FanPost

Playoff possibilities using the new NHL alignment


Good Morning fellow LBC members! For better or worse, we now know what the NHL will look like for the upcoming 2012-13 regular season. What's still currently up in the air is how the last two rounds of the playoffs will work. Will the NHL take the winners of the two western most conferences and pair them up while doing the same with the two eastern conferences or will they reseed the four remaining teams by regular season points and finally do away with the east vs west finals model we've grown accustomed to? Using today's regular season standings we'll take a look at both options and see what kind of match ups we could see along the way as I run a complete playoff simulation below using next year's format.

For this simulation, in the geographical based scenario the higher seeded team will win every series except when it's the Panthers. After all, this is LBC so let's see a sim that places the Cats in the finals, right? For the points based scenario in the Final Four I am going have an upset or two along the way so we can see how two teams in the same geographic area can end up in the finals. As of right now two teams that would make the playoffs this season (Ottawa and St. Louis) would not qualify using next year's format.

Scenario # 1 Geography based Semis and Stanley Cup

First Round Match Ups

Conference A: Vancouver (33) vs San Jose (29) / Phoenix (33) vs Los Angeles (30)

Conference B: Minnesota (39) vs Detroit, (33) / Chicago (36) vs Dallas (31)

Conference C: Boston (35) vs Buffalo, (29) / Florida (34) vs Toronto (33)

Conference D: Pittsburgh (36) vs Washington (27) / Rangers (33) vs Philadelphia (33)

Second Round Match Ups

Conference A: Vancouver (33) vs Phoenix (33)

Conference B: Minnesota (39) vs Chicago (36)

Conference C: Boston (35) vs Florida (34)

Conference D: Pittsburgh (36) vs Rangers (33)

Semifinals and Stanley Cup Finals (based on geography: A vs B and C vs D)

Semis: Minnesota (39) vs Vancouver (33) / Pittsburgh (36) vs Florida (33)

Stanley Cup Finals: Minnesota vs Florida

Scenario #2 Points based Semis and Stanley Cup

First Round Match Ups

Conference A: Vancouver (33) vs San Jose (29) / Phoenix (33) vs Los Angeles (30)

Conference B: Minnesota (39) vs Detroit, (33) / Chicago (36) vs Dallas (31)

Conference C: Boston (35) vs Buffalo, (29) / Florida (34) vs Toronto (33)

Conference D: Pittsburgh (36) vs Washington (27) / Rangers (33) vs Philadelphia (33)

Dallas is an upset winner in round one

Second Round Match Ups

Conference A: Vancouver (33) vs Phoenix (33) winner: Vancouver (33)

Conference B: Minnesota (39) vs Dallas (31) winner: Dallas (31)

Conference C: Boston (35) vs Florida (34) winner: Florida (34)

Conference D: Pittsburgh (36) vs Rangers (33) winner: Rangers (33)

Dallas and New York are upset winners in round two

Semifinals and Stanley Cup Finals (based on points)

Semis: Florida (34) vs Dallas (31) / Vancouver (33) vs Rangers (33)

Stanley Cup Finals: Florida vs New York Rangers

Just a side note on this, had I run both of the scenarios out the same way with the higher seeded team winning every series except when it was the Panthers we would have ended up with exactly the same two teams (Wild & Panthers) in the finals. That's just how things would have shook out due to the points of the final four teams, which is why I added the upsets to show something different. So even if the NHL got bold and reseeded for the 4 remaining teams they will still get an east vs west Stanley Cup at least some of the time. Personally, I am in favor of scenario #2 with a final four based on points not location but the NHL may come up with something different for the playoffs (maybe reseeding after the first round) than presented here. These seem to be the two ways that are currently favored according to the press and the few GM's that have been interviewed on the subject. Hope you found this at least remotely interesting.

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