Assuming the NHL is only gone for a few weeks, they still have time to even out the schedule and avoid this hole points-percentage scenario when they come back.
According to Greg Wyshynski, the NHL could play a shorter season when they come back. That would certainly allow teams to ‘earn’ the right to get into the playoffs and not luck their way in like they would do in a points percentage scenario.
This scenario would, aside from keeping things fair for playoff seeding, would also keep the NHL to a regular time table. With a shorter season and with a truncated playoff structure where the first round is shorter, the season could still be done in June, as usual.
As an Islanders fan, I like the points percentage scenario better. Simply for the fact that it leaves no room for error. The Islanders can’t possibly screw it up.
But as a hockey fan, this scenario is fair. It gives teams some time to earn their way in. In this scenario who makes it and who doesn’t is up to the performance on the ice and not by some sort of algorithm. In this scenario, there can be no complaints about who gets in and who doesn’t.
The question for this scenario is what games do they and don’t they play? Do they simply keep the same schedule and only play, say, 75 games? Or will it be 75 games and all inter-conference play?