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Sens Underground Forums > The Playoffs Should be Shorter: Discuss

So, to me it's clear that the Habs didn't deserve to be in the playoffs this year. The Sens had no business being in the playoffs last year. Put those (and tons of other examples) together with the fact that 16 out of 30 teams just seems like too much to me and the fact that the playoffs go stupidly long, and I'm starting to think that the playoffs should be shortened.

What do you you guys think? Discuss.

April 22, 2009 at 10:06 PM | Registered Commenterneonpablo

Round One / Round Robin (all top 4 vs. all bottom 4) = 16 total first round games bottom four teams eliminated [per conference]
Round Two = 3 out of 5
Round Three = 3 out of 5
SC Finals = 4 out of 7 (its magic to see it come down to the wire in a drawn out series, so the chance is there)

I also think the season should be shorter. Go figure!

I think I only like this setup because its the one we currently use in our REC league. It sure makes for some exciting hockey when you can use the first game of any round to "feel out" your opponent.

April 22, 2009 at 10:29 PM | Registered CommenterIvanDaTerrible

For sure it's too long but at least in the NHL the Cup is up for grabs and I think there is only 1 super team IMO. Detoilet.

How would you like to watch the NBA where everyone is just going thru the motions waiting for Lakers vs Cavs which is
going to happen unless Kobe or Lebron is injured.

I like the 3 out 5 until the Finals idea. Everyone isn't beat up in the Finals at that point.

April 22, 2009 at 11:08 PM | Registered Commentertjlincoln

i love the playoffs just as they are. now, the season should be 10 games shorter.

April 22, 2009 at 11:37 PM | Registered CommenterResigned Russell

So, let me get this straight. We're seeing the absolute best hockey in the world, being played by the best players in the world, and you want to make it shorter? Are you out of your mind?

This is the real season. This is what it's all about. Hard, nasty, ugly, passion filled hockey. I wish we could see this all year long. Reg season should be 60 games, but you'll never see it.

April 22, 2009 at 11:44 PM | Registered Commenterthegertkenator

Couldn't agree more with Russell and gert. This is the best hockey anywhere in the world. I would be opposed to allowing more teams in, but shortening it is not the right idea. (Well... I do wish they'd schedule based on expediency, more like the NBA. The NHL are a bunch of bitches and they wait for every series to finish before they start the next round and their Finals games are already scheduled, regardless of when the series wrap up. Last year we had several days between the last conference finals game and the first finals game. This is the work of a mentally handicapped commissioner who caters to non-fans. The playoffs could be about a week shorter if the league had any balls.) This is the toughest trophy to win in sports and the incredible, grueling playoff schedule is why. Nothing in the world is more exciting than the stanley cup playoffs.

And best of 5 series are for pussies. If you actually wanted to have some ideal world where you could re-do the playoffs to your own liking, I can understand limiting it to 8 teams instead of 16. But any best of 5 series is a joke in my opinion. (I defend baseball as a sport to no end, but I can't defend the 5 game LDS or the tie in the all star game. Both are atrocities on the level of the black sox and steroid scandals.)

April 23, 2009 at 3:00 AM | Registered Commenterpitlick

Gert: You are seeing the best hockey in the world played by the best players in the world. You are ALSO, however, seeing some lackluster hockey resulting from a dilute pool of talent that comes from the fact that too many teams out of a too-big league get into the playoffs. You just can't tell me that the Boston - Montreal series, or last year's Ottawa - Pittsburgh series, lives up to your "Best hockey in the world" label. In a playoffs where every team had a real chance of going all the way, sweeps would be EXTREMELY rare, but you see 'em all the time.

April 23, 2009 at 7:35 AM | Registered Commenterneonpablo

but you also see upsets in the first round almost every year which makes things interesting too.

April 23, 2009 at 7:44 AM | Registered CommenterResigned Russell

Keep playoffs the same, shorten regular season, remove 4 teams from the league, move 2 back to Canada. That is all.

-The Anti-Bettman

April 23, 2009 at 11:37 AM | Registered Commenterpucknut

neonpablo
Boston vs Montreal, Ottawa vs Pittsburgh - was the best hockey in the world...for Pittsburgh and Boston fans. Sometimes its worthwhile to see a good schooling. Plus it creates back story for future games. We need the rivalries and with such a diluted league, a playoff series is the best way to see it happen. Gary Roberts FTW

April 23, 2009 at 11:41 AM | Registered Commenterpucknut

I don't really see how a 5 game series is such an abomination.... what is so different between a 7 and 5 game series?

Considering how few series actually go to the full 7 games, I don't see that 5 is so ridiculous.

Don't get me wrong, when a 7 game series is exciting, it's the best thing in sports. But too often they are over-long. Once a series gets to 3-0, or even 3-1, it is basically just a waiting game until the loser is eliminated. Boooooring.

In my opinion, the best sporting events are those when one single game is the focus. THey make for epic drama and excitement. (think superbowl, world cup, olympics, game 7s etc...)

I think that 5 game series, followed by a 7 game stanley cup wouldn't significantly change the character of the playoffs, but would shorten it enough to help people focus on it. 2 months is just too long for most people. They should also cut the rest periods between series. And of course, they should shorten the regular season by a month. The Stanley Cup finals should be no later than late May.

April 23, 2009 at 12:54 PM | Registered CommenterRalph Wiggum

I'd like to thank neonpablo for starting this thread.

I really like the idea of a shorter season. But if you do that is takes revenue away from the bloated 30 team league.
I'm up for the idea of eliminating a few teams... but I'd only move another into Canada if it was feasible, the smaller markets, which are usually trodden out when this discussion usually comes up, don't stand a chance in the world without huge subsidies. The NHL would never agree to do that anyway. Especially now... and even then (ie. Kitchener Blackberries).

April 23, 2009 at 4:31 PM | Registered CommenterIvanDaTerrible

I love playoff hockey, I don't want to get rid of any games. Its always been 7 games too they'll never switch to 5, the owners make bank during the playoffs.

April 23, 2009 at 5:08 PM | Registered CommenterLego

it hasn't always been 7 games. i think back in the late 70's/early 80's they had 3 out of 5 series (correct me if i have that time frame wrong) but you're right, the owners will never give up that cash cow.

i think as long as your team is in it, the playoffs can last forever and it would be ok.

April 23, 2009 at 6:59 PM | Registered CommenterResigned Russell

it was best 3/5 for the first round until some time in the 80s....

Of course the owners won't cut games in either the playoffs or reg season because of money, but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't.

I don't know the exact details of the NHL's financial situation, but I can't help but feel that the ownership is sometimes short sighted when it comes to this kind of thing. Sure they might lose money in the short term, but it is conceivable that cutting games might boost revenues for the remaining games if it makes the overall product more exciting, increasing TV revenues.

I do know a lot of casualish fans who are just turned off by the length of the season, and even playoffs. They are sometimes astonished by just how long the thing goes on and on for. Whether or not, enough of these people would be brought in by changes in the season structure to compensate for losses in revenue, well frankly I have no idea. But it seems possible to me.

April 23, 2009 at 7:40 PM | Registered CommenterRalph Wiggum