Gary Bettman thinks this playoff format is fine… unless you’re the Maple Leafs
By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has no issues with the league’s current playoff format. But he also, with a lockout-eating grin if there ever was one, understands why some people — especially those in Toronto — may not like it.
“We think the format we have works extremely well… unless you’re a Leafs fan,” Bettman offered.
I mean, let’s be real: This format has been hell for the Maple Leafs in back-to-back years. It was in 2018 when Toronto finished as the third-best team in the Atlantic, and the seventh-best team in all of hockey. Their reward for such an achievement after years of torture? A seven-game series with the Bruins (the second-best team in the Atlantic, and fourth-best team in hockey) ultimately lost on Boston ice. The Leafs built off that with the seventh-best record in hockey for the second straight year, but it once again them saw them finish in third in their division, and brought them yet another seven-game series with the Bruins (the third-best team in hockey this time around), and more heartbreak on Boston ice.
Just say “Game 7 in Boston” around Toronto fans and they basically melt like Toht in Ark of the Covenant.
Bettman’s roasting of the GTA doesn’t take away from what’s emerged as a clearly flawed playoff structure, but it may have won him a few more cheers next time he’s in Boston. Just kidding, they’re gonna boo the hell out of him as always.