The new look NHL is based on geographic location taking into account the time zones where the groups are based. The league is split into two conferences, east and west, with two divisions per conference. New divisions as follows:
Division D – Metropolitan
Could they possibly have been imaginative? With the new look NHL they could have chosen branch names to honor hockey greats, events or landmarks in the past.
The new look NHL is based on geographic location taking under account the time zones where the groups are based. The league is divided into two conferences, east and west, with two divisions per conference. The Pacific Division teams are the Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, LA Kings, San Jose Sharks and Vancouver Canucks. Western teams will play 29 games within their own branch, 21 games against the other division and a home and home series versus each of the 16 eastern conference teams (32 matches ) for a total of 82 games.
The Atlantic Division comprises the Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs. The Metropolitan Division has the Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals. They’ll play 30 games within their own division, 24 games versus the other branch and 28 games (1 home and 1 away per team) against western opponents.
The top three teams in each division will make the playoffs. Four wild card spots will be filled by another two highest placed finishers in each conference, based on regular-season points and regardless of division. It will be possible for one branch to send five teams to the postseason while the other sends three.
First Round – The 1st place team with the highest seasonal point total will play the lowest point total wild card team and another 1st place team will play the other wild card team.
Second Round – Here’s were it might get a little tricky. The winners in the first round play against each other within their own division for the division championship. The problem is, it is possible for 3 winners to be from the exact same division.
Again, these two teams could be from the exact same division.
Fourth Round – Conference champions play for the Stanley Cup.
The new look NHL isn’t set in stone. The playoff format is on a 3 year trial period and it will be re-evaluated.
My Playoff Idea – All 16 teams making the playoffs are thrown in the same pool and seeded in accordance with their regular season point total. Ties decided the identical way as in the past. In each round the maximum seed plays the smallest, second seed the second smallest and so on. The possible drawback, of course, could be that the last two teams standing are from exactly the same conference. This has the potential for causing disinterest among fans of another conference.