Player Poll: Which playoff format do players prefer?
The status quo NHL playoff format means more travel than in other options, but most players don't mind the trips back and forth between cities one bit.
The Hockey News asked 30 players, all from different teams,"Do you prefer the 2-2-1-1-1 or 2-3-2 playoff format?
Of the players polled, 26 (87 percent) said they prefer the current format over its 2-3-2 rival.
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Teams work hard in the regular season to secure home-ice advantage, yet it can be taken away under the 2-3-2 format, said Nashville's Steve Sullivan.
"If you play three straight in one building and don't win one," Sullivan noted, "Then your advantage for the final two is lessened."
The Devils' Grant Marshall is among a small minority of dissenters: "I like the 2-3-2. You kind of stay in one place instead of taking flights back and forth. Less distractions."
Here are the results. Some respondents asked to remain anonymous.
Anaheim Mighty Ducks
2-2-1-1-1: "It depends on who you're playing. In the East, they don't travel (much), but in the West, sometimes you travel four hours. That's a lot of travel. The disadvantage is in the West. Like when I was in Edmonton and we played Dallas - that's a long way. I guess I wouldn't mind (the 2-3-2 format, depending on proximity of cities involved)." -- Todd Marchant
2-3-2: "It's easier like that. It gives you a chance, also, for the team who doesn't have home-ice advantage. If you get one win there, it changes the home-ice advantage.'' -- Patrice Bergeron
2-2-1-1-1: "I don't really care. Last year in Switzerland we had 1-1-1-1-1-1-1. So it doesn't really matter. I've never played 2-3-2, so 2-2-1-1-1 will be fine with us." -- Daniel Briere
2-2-1-1-1: "That's what I've been doing for 10 years and don't know anything else. If might be good to try the other way to see if the guys prefer it or if the fans like it better. But, as far as I'm concerned, the 2-2-1-1-1 is better." -- Stephane Yelle
2-2-1-1-1: "I'm a traditionalist, but I also think the 2-3-2 format takes away home-ice advantage. If the visiting team can get a split in the first two games, it makes it really tough for the home team." -- Craig Adams
2-2-1-1-1: "I'll stick with the current format." -- Anonymous
2-2-1-1-1: "It just seems tough for the home team if it's 2-3-2. You have the pressure on you right from the start to win those first two. If you don't, you might not come back home again. I know the travel is tough, but we're used to it anyway, so I like the 2-2-1-1-1.'' -- Jon Klemm
Detroit Red Wings
2-2-1-1-1: "If it's 2-3-2, I think it's a disadvantage for the team (with home-ice advantage) because a team comes in with the mentality of stealing a game and then you got three in a row at home. I think it's fair the way it is.'' -- Chris Chelios
Los Angeles Kings
2-2-1-1-1 -- Anonymous
2-2-1-1-1: "With 2-3-2...the advantage of home ice [for the series] can be lost. If you play three straight in one building and don't win one, then your advantage for the final two is lessened." -- Steve Sullivan
New Jersey Devils
2-3-2: "I like the 2-3-2. You kind of stay in one place instead of taking flights back and forth. Less distractions." -- Grant Marshall
Tampa Bay Lightning
2-3-2: "I like the 2-3-2 format because it might favor the team with the three home games in the middle and that would even it out and make for more exciting playoffs." -- Darryl Sydor
2-2-1-1-1 -- Anonymous
Material from The Hockey News.
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