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Jon Cooper has wild idea about how to change home-ice advantage

Apr 14, 2014, 11:10 PM EDT

Jon Cooper, Tyler Johnson, Ryan Malone AP

Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper has been one of the best in the business this season. He took the Lightning from being a lottery team last season to second place in the Atlantic Division.

With solid coaching comes funky ideas and, even though Tampa Bay has home-ice advantage in their opening round series against the Montreal Canadiens, he has an idea how to change things up to make it more interesting.

As Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times shares, Cooper wants to see the top team go on the road for Games 1, 5, 7 and spend their four games on home ice in Games 2, 3, 4, and 6.

Now that’s home ice to me,” Cooper said. “I haven’t done the research but I’m fairly certain more series are ended in Games 4, 5 and 6 than Game 7, so why would the home ice be in just the last game?

Cooper said the idea is to give credit, and perhaps an advantage, to the lower-seed for scratching out a seventh game in the series.

The chances of this idea catching fire amongst the competition committee or with other GMs would be pretty close to nil, but the thought behind it is one worth chewing on. At the very least it makes for great barroom discussion/comment fodder.

  1. capspats - Apr 14, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    You don’t want the road team with home ice in the series opener tho

  2. trbowman - Apr 14, 2014 at 11:29 PM

    As a man of often unpopular ideas I appreciate the idea.

    That said, it’s idiotic. To have a G7 on home ice is what you earn for finishing higher. Period.

  3. mshantz22 - Apr 14, 2014 at 11:50 PM

    I honestly like the ahl set-up. Top seed goes 1,2,6,7 at home.

    • nightfireop - Apr 15, 2014 at 12:15 AM

      that’s actually a good one, the mlb follows a similar pattern too. and what’s good is that for lower seeds to win it at home with an upset, they only have up to 5 games to pull the upset.

      take the 2012 kings for example, even though they were the 8th seed, but by leading all playoff rounds 3-0, that means they had 4 chances to win it at home; which almost makes the top seed more of a disadvantage than anything else

    • letsgolightning - Apr 15, 2014 at 12:37 AM

      I like this for easier travel, but it bugs me that the lower seed can have more home games in a series. In my opinion, the ‘home’ team shouldn’t have to ever play more on the road than at home (as would happen in a 4-1 series under this plan). It makes sense for the AHL since travel costs hit them harder, but I’d like to think NHL and MLB could afford some sort of 2-2-1-1-1.

    • skr213 - Apr 15, 2014 at 2:38 AM

      Gives the lower seed team too much momentum to have three games in a row at home. Works for AHL because they’re trying to reduce travel costs.

    • cheliostwin - Apr 15, 2014 at 9:22 AM

      Up until a few years ago, the President’s Trophy winning team got to pick the format for the playoffs (for all teams.) They had the option of 2-3-2 that the AHL and MLB uses, or the 2-2-1-1-1 that the NHL currently uses. When the Red Wings won the President’s Trophy some of those years and had to play a West Coast team in the first round, Ken Holland seriously considered using the 2-3-2 format to reduce travel time, but he opted to use the traditional 2-2-1-1-1 instead.
      Since no team has selected the 2-3-2 option in decades, the NHL decided to eliminate the option and always use 2-2-1-1-1.

  4. puregreed - Apr 14, 2014 at 11:53 PM

    The advantage for the higher seed would come in the added benefit of sleeping in your own bed more often. Technically you could leave right after every game as the fave and never sleep in a hotel, depending on the length of travel of course.

  5. mrmcl - Apr 15, 2014 at 12:07 AM

    Division winners should get 5 home games (1,2,3,6,7) and the wild card teams only 2 (4 & 5) in the opening round. Makes the regular season a bit more important.

  6. WillIEverSeeACupInMyLife? - Apr 15, 2014 at 6:33 AM

    Well as stupid as the divisons are set up, the nonsense of “wild cards”, and having no idea how the new playoff system works…..IT MAKES PERFECT SENSE

  7. handsofsweed - Apr 15, 2014 at 7:20 AM

    I’ve got a better idea. Let’s not change ANYTHING. Let’s go Hockeytime!!

  8. billiam55 - Apr 15, 2014 at 8:25 AM

    just focus on beating those montreal divers would ya!

  9. ibieiniid - Apr 15, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    My main beef with this is that it allows the higher seeded team to end the series at home less often. home team can only clinch at home in game 6, no thanks.

  10. ibieiniid - Apr 15, 2014 at 12:02 PM

    Nvm, I guess a sweep would end at home too. interesting, but it doesn’t make my cut as far as good ideas go.

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