Stamkos: Playoff format 'a little imperfect,' old system more logical
Mark LoMoglio / National Hockey League / Getty

Count Steven Stamkos among NHL players not quite sold on the league's divisional postseason format.

"It's a little imperfect," the Tampa Bay Lightning captain told Sportsnet's Chris Johnston on Thursday. "I've always thought when you go to the 1 (seed versus) 8, and then reseed after that, that's just, for me anyways, a little more logical."

Stamkos' sentiments echoed similar comments from John Tavares and Nazem Kadri of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who trail the Lightning by six points for first place in the Atlantic Division.

"Our division is pretty deadly at this point," Kadri told Johnston on Wednesday. "Obviously that’s kind of at a disadvantage for us. It’d be nicer to play a seven or eight seed.”

If the playoffs started Thursday, the Lightning (24-7-1) would face the Montreal Canadiens (15-11-5), who occupy the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, while the Leafs (21-9-1) would be forced to face the third-place Buffalo Sabres (18-9-4) in the opening round.

Additionally, teams aren't reseeded in subsequent rounds as they were when the league used the conference format.

Stamkos, Tavares, and Kadri aren't the first players to question the current format, which was instituted in 2014-15. Former Washington Capitals forward Daniel Winnik called it "the stupidest thing ever" in March 2017, and Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby said in 2016 that he was "not a big fan of it."

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Stamkos: Playoff format 'a little imperfect,' old system more logical
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