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Should the NHL stop giving automatic berths to division leaders?

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I have mix feelings about this about this. Yes you should be awarded for winning your division but it wouldn't be fair if you won the division but finished below 9th place. Right now IMO the Sabres would be screwed out of a playoff spot.

I think the NHL should do this.

Rearrange the league into 2 conferences 2 divisions in each conference. One 8 team division and one 7 team division for each conference.

Playoffs system would be what was done in the NHL before 1993, and what's used in the AHL now.

#1 team in division faces #4 team

#2 team in division faces #3 team

Winners meet in Division Finals.

Division champions meet in Conference finals

Conference champions meet for Stanley Cup Finals.

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No, I don't like that format. Too open...too easy for teams to miss out on the playoffs. I like the current system, even if it means a team gets its *edit* handed to it in the playoffs just b/c it only made it thru by winning the division. As of right now, I don't think the Sabres are any better of a team that the Hurricanes, regardless of there slim point lead. Interesting topic though.

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I have mixed feelings on this as well. I certainly do not think the Canes belong in the playoffs, but when you're playing 8 games against each divisional opponent, I think it is key that the division winner is awarded with a berth. If the schedule was rearranged to where you played every team in the conference the same number of games, then the point of having divisions would go right out the window, along with the winner take top 3 berth thing.

I voted No, even though I think the Canes belong in 11th place right now.

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No, I don't like that format. Too open...too easy for teams to miss out on the playoffs. I like the current system, even if it means a team gets its @$$ handed to it in the playoffs just b/c it only made it thru by winning the division. As of right now, I don't think the Sabres are any better of a team that the Hurricanes, regardless of there slim point lead. Interesting topic though.

Ok. Here's another suggestion.

The division winner gets an automatic playoff birth but not the #3 seed. A lot of people think that it's too high up. You get the position you finished within the conference. However if you finish below 8th then you automaticly get the 8th seed.

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And if the Sabre's were in the top 8 right now, would you even be posting this on the Canes board?

BTW, we're not the 3rd seed anymore, any better?

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And if the Sabre's were in the top 8 right now, would you even be posting this on the Canes board?

BTW, we're not the 3rd seed anymore, any better?

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No, we get the playoff spot because we won the division. It's a reward for winning your division, it's done this way in every sport.

I was literally about to write the same thing haha. I'm have no problem with it the way it is even if it means my Sabres are the odd team out. It's just the way it is.

BMB- We don't need to worry about the Southeast, we need to focus on Boston next...

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Ok. Right now you have 56 points and we have 57. WE HAVE THE 8TH BEST RECORD IN THE CONFERENCE!!!! BUT you get the 3rd seed and we get the 9th seed BECAUSE YOU LEAD THE DIVISION.

So if the regular season ended today you would be in the playoffs and we wouldn't, even though we have more points then you.

I know youl'll be happy making the playoffs and all but do you think that after this season the NHL should stop giving automatic births to division leaders?

Put it this way, if the Buffalo Bills were leading the AFC East at a record of 9-7 they would get a automatic playoff spot. If the other teams in the AFC divisions have teams with better records, does that mean the bills lose their spot? Being the best team in your division get a playoff spot no matter what. And why are you complaining now anyways we are no longer in the lead :P direct your inquiry here now : http://boards.washingtoncaps.com/''>http://boards.washingtoncaps.com/' target="_blank">http://boards.washingtoncaps.com/[/post]

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I was literally about to write the same thing haha. I'm have no problem with it the way it is even if it means my Sabres are the odd team out. It's just the way it is.

BMB- We don't need to worry about the Southeast, we need to focus on Boston next...

Haha, I wouldnt worry too much about the Southleast but if its really upsetting, you might want to make a visit over to the Capitals board.

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I was literally about to write the same thing haha. I'm have no problem with it the way it is even if it means my Sabres are the odd team out. It's just the way it is.

BMB- We don't need to worry about the Southeast, we need to focus on Boston next...

Haha, I wouldnt worry too much about the Southleast but if its really upsetting, you might want to make a visit over to the Capitals board.

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i say if either team could consistenlty win games...it wouldnt even be an issue. im not content with JUST making the playoffs. its every teams or fans desire to "win it if your in it". i dont buy into that..."yay at least we made the playoffs" stuff. its useless. i will admit though, if the canes do make it to the playoffs...and i stress the word IF. it will be short lived. but , if they continue to play like they have, that wont be an issue either because it wont even happen. i think every divisional leader at the end of the season should get a shot at the playoffs, but at the same time....i also agree there are some teams that are left out that are more deserving. somebody loses no matter how ya slice it.

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Haha, I wouldnt worry too much about the Southleast but if its really upsetting, you might want to make a visit over to the Capitals board.

I didn't mean as disrespect against the SE, I'm just saying that we (Sabres) need to worry about our own games rather than try and find loopholes to get into the playoffs.

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I didn't mean as disrespect against the SE, I'm just saying that we (Sabres) need to worry about our own games rather than try and find loopholes to get into the playoffs.

No offense taken, its reality this season. Good point though, its no fun when your team cant control its own destiny and has to depend on other teams to lose to get into the playoffs. If either of our teams took care of their own business we wouldnt be having this discussion, we'd be arguing about fan behavior for playoff games ;)

I like your new/old avatar much better.

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I didn't mean as disrespect against the SE, I'm just saying that we (Sabres) need to worry about our own games rather than try and find loopholes to get into the playoffs.

No offense taken, its reality this season. Good point though, its no fun when your team cant control its own destiny and has to depend on other teams to lose to get into the playoffs. If either of our teams took care of their own business we wouldnt be having this discussion, we'd be arguing about fan behavior for playoff games ;)

I like your new/old avatar much better.

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what needs to change is how we earn points. giving teams 1 point for an OT or SO loss just clumps everyone together. my feelings are to make it so the 5min OT is still intact, but if you lose you don't get a point. Then make a 3 v 3 situation until someone scores and winner gets 2 loser gets 1 point at this level. As for divisional winners, I say keep it, we need to change the schedule so we play less divisional games and more of the other teams (which is changing next year). I'm just not a big fan of the shootout and at least a 3 v 3 keeps the shootout opportunity there, but doesnt make it only based on that.

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I was literally about to write the same thing haha. I'm have no problem with it the way it is even if it means my Sabres are the odd team out. It's just the way it is.

BMB- We don't need to worry about the Southeast, we need to focus on Boston next...

Ok. Yes we should focus on Boston next but we can't forget about the Southeast.

Right now the Eastern Conference is WIDE open. The only teams that I THINK are out of it right now is Toronto & Tampa Bay. (Yes mathmatically they are still in it but those organizations are messes). I don't see them pulling out dramatic comebacks to get back into the hunt.

We are tied with Washington 1 point ahead of Carolina & Atlanta & 2 ahead of Florida. Granted come March, unless something dramatic happens, THESE ARE THE TEAMS WE WILL BE COMPETING FOR THE FINAL PLAYOFF SPOT

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I'm gonna have to go with TSA with this. Let's say Buffalo wasn't the odd team out right now. Let's say Buffalo was currently in Ottawa's spot and vise-versa. Would you even complain about the divisions?

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I agree, he is only complaining because they are on the outside looking in. Win more games and take care of it yourselves and stopping looking to place the blame elsewhere. Also, complain come April, not in February, it shows that you NO confidence in your team.

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Ok. Here's another suggestion.

The division winner gets an automatic playoff birth but not the #3 seed. A lot of people think that it's too high up. You get the position you finished within the conference. However if you finish below 8th then you automaticly get the 8th seed.

First off, I don't think you're complaining .... well, maybe a little, but it's a legitimate question from any fan. I tend to agree with this arrangement. On the other hand, if you have a less than stellar record and you end up with the 3rd seed, you're gonna face the 6th seed with a potentially better record (hence a better team) and you're gonna be out early. Then everyone can say hahaha, see, I told ya! But if the 6th seed loses, the points didn't really matter did they?

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The Division Winner gets the reward which is an automatic playoff spot along with home ice advantage for atleast the first Round. That's what happens when you face your division 8 times a year and battle it out with them. You get rewarded.

Seriously if Buffalo wasn't on the outside looking in, this wouldn't even be a discussion. And I'm still trying to figure out why it was posted on the Canes board anyway.

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I think it has to stay as long as the division heavy scheduling formats are in place. But if those were somehow changed to a more conference balanced schedule I have no problem with division champions not making the playoffs, since they wouldn't need to exist at that point.

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I agree, he is only complaining because they are on the outside looking in. Win more games and take care of it yourselves and stopping looking to place the blame elsewhere. Also, complain come April, not in February, it shows that you NO confidence in your team.

That maybe true but I'm not the one who first noticed this.

MSG looked at the standings a few days ago and our color commentaor Harry Neal said "it would be a SHAME if the Hurricanes won the division but finished below 9th."

I'm not the only one who's thinking this. After Neal said that I thought "how what would people think if a division winner finished below 9th place."

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This argument always rests on where your team is at the time.

But from an objective standpoint, even though it seems unfair to certain teams at times, it is good for the league. Take the SE division, clearly the weakest, as of now. None of the teams would be in the playoffs without the automatic berth.

With it though, it creates continued fan interest for SE teams as each divisional game and the proverbial 4-point swing, is impactful. As a secondary benefit it further deepens rivalries as intradivisional match-ups late in the season become playoff style games with an all-or-nothing playoff outcome potentially on the line.

So yes it has flaws but I say keep it for just these kinds of situations.

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