How To Hockey Playoffs Work

The NHL playoffs, also known as the Stanley Cup playoffs, determine the champion of the National Hockey League. Here are 5 supporting facts about how the playoffs work:
1. Qualifying teams: At the end of the regular season, the top 16 teams from both the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference qualify for the playoffs. These teams are determined based on their performance and standings throughout the season.

2. Bracket system: The playoffs follow a bracket system, where teams are seeded based on their regular-season performance. The top-seeded team faces the lowest-seeded team, and the higher-seeded team has home-ice advantage in the series.

3. Best-of-seven series: Each playoff round consists of a best-of-seven series. The team that wins four games in a series advances to the next round, while the other team is eliminated from the playoffs. This continues until the Conference Finals, where the winners from each conference face off.

4. Re-seeding: Unlike some other sports, the NHL playoffs re-seed after each round. This means that the highest remaining seed will face the lowest remaining seed in each subsequent round, regardless of conference affiliation.

5. Stanley Cup Finals: The Conference Champions from each conference compete in the Stanley Cup Finals to determine the overall winner of the NHL playoffs. The team that wins the finals is awarded the Stanley Cup, the most prestigious trophy in professional hockey.

Here are 7 FAQs about how the NHL playoffs work:

1. How many teams make the playoffs in the NHL?
– A total of 16 teams, 8 from each conference, qualify for the NHL playoffs.

2. Is there a wild-card system in the NHL playoffs?
– Yes, the NHL uses a wild-card system to determine the last two teams from each conference to qualify for the playoffs. These teams are the ones with the highest regular-season points total among the non-qualifying teams.

3. How are tiebreakers determined in the NHL playoffs?
– If two teams have the same number of points at the end of the regular season, tiebreakers such as the number of wins and head-to-head record are used to determine standings.

4. How long do playoff series last in the NHL?
– Each playoff series typically lasts approximately two weeks, with games being played every couple of days.

5. How often are the playoffs held in the NHL?
– The NHL playoffs are held annually, typically starting in April and ending in June.

6. Do teams play each other from different conferences in the playoffs?
– Yes, once the Conference Finals begin, teams from different conferences can face each other in the quest for the Stanley Cup.

7. Can the lower-seeded team eliminate the higher-seeded team in the NHL playoffs?
– Absolutely! Upsets are not uncommon in the NHL playoffs, and lower-seeded teams have a fair chance to eliminate higher-seeded ones.

BOTTOM LINE:
The NHL playoffs consist of 16 teams competing in a best-of-seven series format to determine the Stanley Cup champion. The playoffs follow a bracket system, with teams re-seeded after each round. The top 16 teams from the regular season qualify for the playoffs, with two wild-card spots available for each conference. The playoffs last approximately two months, starting in April and ending in June. Anything can happen in the playoffs, and lower-seeded teams have the potential to eliminate higher-seeded ones.