You know what I'm talking about. If not, read this.
Anyway, here's how we solve it.
If, at the end of the season, a conference champion fails to earn more points than the team occupying the ninth seed in the conference (all standard tie-breaking rules applying of course,) the conference champion and the ninth seed in the conference play a one game playoff for what would be the third seed currently occupied by the under-performing conference champion, who would be given home ice for winning their division.
If they have the ability to beat a team that is going to miss the playoffs anyway, well, great- a playoff team oughta be able to beat a non playoff team. Enjoy the first round. But if not, grab your golf bag Brind'Amour, cause you don't deserve to compete in the Stanley Cup playoffs. You wanna cry about it? Maybe you should have won that one goal game you blew in October. Cry me a fucking river.
This would be great, and for anyone who watched either of the last games of last year's regular season playoff races between Montreal and Toronto, or the Islanders against the Devils, when Wade Dubleivitz nobly clinched a playoff spot for the Isles while simultanelously breaking Toronto's heart, you know what I'm talking about.
Note: If you follow that link, it will take you to what I wrote after watching both of those games, in April of 2007. You will notice that I used those games as an opportunity to shit on:
a) The NHL on NBC
b) Bill Clement
c) Ty Conklin
I would like to set the record straight here, and say that both the NHL on NBC and Ty Conklin have been vastly improved this season, and as for Bill Clement, well, I haven't seen him much, which in my book is a vast improvement. It's not that I hate seeing Bill Clement anywhere, I just hated seeing him everywhere.
Actually, fuck that.
Any hockey announcer who says "Enjoy the Preakness" as a Stanley Cup Playoff game is going into overtime deserves to be keelhauled.
Either way, I digress.
That one game playoff is the way to go.