First things first, go read this….It’s Official: The NHL Hates The Buffalo Sabres (And Apparently The Entire Eastern Conference). Richard Spalding, editor of SabreNoise.com, came up with what I think is one solid theory and argument. If you didn’t click on the link and read through the whole article I will highlight a couple important parts for you;
I understand that the NHL is probably going to expand in a year or two, but to place 16 teams in the East, versus 14 in the West, is just idiotic. Each conference has the same amount of playoff spots up for grabs – eight – but if you play out West, you have a greater chance of grabbing one of those 8 spots.
The way the divisions and conference are currently aligned, there is very little chance that you will see new teams qualifying for the playoffs in the east next year – and we are already guaranteed that at least one team who did make the playoffs next year will be left out, as well. Meanwhile we’re guaranteed to see at least one new team make the playoffs out west next year. Way to throw a bone to the Western Conference, NHL!
Interesting, is it not? Richard goes on to take a look at the Atlantic Division and how many teams made the playoffs last year, which include Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
So lets take this same theory and apply it to the Columbus Blue Jackets, who will be moving their battle East and joining the Metropolitan Division. The new division will include these teams; New York Rangers, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, Carolina Hurricanes.
So, the Blue Jackets seem to almost be in the same position that the Buffalo Sabres are in. These are the teams that made the playoffs last year in the Metropolitan Division; New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Washington Capitals, and Pittsburgh Penguins.
I am 100% on-board with Richard’s theory and think that the realignment so far is a complete bust. First you name three divisions appropriately, and botch the fourth. Now this, an unfair playoff system for one conference. What is next Gary Bettman?