I was wondering last night, with the increase of inter-divisional play, whether it was time to scrap the 1-8 Conference playoff seeding. With 8 games against each divisional opponents 32 out of 82 games are within division. I, for one, think this is great. Increasing rivalries is great for improving regular season games. I am thinkin about going one step further. Make divisional games even more important by having divisional standing matter for the playoffs.
There are currently three divisions in each conference. I propose that the top two teams from each division make the playoffs and that the final two teams are chosen through Wild Cards. You could still have divisional winners guaranteed a top 3 seed to make a divisional win mean something - but I propose slotting in the the second place finishers according to points even if that places them behind a Wild Card.
I could be convinced to go one step further and have 4 divisions with the top 2 finishers in each getting in. Then having to go through the division during the playoffs. Nothing increases a rivalry better than meeting in the playoffs. Well, you actually have to lose to a team in the playoffs to have a rivalry. That is why the Leafs-Sens rivalry is one way right now.