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Division Rivalries

  • In the ‘new NHL’ you play eight games against each team in your own Division.
    That’s 32 games out of 82 overall.

    Does anyone think this is too much?

    The Habs and Leafs are playing each other for the third time already this year. With so many games against the same team does the rivalry, intensity and hatred between bitter rivals diminish?

    Will you be ready for Saturday’s game against the Leafs? As much as you were for the first game of the year?

19 Comments
  1. #1 25th Cup says:
    November 10, 2006 at 9:47 am

    Time will only tell. I think it can only be a good thing. I live 45 mins north of Boston in New Hmapshire and everyone of my friends is a huge Bs fan. I think it has the potential to intesify the rivalries and gives reason for more competitiveness and room for ‘bad blood.’

    It also makes more opportunity for regional claim to which city has the better hockey team.

    “Les Canadiens sont La!”

  2. #2 habs#1fan says:
    November 10, 2006 at 9:50 am

    Indeed I am ready. I’m always pumped up when the Habs and Leafs play. I live in New Brunswick and the majority of the people I know are fans of one or the other. So I cant wait to rub it in to some of my buddies at work when the Habbies win tommorrow. With Sundin and Raycroft (hopefully) out of the lineup the Leafs must lose. GO HABS GO!

  3. I also think it’s stupid how toronto has already played 18 games when a team like boston or pittsburgh have only played 13 games! Gary Bettman is a loser. He has no interest in the actual sport, all he wants is money money and more money!

  4. Point, set, match Jason. You hit the nail on the head. All Bettman does care about is money. The number of in division games should be nocked back down to six and then the eastern teams can come out west at least once a year and vice versa.

  5. #5 kazmojo says:
    November 10, 2006 at 1:55 pm

    8 games is too many. It gets a little boring, actually. I’d rather see them play maybe 6 intradivision games, 4 games against each conference rival, and 1 game against each non-conference team. If my math is right that should be 79 games: (6*4)+(4*10)+(1*15).

    Another scheduling problem: way too many back-to-back games where the team has to travel in between. When Carolina played the Habs, they had just come back from playing in Atlanta the night before. As the game wore on, they were clearly a step behind a fresher Habs team. The Habs suffered the same fate in October, losing in Chicago(!) the night after a bruising victory at home against Calgary. They await the same fate later this month in Tampa and then day later in Miami.

  6. I hate playing the Leafs 8 times mainly because it means TO may win one or two. ANd the Habs used to do very well against the Western teams. Well not really the california teams though.

  7. Yeah. It get’s pretty damn boring to always play against the same teams. Kazmojo’s idea, allowing every team in the NHL to meet every other team at least once a season would be better (see post #5).
    Considering the other stupidities in the schedule, (e.g. back to back games with travel, or one team having played 18 games while another is still at 13) it would be reasonable to have a schedule change. If not for this season, at least hire some competent people to come up with a sensible schedule for next year.

  8. it definitely gets a little boring. i enjoy getting to see the habs play against a wide variety of teams with different styles and strengths, and toronto is just not interesting enough for me to want to watch them over and over and over again, even given the rivalry. repetition is inevitably tedious, and even though i’ll probably tune in for all 8 of them, i’m getting less enthusiastic every time.

  9. #9 Jack Tornton says:
    November 10, 2006 at 4:41 pm

    I think it’s OK. Playing 3 games in 15 games is a bit too much abused though.
    I’ d perfered playing against edmonton, calgary and vancouver atleast twice a year.

  10. #10 symbiont1 says:
    November 10, 2006 at 5:48 pm

    It does seem a bit much. Personally I would like to see some more interconference matches. There are a lot of american western conference teams that I don’t get to see all that often. The way the schedule is now, your team may not meet up with some of the western teams for a couple years in a row! That’s a long time to wait if you’re keen on a particular team.

    Besides….we were barely out of October and the “battle of Ontario” was already half over! We played two sets of back to back games within one month! Now that can be a bit boring….spread it out a bit guys.

  11. #11 dyed in the wool fan says:
    November 10, 2006 at 6:37 pm

    Personally, I would love to see the western conference more. As the schedule is set up now, we’re lucky to watch the habs play each team in the west ONCE a year. That’s just not enough. How are we supposed to see the talented players out west, or recognize their numbers if we never see them play. Also, because of the different time zones, most of us are in bed by the time Anaheim plays LA. Pure stupidity. The western teams score much more goals, and are much more exciting than the eastern conference games. Also, I believe their is more talent in the western conference. Just look at the standings, and results of games involving east vs west teams. give us at least 2 games for each team in the NHL. I think the schedule should have us play only 4 times vs teams in our own division, and figure out the rest. I would love to see more of San Jose, Anaheim, Dallas, Detroit, and Minnesota. Guess what? the stanley cup winner will come from the western conference.So let’s see more of them!

  12. #12 smiler2729 says:
    November 10, 2006 at 6:44 pm

    Bettman’s there to make money for the owners, they hired him to do that so don’t put any blame on the little guy, he’s just the mouthpiece for the 30 owners just as Ziegler and Clarence Campbell was all those years ago.
    As for the rivalries, I’ll always hate the Leafs no matter how many times we play those overrated turkeys. I love the Bruins as a rival, there’s so much more history between the Habs and B’s than there has been against the Laffs in the last 40 years because Toronto became a non-factor as a franchise during the ’70s and ’80s until they went and hired ex-Habs (Fletcher, Burns, Dryden, etc… Hoglund!) to ‘right their ship’. They (the Leafs) have the stupidest fans in the league where at least I respect Bruin fans and it’s vice versa I think if you ask them.
    I do think the Eastern teams should play the Western teams at least twice a year (home & away) but the league and its front office people have been screwed up since the Head Office moved out of Montreal to New York years ago.

  13. #13 habsboy4life says:
    November 10, 2006 at 7:43 pm

    Sportscenter just mentioned, in brief, that either Huet or Abeschier may become available for teams looking to upgrade on their goaltending. Possible candidates include Pheonix and Philly. Any thoughts?

  14. #14 dyed in the wool fan says:
    November 10, 2006 at 8:02 pm

    we can’t afford to trade either one of them, now, unless we get a bonafide goaltender, and scorer in return. Phoenix has Cujo. Philly has……NOTHING!they need everything. Bring on Forsburg!

  15. #15 4mGhost says:
    November 10, 2006 at 9:32 pm

    I’m afraid I must disagree. When the schedules come out, the first games I look for are the toronto and Boston games, no matter how any of those teams are pre-season-ranked. I respect those who don’t feel it, but those games always seem a litle more intense to me. I’m agreed on playing Phoenix more often, 40 pts worth if that’s OK, but interdivision rivalries means we have 8 opportunities for Kovalev to dust Tucker per year.

  16. #16 joshtm says:
    November 10, 2006 at 9:54 pm

    Its sad in a way, cause that is about the only time CBC Hockey Night In Canada will broadcast Montreal games is not because it is Montreal, but because it is Toronto playing in Montreal…hmm…maybe it is not so boring in that way, at least it opens how good the Habs are to the rest of the country and makes us wonder why CBC HNIC is so Leaf’s crazy…maybe we should ask HNIC to change it so Maple Leafs Night in Canada…what a sad comment about CBC hockey….

    Thank God RDS shows most games…you know conference rivals are only rivals when the teams are actually competitive. We can say for some of the games the Habs have been totally competitive compared to last year, but the Leafs, what a boring team to watch most games unless it is the playoffs. You can’t say that about the Habs most of the year though…Go Habs Go!!!

  17. #17 PACTUM SERVA says:
    November 10, 2006 at 10:03 pm

    Agreed. Watching leaf games is like watching paint dry

  18. #18 Rubberman says:
    November 10, 2006 at 11:57 pm

    Get back to the old schedule. Play each team 4 times (twice at home and twice on the road). I’d like to see the NHL drop the Conference championship as well. Playoff should run like this: 4 top teams get a pass (bi?), next 24 teams play a best out of three, then the 12 1st round winners with the top 4 teams compete (4/7 series: round 2, round 3, quarter finals, semi-final and finals). This would open the door for possible finals: Toronto/MTL/Boston/Buffalo/Ottawa, Calgary/Vancouver/Edmonton final. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of seing a boring final and it’s not because my team (MTL) isn’t in it. THere’s no real rivalty (east/west). By the time the finals gets heated up, it’s almost over!!! But, what do I know?

  19. How about a Northern Conference and a Southern Conference:

    NorthEast – Boston/NewYork/NewYork/NewJersey/Philadephia
    NorthCentral – Pittsburgh/Toronto/Buffalo/Montreal/Ottawa
    NorthWest – Vancouver/Edmonton/Calgary/Detroit/Chicago

    Southeast – Florida/Tampa/Atlanta/Carolina/Washington
    SouthCentral – Columbus/Nashville/St.Louis/Minnesota
    SouthWest – Phoenix/L.A./Anaheim/SanJose/Colorado/Dallas

    Same conf/div x 6 = 24
    Same conf x 4 = 40
    Other conf x 1 = 15
    Total = 79 (or thereabouts)

    You only see games against teams with no real hockey market or history once a year and you play against teams you really want to see at least 4 times a year.

    North America is wider than it is tall, so there would be more travel. The conf/division breakdowns were my best shot at combining geographies with teams I’d want to see play the Habs.

    Personally, I have no interest in seeing the Habs play the Panthers 4 times a year … or any other team in the south for that matter.

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