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It's About That Time Of The Year For Everybody To Start Bitching About The NHL's Playoff Format

There’s not a single group of people in the world who love to bitch about anything more than hockey fans love to bitch about the NHL. Hockey fans have this bizarre capability to simultaneously both love the sport to an extreme and hate the sport to an extreme. It’s quite impressive.

The list of things that hockey fans love to bitch about continues to grow by the day. Whether it’s the goaltender interference rule that nobody in the world fully understands, or the coach’s challenges for offside reviews, or the over-saturation of outdoor games or maybe they just want to bring back home white jerseys. There’s not a single day in a hockey fan’s life that goes by that he or she doesn’t bitch about at least one thing pertaining to the NHL. And now that we’re less than a month away from the start of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, a lot of that bitching is going to be directed toward the current playoff format.

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For those of you who haven’t been able to catch up to speed over the last few years, here’s how this thing breaks down.

There are 2 conferences in hockey, same way there are two conferences in everything else. There are then 2 divisions in each conference, making 4 divisions total. You’ve got the Pacific and the Central in the Western Conference and then you’ve got the Metro and the Atlantic in the East. So how this works is the top 3 teams in each division automatically qualify for the playoffs.

#2 and #3 in each of those divisions will play against each other in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, assuring at least 4 divisional matchups in the first round. The winners of each division will play against one of the two Wild Card teams in each conference. Which wild card team they play will depend on which division leader had the better season. So look at the East. Tampa Bay has the best record in the East which means that they would play the 2nd Wild Card team (the 8 seed). Pittsburgh is the leader of the Metro division so they’re left with the 1st Wild Card team (the 7th seed). So 1 plays 8, 2 plays 7, and then 3,4,5,6 could play each other in any order. Got it? Good. Great. Grand. Wonderful. Let’s move on.

Because for some reason, people just aren’t happy enough to let shit be the way that it is. Hockey fans love to bitch about how the Stanley Cup Playoff format should just be a simple 1v8 format through and through for each division. If the league ever decides to switch back to 1v8, then hockey fans will bitch about wanting to go back to the divisional set up. Snip, snap, snip, snap, snip, snap. Fans want to bitch just so they have something to bitch about. The fact of the matter is that if your team is going to win the Stanley Cup, you’re going to have to beat the best teams anyway. You either have to beat them in the first round or the second round or the Stanley Cup Final. It doesn’t matter. So who gives a shit about the format? The best team is always going to come out on top regardless of who plays who at what time.

And I guess that can be my suggestion to all of you as we hit this final stretch before the playoffs. If you hear anybody bitching about how the format isn’t fair and how it gives an advantage to some teams over others, just tell them to shut up and eat a bag of dicks. Because they don’t actually care about what they’re saying. They’re just saying it because they like to hear themselves talk and they think that it’s what they should be saying. In the grand scheme of it all, nobody gives a shit about what you have to say and we’re all going to watch the hockey regardless. Simple as that.

@BarstoolJordie