Maybe I’m becoming a fan of jerseys instead of being a fan of hockey!
In the past, I didn’t really favor any teams except for the Habs ( As a kid and I put a stop to that nonsense in the mid-80’s), and the Penguins ( I was a fan of Lemieux and Coffey). I admit that I like the Nordiques/Avalanches too but I wouldn’t be considered a fan. In the past few years, I have become a little more of a fan of two teams: The Pens ( again because of the Crosby-Malkin-Stall!) and the Canucks (maybe because of some BC nostalgia). Both are usually fast skating teams and their players were creating great plays. I find it makes for entertaining hockey.
But today, as the Canucks are down 2-0 in their series and the Pens 3-0, I find myself a little annoyed with the playoffs. This is the first year that I feel like this. I have heard variations of the following sentence from some fans before: “My team’s out so I have no interest in watching anymore” (Habs, Bruins and Leafs fans often think like this). And now, I start to feel the same way!
Trying to analyse this made me think (among other things-like why do I care!) about how meaningless the regular season is for the NHL and how long the playoffs season is. I don’t know of any other professional sport where playoffs last for so long. I know that the money aspect will never allow it but I think that a different but shorter structure for the playoffs would be much better.
Here is my suggestion:
-The top three teams ( Points total or Divisional leaders-this doesn’t really matters to me) make the playoffs for sure but have a week off at the end of the season.
-Teams in position 4 through 7 have a very short playoff : 4 vs 7,one game, 5 vs 6, one game, winner of both games meet for one game to decide which team will face the top team in the conference. This would take about a week and then we would have 4 teams by conference playing the same way it is now (best of 7).
-To recuperate some of the lost revenues, the regular season could be extended by 8 games (90 games) so all teams would benefit.
This way, the regular season would mean a lot more.
I think I’m going to send my proposal to Bettman;-)