Today it was announced that starting next year, all eleven (yes eleven, remember Noter Dame is joining) teams will automatically qualify for the league playoffs. Currently, eight of the ten teams in Hockey East make the playoffs, and as I learned today, HE is the only league in which not every team makes the conference tournament.
That will all change starting in 2014. All eleven teams will make it. This make the regular season considerably less meaningful. The one thing worth playing for is a first round bye and home ice. The new format will be set up as follows: All teams qualify. The top five get a first round bye. The lower six play an extra weekend of playoffs. The remaining eight teams play the following weekend on the higher seed's campus location. Final four stays they same.
Also, there will be one less regular season weekend starting in 2014. So, the playoff will start one weekend earlier. Its has not been determined yet if the first weekend of playoffs will be best of three series or a one game playoff format.
Personally, I think it should be best two out of three. That way the best team really wins and if the 11 seed beats the six seed twice, they truly deserve to move on unlike if they just catch lightning in bottle for one game and top them once.
Anyway, even if they do have two out of three for both weekends, (like the ECAC does) I would still much rather see just the top eight make it and keep the current formant. Honestly, if you finish out of the top eight, you really don't deserve to make the playoffs.
Just to add, in 2015 when UConn joins Hockey East, the league will qualify all 12 teams having the top four receive a first round bye, and the lower eight playing on the first weekend.
"If each of the two rounds goes three games, you could have a team playing eight games over three weekends, which you would never see in the regular season," Bertagna said. "We need to examine how this will affect the athletes and the facilities. This is also the first time we'll be flying a team to a playoff round if Notre Dame is coming east or if we are sending a team out there, so there are cost ramifications to that as well. There are a lot of things still that have to be considered, but it's a direction we're moving in."- From College Hockey News
So, as long as BU make the playoffs this year (fingers crossed) they will have never missed the Hockey East Quarterfinals. And just because everyone is alway in a mood to shove things in the face of BC fans, The Eagles can't say the same. No, in 1995, 8th place BC lost to 9th place UMass in a play in game. UMass moved on to play Maine in the quarterfinals. Just for history's sake, UMass lost the lone quarterfinal game to Maine 7-4, while BU went on to beat Providence in the Championship game.