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Comparing the playoff formats of the CHL

June 1st, 2017 at 10:40 AM
Aggregated By Sports Media 101

Dan Hickling/OHL Images

Early in the spring NHL fans were in debate about the playoff format. There was the risk of the NY Rangers finishing higher than the Montreal Canadiens in the standings, but being seeded as a wild card team.

“We should go back to 1-8!” people cried. “It’s fine as is!” Others shouted. Well, there’s one place we could take a look at all three big playoff formats in one: The Canadian Hockey League.

The CHL is split into three leagues that it oversees: The Western Hockey League covers an area from BC to Manitoba and dips south into Washington and Oregon. The Ontario Hockey League is, well, mostly in Ontario but also has teams in Michigan and Pennsylvania. The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League covers ground from Quebec to Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia.

These leagues have all three of the popular playoff formats in use: WHL is divisional, the OHL is conference based, and the QMJHL uses a 1-16 format, giving conference winners the top three seeds.

Let’s start out east.

QMJHL Playoffs

The QMJHL is split into three conferences: Telus East, Telus West, and Telus Maritimes. Yes, they’re named after the telecommunications company – East and West are all teams that are based in Quebec.

The final standings in the QMJHL were:

1Saint John10248-14-5-1
7Cape Breton8239-25-2-2
14Val d’Or6128-35-3-2

With the conference winners seeding 1-3, only one team was lower than they could have been; the Charlottetown Islanders dropped from 2nd seed to 4th.

The playoffs went as expected in this format, with the top seed winning each series except for #3 Shawinigan losing to #14 Val d’Or. To compare this to how the NHL would have worked out in 1-16, it would have been the Toronto Maple Leafs eliminating the Pittsburgh Penguins in round one. The rest of the upsets were …

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Tags: Islanders, Martins Dzierkals, Montreal Canadiens, NHL would have worked out, OHL Fanboys Podcast, Pittsburgh Penguins, Rangers, The Bloggers Tribune, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vote Now

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