NHL's new realignment a positive for Bruins

NHL's new realignment a positive for Bruins
December 6, 2011, 8:04 am
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There will be a new realignment in the NHL next season, and the Bruins look to have caught a little break with it.

First of all, there will be four "conferences" -- two with eight teams, two with seven teams. Four teams from each conference make the playoffs.

Not only did the Bruins land in one of the two conferences with seven teams, but they don't have to worry about getting in over the Red Wings or Penguins either.

The teams in their current division now will move to the new conference with them along with Tampa Bay and Florida.

There are still three rounds of playoffs before the Stanley Cup Finals, but each conference must have it's champion before moving on.

For example, if the Bruins were the top seed, they would play the fourth seed in their conference. The winner would play the winner of the 2nd vs. 3rd seed. The winner of that series would then play the other champion of the other Eastern Conference (conferences are not named yet). That winner would go to the Stanley Cup.

The new realignment is meant to make more sense geographically, and also guarantees that each team plays each other at least twice a season -- a home and home -- like the NBA schedule (in a non-lockout season, that is).