Monday, April 2, 2012

The NHL's ranking system blows chunks!

Yep, let's shift gears for a bit, and talk about sports!

Here I'm referring to the stupid rule according to which division leaders are automatically ranked first, second and third within each conference. This rule makes it so that when a division is weaker than others, its winner will often move on to face a much weaker team than they normally would. So in the end, mediocrity is rewarded when paired up with purely geographical considerations (doesn't surprise me coming from the league that puts Winnipeg in the same division as Washington, Carolina and both Florida teams). While this system isn't so bad in years where divisions are balanced for the most part, or at least one top team is featured in each one, things quickly go out of whack otherwise.

It's especially bad this year, where the Atlantic and Central divisions outrageously dominated the rest of the field. As a result, we get some absurdly ridiculous garbage in the Eastern conference (the West is mostly spared, since the eventual winner of the Pacific division will face a team of appropriate quality despite the wonky rankings). The best example is the almost inevitable Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia clash in the first round. Here you have two teams that are both fully capable of winning the Stanley Cup, and yet because Boston and either Florida or Washington will be ranked much higher than they deserve to be, one of them will be going out in the first round. Meanwhile, Florida/Washington will get a much easier draw (presumably New Jersey) just because they won a crappy division.

If things were fair, based on the current standings we'd have the New York Rangers vs. Washington, Pittsburgh vs. Florida, Philadelphia vs. Ottawa and Boston vs. New Jersey. Now doesn't that sound a lot more fair for everyone?


  1. I also think that wins should be 3 points overtime wins should be 2 and overtime loss should be 1 because I dont think that a team should be awarded the same amount for a ot win when they got taken that far and came that much closer to a loss.

    1. I fully agree with that. The KHL already does this, if I recall.

  2. It's just as bad in the NFL. Last year, there was a team that not only made the playoffs, but got to play their first round game at home with a 7-9 record (Seattle Seahawks). Absolutely horrible.