Originally posted by uzless
Half the teams in the NHL do not make the playoffs. You can complain all you want that that is too many but it's pretty much exactly the same as the NBA
But how can you compare NHL playoffs to the NBA or MLB anyway?
For one, MLB (and NFL) avoids the first place team getting beat by giving them a cheesy BYE from the first round so any comparison is ch ...[text shortened]... little if you don't play as a team. It's little wonder americans don't like hockey.
The statements about the MLB and NFL are exactly the point. Both sports choose to make their regular seasons important by limiting the number of teams that make it to the playoffs. IF the MLB would let 16 teams in, their regular season would also be a joke, as basically any decent MLB team could beat any other team ina given 7 game series.
The only sport that has the same philosophy regarding the playoffs as the NHL is the NBA. "Teamwork" aside, the NBA has fewer upsets because there's so much scoring, that it minimizes the odds that luck will factor into an outcome. Sure, a game between 2 equal teams can be decided by luck; but if one team really "ought" to lose, 100-70; they're not going to win because of a bounce or two.
In hockey, the better team can lose because of bad bounces. You can get a couple of flukey goals and then basically turn the neutral zone into muck for 40 minutes, get some decent goal tending and steal games that way. I didn't watch all of every game in the Washington series, but I did watch all of Game 7 and it's plain that the Caps were more talented and the better team. They outshot the Habs almost 3-1; but you give up one PP goal in the First, get a questionable waive off on the Ovechkin shot early in the third (Knuble didn't interfere with Halak; that was just bad luck); have a strange defensive breakdown on the last goal and the Canadiens can nurse a 2-1 win.
Look, I'm not saying the Canadiens didn't deserve to win. They won fair and square. But they were not the better team. They were -6 in goal diff in the reg season and the Caps were + 85.
By FAR the best in the league. That's roughly analogous to a baseball team being +300 in run differential.
Hockey is conducive to allowing the inferior teams to win individual games and series'. That's why it makes sense to keep them out of the playoffs.
As far as I'm concerned, in the East, Buffalo, Pitt, Washington and NJ really belonged in the playoffs. The rest had basically mediocre seasons.
In the west, I guess everyone except for Colorado can make a case for having had a really good year. But that's 11 teams. 16 is too many.