Capitals' Winnik slams playoff format: 'It's the stupidest thing ever'
Safe to say Daniel Winnik doesn't like the NHL's postseason format.
The league's divisional playoff format, instituted in 2014-15, matches the second and third-place teams in each division against one another in the first round.
It was brought in to foster intra-division rivalries and create new ones, but Winnik thinks people are getting tired of watching similar matchups each spring.
"I’m sure fans are getting sick of seeing the same two teams play each other in the first round and second round," he said, according to The Associated Press' Stephen Whyno.
The Capitals became the first team this season to clinch a playoff spot Saturday night and currently hold the tiebreaker over the Columbus Blue Jackets for the league's best record.
A first-place finish would ensure the Capitals of a first-round matchup against the worse of the two Eastern Conference wild-card teams (right now, that's the Toronto Maple Leafs), whereas a slip to second place would force Washington to battle either the Blue Jackets or the Pittsburgh Penguins.
That underscores just how important it will be to finish first, and those three Metropolitan Division foes are separated by a single point through Sunday's games.