Stanley Cup playoffs primer
April 15, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Stanley Cup playoffs have a different look in 2014 and the NHL hopes the new formula can make the most exciting part of the season even better.
The NHL underwent drastic realignment for the 2013-14 campaign, and the changes didn't stop with the formation of new divisions. The playoffs also received a facelift, as the league brass attempt to create more divisional rivalries in the early part of the postseason. In fact, seven of the eight first-round series will consist of playoff battles between divisional foes.
Gone is re-seeding after the first round, as the league eliminated that process in favor of a fixed bracket structure. Like the NCAA tournament, fans can now fill out a bracket before the playoffs begin and see how they fare as prognosticators.
The league hopes the changes add up to a better overall playoff experience for fans. For the players, the road to the Promised Land may look different, but the ultimate goal of raising Lord Stanley's Cup remains unchanged.
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