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Stanley Cup playoffs primer

April 15, 2014
INDIANA 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.

READ MORE: http://www.sportsnetwork.com/merge/tsnform.aspx?c=sportsnetwork&page=nhl/writers/topshelf/index.htm


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