National Hockey League Players' Association

NHL playoff format will knock out top teams early

Two of the top four teams in the NHL are guaranteed to be out the playoffs after the second round.

Goodbye Nashville or Winnipeg. Goodbye Boston or Tampa Bay. Thanks for playing.

That's the reality under the divisional playoff format that could pit the top two teams in the Eastern and Western Conferences against each other in round 2 after Pittsburgh and Washington were forced into that predicament in back-to-back playoffs.

"There's not a whole lot of logic there," Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik said.

How's this for logic? If ranking teams 1 through 8 in each conference like the old format that was in place from 1993-94 through 2013, the No. 2...

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