The current National Hockey League playoff format has only been in place for three seasons, but Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has already seen enough of it.

Ovechkin believes the format doesn't adequately reward a team's regular season finish.

"The schedule in the playoffs is kind of weird," Ovechkin told CSN Mid-Atlantic's J.J. Regan, "because you play first team and fourth and then you play against Pittsburgh. ... Then you think, why [do we] need to win Presidents' Trophy to play against the best team?"

Last season, Ovechkin's Capitals finished with 120 points on top of the Metropolitan Division and with the best record in the NHL. After defeating the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round, the Caps met the Pittsburgh Penguins - owners of the Eastern Conference's second-best record at 104 points - in the second round. The Pens would win the series in six games and go on to win the Stanley Cup. Because both teams play in the same division, they were drawn into the same side of the postseason bracket.

Under the old format - where division leaders were seeded 1 through 3 and the other five best teams rounded out the eight seeds with reseeding taking place at the end of every round - the two teams wouldn't have met until the Eastern Conference Final.

"It's tough to think about it," Ovechkin said. "It's kind of weird, but there's nothing you can do."

Capitals' training camp opens on September 23. Before then, though, Ovechkin will be competing as part of Russia's entry in the World Cup of Hockey set to kick off in Toronto on Saturday. Russia's first action comes on Sunday when it meets Sweden as part of Group B.