Bettman: Current playoff format works well 'unless you're a Leafs fan'
Andre Ringuette / National Hockey League / Getty

Gary Bettman was in peak troll mode Friday.

The NHL commissioner was asked about the league's controversial playoff format during a media availability on Friday ahead of Saturday's Heritage Classic in Saskatchewan.

"We think the format we have works extremely well ... unless you're a Leafs fan," Bettman joked, according to Donna Spencer of the Canadian Press.

With the NHL's current playoff format, the second and third seeds in each division meet in the first round of the postseason, regardless if one division is stronger than the other.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have been the biggest victims of this format. Last season they met the Boston Bruins in the first round, despite the fact they had the fifth-most points in the Eastern Conference and the Bruins had the second-most. It also hurt them in 2017-18, when they tied for the third-most points in the conference but were once again forced to start on the road against the second-seeded Bruins in Round 1.

Toronto, of course, was eliminated in the first round each time.

In the old 1 vs. 8 format, the Leafs would've been at home to the Penguins as the No. 4 seed in 2018, and on the road against the Islanders as the No. 5 seed in 2019.

Steven Stamkos, Sidney Crosby, John Tavares, and Nazem Kadri are among a list of players that have criticized the format in the past.

Bettman: Current playoff format works well 'unless you're a Leafs fan'
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