Current AHL format. Suggestions on how it can be improved and give equal opportunity. Opinion-based.

Discussion in 'Leaguegaming American Hockey League (LGAHL)' started by RBK v420, Apr 16, 2019 at 7:42 PM.

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What is a better AHL format for playoff qualifying? Top 4 from each division or top 8 from each conf

  1. Top 4 in each Division (Keep it the same)

    15.2%
  2. Top 8 in each Conference (Change it)

    84.8%
  1. RBK v420

    RBK v420 Well-Known Member

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    Hi guys, I just wanted to do a little write up based on the current AHL format with regards to who qualifies for playoffs, what the criteria is, and finally my overall opinion on the current format and suggestions to improve it if at all possible.

    First off, I've been managing the San Diego Gulls in the AHL for the past few seasons, before that I was managing the Cleveland Monsters. So consecutively, it's been roughly 5+ seasons now. I didn't do this write up based on this one season. This is a culmination of those past 5 seasons or so.

    To put it bluntly, I don't agree with the current setup for qualifying in the AHL. The current system is the top 4 teams from each division qualify for playoffs (out of 4 divisions). Looking at my division (The Western Pacific). There are at least 3 powerhouse teams (Colorado, Stockton, Ontario) and 2 other formidable squads (Bakersfield, San Jose) in the chase for that final playoff spot as the 4th seed.

    This write up is not to discredit the fantastic jobs that have been done by those 3 top teams either. Colorado and Stockton specifically, have been atop the Western Pacific now for multiple seasons with basically the same management teams in place. They certainly deserve a tip of the cap for the work they've put in and the very high quality squads they've built for consecutive seasons.

    I just feel like this current setup doesn't allow for equal opportunity for most squads to make playoffs. I will use an example with San Diego. 3 seasons ago, while I managed, The Gulls had a very good season and actually had 99 points to end the season. Unfortunately, with the current setup it wasn't enough and our team missed the playoffs by 1 point. It's of my opinion, that no team should realistically miss the playoffs with 99 points. In fact, in the actual NHL this season, the Montreal Canadiens missed the playoffs with 96 points which tied the NHL record for most points by a team to miss the playoffs.

    An example from the LGAHL this season, is in the Eastern Atlantic division. The Lehigh Phantoms currently have 91 points and are on the outside looking in by 2 points behind WBS who have 93 points themselves. Meanwhile, in the Eastern North division, the Binghamton Devils currently have 88 points and the Belleville Senators currently have a point total of 80 points (11 less than Lehigh) and both these 2 teams currently sit in a playoff position. In my opinion, Lehigh is not getting a "fair shake" in this situation. It's also my opinion that Lehigh should be rewarded by being in a playoff position by battling hard all season long to earn those 91 points they currently have.

    I understand that this is a simulation league, and that Tris, LG McDonald, the BOGs, etc. want to give the most accurate representation from the real-life AHL. But I also, think the AHL switched their format to the top 4 teams in each division to build a better rivalry between certain teams to help increase fan interest, team revenue, etc. I also think it was designed to help decrease the amount of travel that each team deals with each season. That's my thoughts on that anyway.

    For the LGAHL, I think the point of fan interest, travel, etc is mute and obviously doesn't affect LG players.

    My suggestion in the end is for the league to revert/change to a system where the top 8 from each conference will qualify for playoffs. This way, we can avoid these types of situations that I mentioned above from past seasons as well as this current season with the Lehigh example. 16 teams qualify still, but then teams that battle all season long to grind out those hard fought victories and collect points in a league that in my opinion has had more parity than ever before with teams better than they've ever been quality-wise... So we ensure that the teams that have the most points in the end qualify for playoffs and are rewarded for doing so instead of the utter disappointment of falling short on playoffs after still having a great season.

    Again, this is all just my opinion, it's something that's been bothering me for quite some team and now I would like to get a general consensus from the rest of the league if possible which includes Management, players, and league officials. Feel free to take the poll and comment and give your thoughts.

    Sincerely,

    RBK
     
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  2. Eh CanadianHobo

    Eh CanadianHobo PSN C-Flowz

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  3. Nizzy the Don

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  4. PROfesser waLsh

    PROfesser waLsh Well-Known Member

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    Makes sense to me, they would just have to make the schedule so that every team plays one another the same amount of times throughout the season. Seems like the most fair way to do it.
     
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  5. Mxckie

    Mxckie AHL Lifer

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    The format is completely fine, the issue comes with the balancing of divisions/teams only being done at the NHL level which usually ends up with the AHL having 1-2 stacked divisions. Unfortunately the only way to correct this would be to separate each league, which can't, won't, and shouldn't be done.
     
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  6. Schwifty Tip

    Schwifty Tip Subpar Manager

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    Just because the actual AHL has those bad rules in place shouldn’t force LG to follow suit especially in a virtual league where travel is completely irrelevant
     
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  7. Manship l91l

    Manship l91l Well-Known Member

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    Need top 8 so these phantoms clinch
     
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  8. Eh CanadianHobo

    Eh CanadianHobo PSN C-Flowz

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    the way she goes
     
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  9. PROfesser waLsh

    PROfesser waLsh Well-Known Member

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    Thats not the only way to correct it, you could correct it by top 8 teams in each conference make playoffs, and every team plays each other the same amount of times.. That way balance of divisions doesn't matter. Everyone has equal chance to make playoffs, and the luck of falling in a good or bad division won't affect anything. That way the best teams in the league make playoffs each year. To go a step further, it could straight up just be the top 16 teams in the league make playoffs, as long as every teams schedule is the same.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019 at 8:05 PM
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  10. Mxckie

    Mxckie AHL Lifer

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    The issue will then become similar to what it is now, the only correction being the 4th team seed in one division will be replaced by the 5th place seed in the other. We will still have the same issue as what we have now. One conference will always be easier than another. The only way to fix our current situation would be to balance out divisions, which even then will just end up with each divisions having the same amount of bottom feeder teams so a situation like the Eastern North this season isn't repeated.

    The issue isn't the format, it's the unbalanced divisions. If we move to top 8 in each conference everyone plays each other the same amount of times we might as well just ditch the Division/Conference system and move to a top 16 system.

    Even the old system was not like this. As far back as i can remember it's been top 3 in one division top 4 in another and one WC between the conference due to the number of teams until Vegas was brought in.
     
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  11. PROfesser waLsh

    PROfesser waLsh Well-Known Member

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    yeah i agree the core issue is the division balancing. That's why i added the part about the top 16 teams in the league make it. I guess that would take away from the feel of the ahl, effectively removing divisions and conferences, but in terms of fair competitive play it seems like the best way to do it.
     
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  12. RBK v420

    RBK v420 Well-Known Member

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    I think incorporating even any kind of wildcard system would be a decent improvement to the current setup. At least then, teams with the higher point totals could qualify for those spots instead of being stuck in limbo in a powerhouse division and having no chance at playoffs, cemented in that 5th spot on the outside looking in.
     
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  13. xXLordSoloXx

    xXLordSoloXx Go Fleury Go

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    Interesting debate. On the one hand, it allows each team in their division to gain fair access to the playoffs and on the other hand, it gives the right to the best team of the season to access the series. I think the best way to decide would be to answer this question: What are the prerequisites for a team to advance to the playoff series? I think the league will make the best decisions. Thank you RBK v420 for opening a very interesting debate.
     
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  14. Oh So Country

    Oh So Country I got the moves like JAGR

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    So if some one wins their division but falls to 9th overall in the conference they would not make the playoffs? Odds of it happening not very big but it could happen..keep it the same my personal opinion
     
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  15. Manship l91l

    Manship l91l Well-Known Member

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    Division winners are 1-2, seed the rest 3-8
     
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  16. CSilveri

    CSilveri S25 Calder/MVP Winner, I love Some Fat Gezer.

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    I feel top 2 team in each division should get a playoff spot...last 4 spots in the conferemce should go by the total points providing the best teams to actually play...i dont find it fair that a team for example with 92 points misses...but a team with 80 does...just feels if its playoff hockey, best teams should make it in my opinion...interesting to see how it goes with the debate...as always @RBK v420 much love.
     
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  17. TraeVIII

    TraeVIII Foppa

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  18. LethaLMyke23

    LethaLMyke23 Si vis pacem para bellum

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    I think having a wild card systeme in the ahl just lile the nhl as could be a good fix

    If you finish top 3 in your disivion you should be in the playoffs

    Meanwhile having 2 wild card spots for each conferences would make things more enteresting and would most likely make things better competitive wise
     
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  19. Dunks

    Dunks Well-Known Member

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    While I understand the point as to why people would want the top 8 teams to make playoffs I actually enjoy the format now and I have a reason why. The last few seasons I've been on Providence, Stockton and San Jose and every single season we've had great divisional opponents in playoffs that make it so much more interesting. No disrespect to anyone in the West Central at all but playing them for all three rounds would be just plain boring to me. Divisions exist for a reason imo and I play LG for fun, because this game blows. The friendly rivalries I have with the old 555tockton boys, the Eagles and even the Hartford boys from when Providence got swept have created some awesome memories/series for me in LG. Do I think the setup now is perfect? Absolutely not. But playing your inter-division series for the first two rounds make them so much more interesting and then playing the best of the opposing division, then opposing conference make the final two rounds interesting for not only the teams involved but also the rest of the league. This is my two cents. Not saying my opinion is right but just playing devil's advocate here and providing a different view.
     
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  20. Im4thLineWorthy

    Im4thLineWorthy Well-Known Member

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    If they make it top 8 you would need to play the other division more than you do thaystthe problem .so it's alot of schedule changes .people who miss playoffs in their division but would make it in the other division can't really be a true scenaisc cause youve played different teams a different amount of time .

    I like top 8 but if that changes, schedule changes
     
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