A quick glance at the NHL standings illustrates how tight the playoff race is in this league of parity.
Eight teams from each conference — three from each division, plus two wild card teams in each conference — qualify for the Stanley Cup tournament under the current alignment. But could a possible change or addition to the playoff format be on the way?
Hockey insider Bob McKenzie explained on NBCSN that, given how difficult it is to actually make the playoffs, 16 of 30 general managers recently polled would be in favor of a playoff play-in game. Two didn’t respond, one was “undecided” and 11 said ‘No.’
However, five of those 11 GMs who weren’t in favor of a playoff play-in game — similar to baseball — actually wanted a best-of-three series for all four of the Wild Card positions, according to McKenzie.