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Playoff Participation Plan Diminishes Vegas’ First Place Finish

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Silly comments from P.K. Subban shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone around the Golden Knights. Remember this?

He knows he bit me. I’m not trying to rip his head off. I’m not that type of player… I don’t know how I walk out of there with four minutes in penalties… It wasn’t explained. They tried to apologize after the fact that they gave me four minutes in penalties. My finger is bleeding. I don’t know what you want me to do.-P.K. Subban accusing Pierre-Edouard Bellemare of biting his finger, 01/23/19

Well P.K. is back, and he’s pushing the idea of a ridiculous 31-team playoff. Subban believes the NHL should allow every club a chance to compete for the Stanley Cup, including his 68 point Devils team. Contenders like the Golden Knights worked hard to position themselves for a Cup run, but none of that matters to the former Norris Trophy winner.

It was kind of floated around… I saw a few things on social media and I like that. For my team specifically, we were pushing to make the playoffs down the stretch. I would like to see our team have an opportunity to compete for the Stanley Cup. I’d love too see a 31-team playoff and give those pesky Devils an opportunity of bringing the Cup back home to New Jersey. I’d love to see that. -PK Subban on ESPN

While it might sound intriguing to certain fanbases, it makes zero sense for any legitimate contender. In fact, the real losers would end up being the Golden Knights and other elite clubs. Why should they be punished for playing strong during the 71-game paused season?

The NHL is not college basketball, or even the World Cup. The Stanley Cup playoffs is not a tournament of rewarded participants, it’s a tournament of winners. So, why would Vegas, St. Louis, Boston or Tampa want to risk playing a team that has nothing to lose, and face losing to a #16th seed? They wouldn’t, and frankly, they’d be wronged if the league forced them too.

If you’re New Jersey, you’re sitting there and you say, ‘okay fair enough we realize below the cut line.’ Then you say but Montreal, sitting with 71 games 71 points. The Devils go ‘whoa, whoa, whoa, time out, we’re three points behind Montreal with two games in hand. Why would you give Montreal a chance?’ The Devils would say ‘well Montreal can’t be a part of any postseason thing because we got a better point percentage then them.’ So, I guess that’s kind of where P.K. was coming from. -Bob McKenzie

Ignoring the unknown format, imagine Vegas opening up the playoffs against Los Angeles. The Golden Knights have struggled mightily against a poor Kings team. Something about the matchup this year has given LA the upper hand. But there’s nothing about the Kings season that says they deserve a chance to compete for the Stanley Cup.

There’s certainly a financial benefit to this league-wide postseason, but I can’t imagine the commissioner would jeopardize the NHL’s integrity just too make up some cash. And while it’s beneficial to showcase large personalities like Subban, fans are more interested in highly competitive hockey. A 31-team field isn’t playoff quality hockey.

Why would we even think about having 31 teams? Well, we wouldn’t. Probably not, but the problem that you run into is if there’s no regular season then what do you do with the bubble teams? The legit bubble teams. -Bob McKenzie.

Whatever the proposals may be; first-round byes, best of three or five game series, or Subban’s league-wide madness, I can’t imagine the league is open to all suggestions. It’s apparent the players want to un-pause the season, but finding the right format is what’s most important. Devaluing the Golden Knights strong regular season efforts isn’t the best way to award a champion. No one is interested in two below .500 teams competing for the Stanley Cup.

This isn’t a dance, this is the NHL.

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9 Comments

  1. SummerlinAndyB

    A Canadian, listening to his American fiancé on how Socialism should work in the NHL.

    More dumb ideas from the “participation trophy” crowd.

    “That dog won’t hunt “. LBJ and Waylon Jennings

  2. Pasta

    I just don’t see how they can get anything restarted if there is a chance of a player or any other team personnel catching the virus. Imagine the shit show if that were to happen, fans in the stands in checkerboard pattern or not. I’ll be pleasantly surprised if 20-21 season even starts on time.

    What you think, DOC ??

    • "DOC"

      Pasta ….. Man, I just don’t know what’s going to happen. I guess IF they start back, it WILL be with empty arenas. (Maybe at the neutral sites that have been mentioned). And yes, next season remains a mystery at best!

  3. "DOC"

    Yea Jason … I don’t think there is anyway possible the NHL would go the “all-teams-in: format. ZERO chance!!! There is going to be bitching no matter what is finally settled on. But the devils????? What a joke! Just Subban trying to get his face out there. He has gone from being the “face of the league” three years ago, to basically forgotten. Never cared for him and a very overrated player.

  4. "DOC"

    Well …… Another comment of mine not now showing up???? Anyway Jason, I said earlier nice story and that no way NHL would ever consider the “all-in” idea.

  5. Walt T

    I believe the season is over, and the focus should be on the September training camp. Regardless of the format of any playoff, 2020 will carry an asterisk for me. The teams were rounding into playoff ready shape a few weeks back, and sadly there is no way they can get to that level again this year. If they do a playoff, there is higher risk of injury, and the play will not be at a peak playoff level.

    The replays of the 2018 playoffs are great fun. Here’s what jumps out at me: Haula and Perron were pretty darn good. The team played with attitude every night, and coaches still couldn’t figure out how to stop them until Trotz had the Caps bang them around. Alex Tuch looked excellent, and he has not regained that look as of yet. Bellemare and Carpenter were relentless, and Colin Miller was razor sharp. Oh yeah….Aly Lozoff….please come back.

  6. Mike Johnson

    Have 3 to 6 games for Playoff and bubble teams, based on point %. All of these teams to play an equal number of games. Points earned are added to existing points. After completion of games, teams go into playoff, based on point %, division and conference. This was bubble teams still have some chance of entering playoff, and no team gets advantage of playing more games.

  7. JR

    Among the many stupid passages in this article, this is the stupidest, “The Stanley Cup playoffs is not a tournament of rewarded participants”
    If you finish in the top 3 in your division or top 2 in wild card, you are REWARDED a playoff spot and a chance to compete for the Cup. Any player would tell you that. Not some sofa riding blogger.
    Also if your team is so elite, you wouldn’t mind a chance to blowout a poor team like the Devils or recent 2 time Cup winning team the Kings, which you are so worried about matching up against.
    All this blog entry does is highlight the fragile mentality of Golden Knights fans, who have never faced the lean years fans of almost every established team has gone through.

  8. Tim

    What’s happened to the Knights in their first three years would be considered fiction if a movie was made. What’s happened just couldn’t be true. Who could ever make it to the Stanley Cup finals in there first year impossible, year two be eliminated it game seven by one of the worse calls in hockey history refs wouldn’t be that incompetent. Here we go again year three pandemic second only to the 1918 Spanish Flu takes away the first place Knights chance at the Stanley Cup. Has any team in any sport ever have that colorful and crazy history in it’s first three years. If we didn’t live it we wouldn’t believe it.

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