Title: Freezing the standings
Description: Once again, and by design rather than mere happenstance, one of the NHL’s top teams is guaranteed to be knocked out during the first round of NHL Coins the playoffs, while a lesser club is ensured of advancing. What kind of a league is it that perpetuates this manifest injustice? Well, it’s the one that does whatever it can whenever it can to promote across-the-board mediocrity under the guise of parity and the one that finds ways to penalize the best organizations through cap restrictions, punitive expansion-draft-protection policies and a broken divisional playoff bracket system the league (and the NHLPA, its co-conspirator in this instance) has no current intention of fixing. Freezing the standings, the Bruins and Maple Leafs, who currently hold the second- and third-best records in the Eastern Conference behind the Lightning, would meet in the first round. Barring the Lightning becoming the NHL equivalent of the Virginia Cavaliers by losing to the eighth-seeded wild card, the Boston-Toronto winner would meet Tampa Bay in the second round. Thus, two of the best three teams in the East would be gone before the conference finals.