A look at how the playoffs would be headed if the proposed realignment was in effect this season (obviously schedules would be altered so points would not be the same)
Refresher on how the divisions were supposed to be aligned:http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=604852
The results are not drastically different:
In the 2 East divisions
Buf in over Was
NYR plays NJ instead of Buf
Fla plays Buf instead of NJ
-The big thing in the east is that the playoff chase story line would be removed because Washington would be eliminated and the top 4 in each would already be decided. The only thing left to battle for is home ice in the Pens/Flyers series and the Fla/Ott series.
In the 2 West divisions
LA plays SJ instead of Chi
StL plays Chi instead of SJ
-A similar story line in the west. Less drama since Dallas is eliminated and Colorado is a long shot. An interesting side note would be SJ/LA/Pho fighting for who doesn't have to play Van and Nas/Det/Chi fighting for who doesn't have to play StL.
So at least for this year, no big changes to the playoff teams or early rounds. The big differences would end up happening in the later rounds. The 2nd round would potentially be lopsided since there are clearly 2 more dominant "divisions" in the realignment scenario during this year. The last two rounds were not determined, but could have seen East-West matchups in Rd. 3 with an E-E or W-W SCF.