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Why the heck did they set it up so differently such that under usual rules teams wouldn't even have made the playoffs? I know it's due to Covid, but I don't recall what they did so differently that it really messed it up.

They didn't set it up differently for different divisions. Every division had 4 teams make the playoffs. There were no wildcards - that was the only difference

Some years in the 'regular' years, the top 3 make the playoffs and then 2 wildcards. Sometimes there are teams in divisions with better records than other teams in other divisions that don't make the playoffs. I think one year the Atlantic's 3rd place team (automatic seeding) had the same points as the 6th place in the other division but made the playoffs.

It happens EVERY year and it has happened forever. Just think of the 1980s and the Norris Division or even the Smythe Division. The Leafs and Nucks made the playoffs with 57 and 58 points some years then...but a better team in the Adams didn't.

Every team plays with the same rules that every other team has to for the year. There is no 'asterix' - if it was so easy, every team would do it.



P.S. I also forgot - Montreal had to play the last 25 games of the regular season in 44 nights...which included 3 round trips across the country (3-4 time zones each time???) because of how COVID forced games to be postponed.
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