A Substitute for War

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Posts Tagged ‘Season structure of the NHL

Why I prefer the 1st round of the NHL playoffs to the NBA’s – and a mini preview

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San Jose Sharks defenceman Christian Ehrhoff b...

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For those with hockey blinders on, the NHL playoffs start Wednesday. The NBA is by far my favorite sport – But if talking strictly of the 1st round, I actually prefer the NHL’s – mainly due to the parity and “anything can happen” factor of it. My issue with the NBA’s 1st round is that there is only a few favorites who matter – Chicago, Miami, Boston, the LA Lakers, the Oklahoma City Thunder, etc. – and these teams are too good to play each other or lose in round 1. For me the NBA playoffs really start in Round 2 and 3 when teams who can win a title start squaring off, like when Boston presumably plays Miami and LA or San Antonio play Oklahoma City. But Round 1 is full of both foregone conclusions like the Chicago vs Indiana, or series like Orlando vs Atlanta that may be competitive but will ultimately be meaningless as it contains no true contenders. There will be some good series and one of the contenders may get a scare, but for the majority of them the 1st round is a warm up. Of the 8 series, there’ll be luck if 2 or 3 have real stakes.

But in the NHL playoffs the gap between the top and bottom seeds is smaller – and all 8 series can go either way. Read the rest of this entry »