There's an interesting article on the MSNBC site today, Mark Starr a correspondent with Newsweek (which partners with MSNBC for internet content on the site) has come up with a novel approach to setting playoff match ups for both the NHL and the NBA.
Starr suggests that teams 1 through four be allowed to "pick" their playoff match up with the remaining four teams in each conference. Thus Detroit would have been able to try and avoid the Oilers who have given them trouble over the years and Dallass with a bit of foresight could have avoided the humiliation of losing to the Colorado Avalanche with nary a peep. The system probably wouldn't have done Bob Clarke any good mind you, as the Sabres would probably have picked the Flyers time and time again such was their domination there.
But it does offer up some interesting ideas for those leagues with a lengthy regular season that leads to such early disappointment for many of the front runners. If nothing else it might make finishing first worthwhile again, considering the way the bottom feeders have had their way in the West, finishing first should have some benefit other than a one game home advantage if you have to go seven games.
It's doubtful the idea will ever catch on, but it makes for great bar conversation in between games. Especially if your team is already joining you on the stool watching the game on tv instead of from a players bench.