NHL player representatives sound off on playoff format

              New York Islanders' Anders Lee (27) is mobbed by teammates after getting an empty-net goal during the third period in Game 3 of an NHL first-round hockey playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Sunday, April 14, 2019. The Islanders won 4-1. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

In an Associated Press and Canadian Press survey of player representatives from all 31 NHL teams, 48.4% favored changing the current divisional playoff format. A selection of player responses:


“In my opinion, I prefer the 1 plays 8 format. Divisions that are stronger have teams eliminated in the first round that should have a chance to gather steam and make pushes deeper into the playoffs.” — JONATHAN TOEWS, Chicago.


“Everyone knows what it should be: 1 through 8. The way it used to be.” — JUSTIN FAULK, Carolina.