Thursday, December 8, 2011

The NHL Realigns the Conferences and Everyone's Head Explodes!!

There has been so much chatter about different realignment plans the past month or so, but I guess I thought they were just rumors or suggestions to stir the pot for angry hockey fans. I had no idea the NHL was that serious about drastically realigning the conferences and divisions, so I was shocked when the NHL actually approved a realignment plan that also includes a new playoff format. I understand the logic in developing conferences or divisions based on geography, but I'm not too fond of the new playoff format. Also, I am not happy that the Kings will play the San Jose Sharks and the Anaheim Ducks 6 times each! I know there's a rivalry among the California teams, but honestly, I HATE watching games against the Sharks, Ducks, and Coyotes. Hate them! When I decide which home games I want to attend, I immediately cross off all games against the aforementioned teams. Kings fans see so much of those teams season after season and having more games against them is not what I want. I remember several years back when the Kings played their division rivals 6 times per season and I thought it was terrible. I was so sick of seeing those teams over and over again. I am glad we get to see Eastern teams twice per regular season (including once at home!), so yay for that.

This past week I've been trying to format my thoughts into a concise sentence or two, but have failed miserably (see above in case you skipped my rant), so I'm glad I came across Pension Plan Puppets' brief initial thoughts on the realignment because this sentence is exactly how I feel:

It's not the end of the world, but I think a reorganization to accommodate Winnipeg didn't have to be such a complete overhaul.

Totally agree! I thought one or two teams would switch divisions or even conferences, but 4 new conferences with a drastically different playoff format? Not what I was expecting and I'm surprised to hear it passed fairly easily. People have been saying that this new format could be easily adjusted if, or rather when, the Coyotes relocate (probably east). But still, I don't like it! (Is my whiny voice getting through???) Since the realignment news was announced on Monday a lot of hockey bloggers and analysts have written about this subject, so here's a roundup of some of the best ones I read this week:

New Playoffs System Lacks Fairness by Tom Awad (at ESPN)
"The past few seasons, 91 points would have been enough to make the playoffs, on average, in a seven-team conference, but 94 points would have been required to make the cut in an eight-team conference."

NHL Realignment = Inferior Product by Empty Netters
"If we could put percentages to what we like and don't like about this plan, it's 75 percent bad and 25 percent good."

TRH Gameday 28 - Minnesota Wild: Realigning & It Feels So Good by The Royal Half
"The Kings are in a tough conference where you have to assume that the Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks will make the playoffs each season. That leaves space for 2 spots from 6 teams."

What realignment tells us about the league’s opinion of the West by Harrison Mooney (at Puck Daddy)
"Not since I last played Oregon Trail have I heard so much about the horrors of going West. Heck, the settlers were better sports about it, and they were in covered wagons, dying of consumption."
(I LOVE any reference about Oregon Trail! I always looked forward to computer sessions in elementary school because playing Oregon Trail was SO MUCH FUN even on those super shitty computers that we once thought were amazing!)

A Spoonful of Sugar by Katebits (at The Willful Caboose)
"Two rounds of playoffs within the division is TOO MUCH."
(I wholeheartedly agree!!!!!)

So, fellow Kings fans (or hockey fans), what you do you think of the realignment plan? Love it? Like it? Nothing it? Dislike it? Hate it?

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