Around the League

NHL crawling towards 24-team playoff

Over the weekend, Pierre LeBrun noted that the NHL is inching towards an agreement on restarting the season. While the timing is still undetermined, the 24-team playoff format is still on the table and the most popular choice. Details are scarce, but the original idea had the top-six in each division making the playoffs, which of course leaves the Rangers on the outside looking in.

Making matters potentially worse is that the draft order likely wouldn’t be updated to account for this playoff format. That means the Rangers would not only miss the playoffs, but would not move up to the top-7 in the draft. Meanwhile a team like Anaheim retains a top-10 pick while also making the playoffs. Seems unfair. Then again, nothing is going to be fair in this situation.

While the proposal is unfair, it is worth noting that Gary Bettman is now on record stating that the league will not restart until they can test and ensure there is no impact on front line medical needs. This is critical, and shows that even as we discuss this and are in dire need of anything hockey related, the league at least has a functioning brain.

While nothing is set in stone, I would be intrigued to see if the NHL goes by point percentage instead of division standings. After all, it seems weird that in a 24-team format, the 16th best team in the NHL (the Rangers) would be left out. Then again, the playoff format has always had holes.

You can bet that Jeff Gorton and John Davidson will be vocal about how much this idea screws the Rangers. I laugh when Boomer Esiason says there’s a screw the Rangers button, but this time around there actually is one.

The fan in me wants the Rangers in this playoff scenario. A fully healthy Rangers team is in the top-five offensively, has been trending up defensively (not good, but at least average), and can be carried by any of their goaltenders. There is a chance they could make some noise.

My brain disagrees, and wants the Rangers to be left out and ensured they get a top-7 pick in this draft. There is some serious talent in this draft and getting a top flight prospect could really set the Rangers up for sustained success as they come out of the rebuild.

Naturally more details are going to come, eventually.

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  • Unacceptable — screw the Rangers once, shame on you Bettman … screw the Rangers twice in one day, shame on … well even more shame on Bettman.

    It makes ZERO sense that a team left out of the playoffs shouldn’t at least reap the benefit of a better draft position. I know that 6 teams per division is in some way an “elegant” solution, but clearly there are better solutions — I mean why would the NHL choose a plan that leaves one of its biggest markets out while including markets like Florida, Buffalo and AZ?

    • Tanto [why do I feel like typing “Tonto?”], I hear you and agree. But do you have faith in our front office that we know how to draft the best players??? I mean Montoya, Sanuinetti, Brendl, Malhotra, Lundmark, McIlrath?! I mean that is awful!!! Gordie sucks!

      • Except Gordie had nothing to do with drafting half those players, and nothing much to do with the other half — McIlrath was supposedly a Sather pick because he saw something of a modern day Jeff Beukeboom in him. Plus you’re looking at 6 players drafted over the course of the last 22 years —- you could do the same negative analysis of every team in the NHL when it comes to 22 years of drafting.

        How about this then: Rangers drafted Hank, Fast, Hagelin, Staal, Stepan, Buchnevich, Sauer, JT Miller, Shesterkin, Dubinsky, Callahan, Ryan Graves, Skjei, Kreider, Del Zotto, Anisimov …

  • I read that in the 24 team playoff format the NHL is discussing would be more by conference. The only teams that would miss out would be the 3 California teams in the west, and the Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators, and Detroit Red Wings in the east.

  • As much as I want to see PO hockey, this s farce, and as I stated a few weeks back, the Rangers get it up their tail pipe again.

    With 24 teams in the PO’s, then you should have the best 24 teams, or play the top 16, and let the Rangers stay put, and get a better shot at a top 7-8-9??? pick.

    Bottom line, Buttman has done it again, this time we won’t get any KY jelly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dave, with all due respect, tell your brain to go F itself! Get this team in the playoffs, pronto! I’m all in!

      • Jerry

        Sorry to lose my temper, but enough with these Nazi fools who think they walk on water, and don’t dare say anything that ruffles their feathers.

        Hope all is well with you, and your family. Stay healthy………..

    • Jesus JoeS. Do you want to get banned?! Please do not use the F word. Dave is simply trying to do his job as owner, manager and moderator. Please cut Dave some slack. He is a good bloke.

      • I’m able to tell which people are poking fun and which people are actual assholes :).

        I know Joe was just poking fun.

        Appreciate you backing me up, Breadman.

      • Without a doubt I was just poking fun. Thus, the use of “F” instead of the actual word. I was just trying to show my enthusiasm for watching this team in the playoffs, I think it would be fun and they would have a legit shot with the ever improving defense, the high powered offense, and the best goalies in the league.
        My apologies to anyone who may have been offended, it was not my intention.
        As far as Dave goes, although we have disagreed in the past and probably will in the future, I have the utmost respect for what he does here in managing the blog and its content. It is by far head and heels above any other I have found.

        Dave, thanks for taking it as I wanted it to be taken!

  • Can’t understand all the complaints. Let the Rangers get some playoffs under their belt. Let them see first hand if Butch, Strome and Chityl have the balls to play the man’s game.

    Reassess afterwards and ring in some bottom-6 grit. Yes, we don’t get a #7 draft pick unless we trade, but I see us making some noise at the draft anyway. Quickie is gone, Smith traded, Anderson gone and maybe another.

    Either way we get 2 # ones !!!

    And remember even the #2 pick has a huge learning curve (hello Kakko)

    • Lou, I beg to differ with you. My new friend Donald Brashear and I want to discuss your comment with you Saturday night. Meet us after 7:00pm at the corner of 42 Street and 5th Avenue.

    • It’s very simple bro, they figure if they talk about restarting, then that will keep hockey fans engaged, whether they actually do restart or not.

    • Rocky Ranger, Of course they know what they want to do. It is just unfair to the Rangers. But it’s not like we played so well we deserve to be in the playoffs. Right Rock?

        • I don’t think it is as much about being you as it is mocking you, Richter1994 . But I’m glad you don’t mind being abused and ridiculed from time to time my friend!

  • I’m sure my feelings will not be a favorite for many here.
    Frankly, when the season was halted the Rangers were not in a playoff spot. They had not EARNED it. If the season resumes under a format which does not include the Rangers in the postseason, so be it.
    Let DQ use this as a teaching tool. Let him remind the team of the games they came out flat and wasted points, let him remind the players that every game is important, not just the ones at the end of a season. A mental mistake that cost the team one or two points, taking a shift off that might have cost the team a point or two. The hell with getting things handed to you.
    EARN it. Earn it with every shift of every game.

    • Hey pal, I hope that all is well.

      But here’s the problem, the Rangers have a better winning % than Buffalo and the Sabres would be the ones in the playoffs. Under the proposed plan.

    • That mentality should be for every team…but, the Rangers being as young as they are…you have to bang that thought/truth into many of their heads. And yes, there were numerous games that the Rangers should have beaten “lesser opponents”, but at the final horn, too many games where us fans were left shaking our heads in frustration (and the result of that, is: those extra 2 to 3 points that, as of now, is preventing us from making the playoffs).

      • Agreed! But on the other hand the Rangers have won some games against top teams in impressive fashion. Clearly…inconsistency due to youth. Give them a chance in a playoff scenario (with the top 24 teams which should include the Rangers) with Kreider back and a hot Shesterkin anything can happen. I think we’d see some exciting hockey. They have nothing to lose.

        • Gave you a “1 UP” for your response, Ranger Jeff.

          (mumbling to myself…)
          “I give him a thumbs-up…even as he stole my moniker.” (grumbling noises, added) Ha!

  • The New York Rangers simply were not good enough to make any reasonable playoff format. No matter how you slice it, there were other, better teams based on performance. I think the Ranger fans need to come to grips with the fact that the Rangers are two years away from competing. The likes of Kakko and Chytil are good but not great. Panarin is the only star and usually competitive teams have three or four big time players. The Rangers only hope to make the playoff sooner is Shesterkin. If he is like Hasek, then you have a chance. Sorry there is no other way.

    • That’s a pretty fair (and truthful) statement, Hockey News.
      (Don’t forget Zibanejad –after what he has accomplished so far this season, you almost can say his name “in the same breath” as Panarin”) … he’s becoming that good and dominating as a player.

  • A 24 team playoff is a good idea! As long as the 24 teams picked are picked in a fair manner. Taking the top 6 teams in each division is not only unfair but will be divisive and hurtful to the NHL. A decision that will make Bettman public enemy number one in many cities, New York foremost. The new chant will be changed from …..”Potvin Sucks” to ….”Bettman Sucks”. In a normal playoff scenario the Rangers may not have earned a playoff spot but in a top 24 team playoff they clearly have earned a spot! The top 2 teams in each division should be the top seeds with the next 16 teams seeded by their point total or percent per game point total to account for the differential in games played! Under no circumstance can a team make the playoffs with 10 less points than another team in the same conference!!!
    With the Rangers bring at full strength and with a hot goaltender anything can happen!!! Go Rangers!!

    • Ranger Jeff, Why don’t we just have a random drawing of all the teams in the NHL for the 24 spots in the playoffs? Or why not just have all fans vote for the two teams who should play against each other and have one series of best of seven for the championship Cup?

      • Steve,
        Sure. Why not use your idea? Why don’t you send your idea to the NHL? My comments were just a slight variation of the actual proposal by the NHL. If there is a playoff clearly there has to be a seeding system with the top seeded teams playing the lowest seeded teams that necessarily don’t deserve to have made the playoffs. Perhaps unfair. What is also unfair to the teams having great seasons (Boston, Tampa, Philly…) would be to cancel the season and have no playoffs!

  • I’d challenge anyone on this hockey forum to convince me the Rangers are better than the Boston Bruins.

    Any takers here? Anyone?

  • Per NBC Rangers will be part of playoff format >>>>>> Here’s what the format, which will need to be approved by the teams and players, would look like:
    1. Bruins
    2. Lightning
    3. Capitals
    4. Flyers
    Penguins (5) vs. Canadiens (12)
    Hurricanes (6) vs. Rangers (11)
    Islanders (7) vs. Panthers (10)
    Maple Leafs (8) vs. Blue Jackets (9)……. Article link >>>>

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