When the NHL, led by the abso-100%-lutely worst commissioner in sports history, came up with the current, and extremely awful, playoff format (with uneven conferences, no less), I did not like it because not only did the Western Conference teams have a better opportunity to make the playoffs than the Eastern Conference teams, but it meant division playoffs with the same early opponents year after year. But this year, the league has lowered itself even further, as evidenced by the seedings for the second round -- the top two teams points-wise from each conference facing off against each other, while two series are between teams with fewer points.
I would prefer the first-place team in each division getting a top seed, and the remaining 12 teams with the most points, regardless of where they are, getting the other spots, and having 1-16, 2-15, ... 8-9, with re-seeding after each round, like in 1980 and 1981. Even the pre-2013 alignment with the top 8 teams from each conference (with the same number of teams in each) would suffice. But the current setup reeks -- and not of awesomeness. Everyone knows that the Islanders deliberately lost their last two games so they could face Florida's teams instead of Washington and Pittsburgh. And don't give me that "bracket" dreck -- another useless gimmick, like the shootout, brought on by the Euro-sissy-hockey putz, Gary Butthead.