Let's be clear: NHL's new playoff format a bracket

The Canadiens would match up with the Lightning in the playoffs if the season ended Tuesday night....

The Canadiens would match up with the Lightning in the playoffs if the season ended Tuesday night. (Martin Chevalier/QMI Agency/Files)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:26 PM ET

There's been some chatter in these final days of the NHL's regular season about the mysteries of the new division-based playoff format and how it's going to result in some great teams in the Western Conference going home early.

The fact is that was going to happen no matter what the format.

Based on Wednesday's standings, the matchups in the first round would be the same as with the old format and if form held and the teams with the most regular-season points won each series (admittedly not likely the way things have gone the last few years), the second-round matchups would be the same as under the old conference format.

Where it gets really interesting is if there's upsets in the first round. In that case, the team with the most points in the regular season is not guaranteed of playing the remaining team with the least points in the next round, which was the case in old format.


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