There will be a new realignment in the NHL next season, and the Bruins look to have caught a little break with it.
First of all, there will be four "conferences" -- two with eight teams, two with seven teams. Four teams from each conference make the playoffs.
Not only did the Bruins land in one of the two conferences with seven teams, but they don't have to worry about getting in over the Red Wings or Penguins either.
The teams in their current division now will move to the new conference with them along with Tampa Bay and Florida.
There are still three rounds of playoffs before the Stanley Cup Finals, but each conference must have it's champion before moving on.
For example, if the Bruins were the top seed, they would play the fourth seed in their conference. The winner would play the winner of the 2nd vs. 3rd seed. The winner of that series would then play the other champion of the other Eastern Conference (conferences are not named yet). That winner would go to the Stanley Cup.
The new realignment is meant to make more sense geographically, and also guarantees that each team plays each other at least twice a season -- a home and home -- like the NBA schedule (in a non-lockout season, that is).
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while watching old Super Friends episodes with my 4-year-old on a Saturday morning.
*Has anybody ever been as excited to get a healthy Malcolm Subban back in the lineup as the Vegas Golden Knights are this weekend? Pro Hockey Talk is asking the question, and I think I can honestly answer with a resounding “No.” We’ll see if he’s actually worth all the excitement, but obviously, he’s better than what the injury-plagued Golden Knights had in the interim.
*The Buffalo Sabres continue to get very little return for any of the investments they’ve made in the team over the last couple of years.
*Ryan Suter knows what it takes to remain among the NHL defenseman workhorses in the NHL, and he is consistently there year in and year out.
*Dustin Brown has been a resurgent performer for the Los Angeles Kings this season and is one of the big storylines behind their turnaround.
*The Detroit Red Wings are beginning to more openly adopt Jeff Blashill’s speed game, but the question is how much that will pay dividends for them.
*For something completely different: Good piece in the Boston Globe about Danny Ainge’s relationship with recently passed Red Sox great Bobby Doerr.