight. As long as they lost points tonight, the Bruins have a shot at the division regardless of anything else.
 

wiffleballhero

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I understand this. It still all hinges on TB tonight. As long as they lost points tonight, the Bruins have a shot at the division regardless of anything else.
Right, Miracle's post is unclear/inaccurate. The Philly game only matters to Boston insofar as FLA now will be playing to get the hell out of the barn ASAP tomorrow. Presumably they will not be as pesky as last week.
 

RedOctober3829

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Here's the schedule.

If the opponent is NJ
G1: Thursday 7 pm
G2: Saturday 3 pm
G3: Monday 7:30 pm
G4: Wednesday 7:30 pm
G5: Friday
G6: Sunday
G7: Tuesday

If the opponent is Toronto
G1: Thursday 7 pm
G2: Saturday 8 pm
G3: Monday 7 pm
G4: Thursday 7 pm
G5: Saturday
G6: Monday
G7: Wednesday