NHL playoff format changes have paid off

The NHL instituted a new playoff format in 2014. There was outcry at the time that the new setup didn't reward the best teams. 

Screw that. It benefits the fans. 

In each of the last three seasons, Sidney Crosby's Penguins and Alexander Ovechkin's Capitals have met in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. 

A rivalry that has always been present has taken off to new heights. Last nights game was an example of that. Tom Wilson and Jamie Oleksiak squared off, Sid and Ovie screamed at each other over a helpless Pierre McGuire, and Letang even got into it a bit with Ovechkin. 

Sure, under the current format, the Pens and Caps won't be meeting in the conference final. There is, however, a greater chance of the teams meeting every year. 

Each of the last three years, the team that wins that series wins the Stanley Cup. 

The NHL has a lot of problems, but the playoff format isn't one of them. 

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