While organizing the 7th annual playoff pool involving me and several other members of my family, I was planning out the games we'd be watching while undertaking the long and arduous task of picking our 12 forwards, 6 defensemen and 3 goalies. Similar to last year I found myself scratching my head wondering why there was such an unbalanced format for Western and Eastern conference games on daily basis and why I will be left at 9:30 pm on a Saturday with no hockey to watch. For example, tonight the only Eastern Conference game is OTT/PIT. Tomorrow the only Western Conference game is CGY/DET. While I agree that hockey is hockey and I am just happy that we have 2 more months to experience as best we can the excitement that is the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it would be nice to watch a couple games from each conference each day.
Another aspect of the playoff scheduling that bugs me is the time of day these games are played. Since when did 3:00pm EDT become primetime for Stanley Cup hockey? I understand that 3 might be a good time to attract casual viewers of the game, but selfishly I like nothing better than watching hockey late on a Saturday night.
Other noteworthy annoyances include:
-Some nights there's 4 games, some nights there's 3, other nights there's 5
-Where at all possible could they start the games 15-20 mins after one another (like the NCAA Basketball Tourney). Most nights there are two games starting at 7...why not delay one by 15 mins and give fans the opportunity to catch some of each game (and bypass intermissions)
-Can anybody tell me whey OTT/PIT play tonight and not again until Saturday?
In the end, no matter what the NHL does with the playoff format and schedule, this fan will be watching intently as the next Stanley Cup champ raises that historic silver chalice over their heads (even though it wont be the HABS)