Originally posted on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 5/16/13

There’s so much I love about the Stanley Cup playoffs–the quickened pace of what is already the “fastest sport in the world,” and the increased intensity are just a few things playoff hockey has to offer. But I can’t help thinking the postseason is too long. I am not one to demand less hockey, but I also can’t deny that playoff fatigue comes over me every year. We’re now in the third week of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs and are  just now entering the second round. There is at least another month left in the postseason. It’s a bit ridiculous, but there are options out there that would solve the issue and still leave fans happy. 1. Change first two rounds to best of five Unlike Major League Baseball, the NHL’s first two rounds borrow from the NBA format and are best-of seven series. Unlike the NBA, though, the NHL is often a lot more competitive in the first round. Therefore it’s not uncommon to see a series to go six or seven games, as evidenced by the three series that went to seven games this year. A seven-game series takes roughly two weeks complete, which is ridiculously long for the opening rounds of the playoffs. The league’s best bet to fix this problem would be to emulate Major League Baseball and make the first two rounds best-of-five. You’d eliminate at least an entire week from the playoffs as a result. That’s not a lot of time, but I would bet we’d see more three-game sweeps and thus less time taken up by the first two rounds. 2.) Back-to-back home games A staple of playoff hockey is the day off between games, even if the teams are playing back-to-back games in the same city. Sometimes the league even gives the teams two days off between playoff games. I understand how grueling and demanding hockey is (especially in the playoffs), but I don’t think that’s a good enough reason to prohibit teams playing back-to-back games when they’re staying in the same city. There are always a few times in the regular season where teams play back-to-back games, so it wouldn’t be difficult to adjust or get used to that schedule. 3.) A 12-team playoff Out of the 30 total teams in the NHL, just over half (16) make the playoffs. That means the playoffs don’t even truly include the elite and worthy teams in the league that season. It also contributes prolonging the postseason more than it has to. The new playoff format that came with the league’s realignment will create a wild card round, but that seems unnecessary and still keeps the 16-team format. Some good teams are going to be barred from the playoffs with the 12-team format, but it does make the playoffs truly representative of the league’s best, so there would be no shortage of good hockey. If the NHL took those three steps it could dramatically reduce the length of its postseason and create an even better brand of hockey as a result. The post The NHL must shorten Stanley Cup playoffs appeared first on Midwest Sports Fans.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Blake Griffin opts out of contract to become free agent

Report: Wolves targeting Kyle Lowry, Jrue Holiday, other point guards in free agency

Conor McGregor’s coach says tentative plans include a return to UFC in 2017

Report: Mets open for business on the trade market

Markelle Fultz believes the Sixers are already a playoff team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Jimmy Butler’s attitude toward Fred Hoiberg made players ‘uncomfortable’

St. Louis Cardinals to hold first LGBTQ Pride Night

John Mara: Extending Odell Beckham Jr. isn’t team’s No. 1 priority

Mike Trout reportedly wanted to sign ‘lifetime deal’ with Angels

Blackhawks, Blue Jackets swap Artemi Panarin, Brandon Saad

Matt Forte expected to be ‘offensive workhorse’ for Jets?

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

Box Score 6/23: Philly continues to trust the process

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Gary Payton Award for best trash talk of the year

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker