A comparison of how the playoff matchups would look under the current format vs the old format

Published April 20, 2022 at 11:34
BY MIKE ARMENTI
There has been a lot of talk in recent seasons about how much better the NHL playoff structure would be if the League went back to the old 1v8, 2v7, 3v6, 4v5 format. While there are certainly arguments to support reverting to the old system, the Leafs would still match up against the Boston Bruins or Tampa Bay Lightning in round 1 even under the old format.


As The Athletic's Scott Wheeler points out, the biggest issue with the current format is the matchup between the Edmonton Oilers and LA Kings in the Western Conference. In the current format, the 5th place Oilers draw the 7th place Kings, which allows for the 5th seed a better matchup than the 2nd, 3rd and 4th seeds. Meanwhile, the 7th seed Kings draw a better matchup than seeds 3, 4 and 6.




It is worth noting that, while the old format would certainly be better for the overall field, it would not improve things much for the Leafs, who would actually slot in behind the Carolina Hurricanes as the 3rd seed, rather than their current spot as the 2nd seed, due to the fact that division winners would slot in higher than the runner ups. So, in this case, since the Hurricanes won their division, even if the Leafs finish above the Canes in points, the Canes would still slot in ahead of them.


Either way, the Leafs would be preparing for home ice advantage in round one.
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