Stanley Cup Playoffs Poor Scheduling

15 04 2009


The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin tonight and the Washington Caps are hosting the first two games at home in D.C! The playoffs are held in a series of seven games, where the first team to win four games, goes on to the next round of the playoffs.

Wikipedia describes this Best of Seven series as:

“A best-of-seven playoff, also known by the name seven-game series, pits two teams against each other for as many games (or sets) as needed for one team to win four games (or sets). It is not necessary for the four games to be consecutively won. Since each game must be won by one team or the other there can be at most seven games in a series.”

I honestly think seven games is a little much for all of the teams to have to go through in each round of the playoffs. With a total of 16 teams in the first round (8 separate match-ups), and a possibility of each match-up lasting all seven games, that is just way too many games to be played (and that’s just the first round of the playoffs)! If every match-up in every round of playoffs all went to seven games, then the Stanley Cup playoffs would seriously last forever!

Now, granted, there isn’t much of a problem with the possibility of getting to watch my team playing so much more in the post-season. But the hype and pressure also could be decreased by the large sum of games played. Compare this to the NCAA basketball tournament where each team is matched up, plays one game, and the winner of that game goes on to the next round. There is no series. It’s a win or go home situation for everyone. I’m not sure why hockey has to implement such a long series for the playoffs.

While I’m discussing this lengthy playoff schedule, how come there are just so many teams in the playoffs? Sixteen, to be exact. I think the playoff series would be much more exciting if the teams played a best of 3 or best of 5 games. But 7? That’s quite a lot.

And the seven game thing is just plain weird. It seems like under this rule, a team could lose the first three games, win the last four  games and still make it to the next round. I’m not sure if this is really allowed though, because games #5-7 are only played if necessary, based on the results of games #1-4. It’s so complicated. A simple “win best 3 out of 5 with the last two games being optional” makes so much more sense to me.

Anyways, like I said, a potential seven more games to see the Caps play in the first round also couldn’t hurt anyone either. So with that being said…





2 responses

15 04 2009
tony butter food co.

‘I’m not sure why hockey has to implement such a long series for the playoffs.’

.. as with any question in life your first thought should be how is money involved. Oh you can make way more money selling tickets to 7 games at $175 a piece than you can with just 1 game … golly i wonder why they have 7?????????????????????????????

16 04 2009

Personally, I like the idea of a seven game playoff. If the matchup is lopsided, you get a quick four game sweep and a rest period while the other series finish up. If the series goes the distance (even if it goes to seven games after one of the teams goes up 3-0, but that rarely happens) you get some intricate storylines and fierce battles that would be absolutely lost if it was only a one game playoff.

Not to mention how would misconducts and suspensions be handled? A player gets a suspension for a questionable hit and they’re out the entire playoffs when the player they hit plays the next shift. That would put a serious handicap on the intensity the playoffs bring. And what about that ‘one’ bad game? That would be a little silly to lose an entire 82 game season of work after one game. Plus home games, why should a team that sneaks into 8th seed lose all potential for any home games?

Not trying to poo-poo the idea, I just prefer things the way they are. If they were to make a change, maybe make the quarter finals best of five.

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