When the Toronto Maple Leafs are getting sympathy from the NHL’s commissioner, there might be a slight problem.
Gary Bettman — no doubt with a smirk on his face — was asked about the current playoff format at his press availability for the NHL’s Heritage Classic event and he responded in a fairly specific way.
The NHL’s current standings system was implemented prior to the start of the 2013-14 season. With the inclusion of a wild card and keeping the first round of the playoffs within the divisions, the main goal was to create more lengthy rivalries.
If teams are always running into each other in the first round of the post-season, it makes sense that they would be fairly annoyed at one another after a couple of series.
The Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins have faced each other the past two years and the latter have twice been able to clinch the victory in Game 7. Because of the fairly top-heavy division between the two rivals and the Tampa Bay Lightning, it almost seems guaranteed that Toronto and Boston will face off once again.
With how the seasons have started for both teams, it makes sense for Leafs fans to feel insecure about this possibility.
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