When Do NHL Playoffs Start : A Compressive Guide



When Do NHL Playoffs Start

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Craving a dose of on-ice action? Curious about when pucks start flying and players start viewing for the ultimate glory of the Stanley Cup? Then you’re probably itching to know when the NHL playoffs start. Breathe easy, hockey fan. We’ve got you covered. 

When Do NHL Playoffs Start
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The NHL playoffs, a highly anticipated time for fans and players alike, typically kick off in mid-April each year. Specific start dates can vary based on the length of the regular season and any unexpected schedule shifts—like those you might see if, say, a global pandemic gets in the way. 

“The anticipation for the NHL playoffs is something that unites all hockey fans. The thrill of the Countdown to face-off is a universal feeling.”

Given the variables at play, it’s wise to keep an open dialogue with your favorite hockey news source—or bookmark this article, of course, as we’ll keep this space updated with the latest confirmed start dates for future NHL playoffs. Better yet, why not do both? Swing back to see us anytime you’re hoping for some hot-off-the-press NHL news.

When Do NHL Playoffs Start

It’s a question that every avid sports enthusiast, and particularly fans of the National Hockey League (NHL), tend to wonder about – “When do the NHL playoffs start?” So, let’s dive straight into this interesting topic, shall we? 

The NHL playoffs typically kick off in the month of April, shortly after the conclusion of the regular season. However, it’s worth noting that the exact dates can vary from year to year, depending on the NHL schedule. The playoffs usually continue for a couple of months, carrying through to June, during which the thrilling Stanley Cup Finals take place. 

Each season, 16 teams qualify for the playoffs based on their performance during the regular season. These teams then battle it out on the ice in a series of best-of-seven rounds, adding up to four rounds in total. The drama keeps building until the two remaining teams face-off in the highly anticipated Stanley Cup Finals. It’s certainly not an event to be missed! 

If you’re a fan eager to not miss a single match, keep an eye on the NHL’s official website or their social media channels. They usually release the complete playoff schedule, including dates, times, and venues, once all playoff spots have been filled. 

So now that you know when the adrenaline-pumping action typically begins, make sure you’re ready to cheer on your favourites when the time comes. The NHL playoffs are sure to offer all the thrills and spills that hockey fans eagerly anticipate each year.

Which teams are participating in the NHL playoffs this year?

The NHL playoffs are a showcase of some of the most exceptional talents in the hockey world, going head-to-head in a series of intense matches. But, who exactly gets to participate? Let’s unpack this. 

The National Hockey League is divided into two conferences: Eastern and Western, each with two divisions. Each conference sends the top three teams from each of its divisions; so as a total, we get twelve slots. The remaining four slots, two per conference, are given to the teams with the highest points from either division. These teams are called wild cards. 

To make it clearer, your favourite team could make it to the playoffs in two ways: either by being in the top three of their division or by securing one of the wild card spots. 

Now, you may be wondering, “How is the final seeding determined?” The team with the most points at the end of the regular season in each conference gets to be the number one seed. The seedings continue, going by the ranking in the points table, till the third-place team of each division. The two wild card teams are then placed in the seventh and eighth spots. 

So that’s how the 16 playoff spots are grabbed up. Now go ahead and check where your favourite team stands and gear up for some thrilling hockey action!

Where can I watch the NHL playoffs live?

You’re probably wondering where you can catch all the exciting action of the NHL playoffs. Well, you’re in luck, as there are several options to pick from. Consider turning your TV to the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) and its associated channels, such as NBC Sports Network, USA Network, CNBC, and the Golf Channel, which all typically broadcast NHL playoff games in the United States. For our Canadian friends, look no further than Sportsnet and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

Both networks have a history of providing comprehensive coverage of the NHL playoffs with expert analysis and commentary, making every game a must-watch event. Whether you live outside these regions or simply prefer online streaming, the NHL Live service could be your best bet. This platform offers live streaming of all NHL playoff games straight to your device, offering flexibility and convenience no matter your location. If you’re a cord-cutter, you might want to check out Sling TV or Hulu Live.

What are the key dates for the NHL playoffs?

 We’re here to help you plan around the NHL playoff schedule, and we’re here to keep you in the know. The National Hockey League usually runs its playoffs during the spring, typically starting in mid-April. While the exact dates can vary each year, they typically extend into the first week of June, culminating with the championship series commonly known as the Stanley Cup Finals.

The playoff series in each round is organized in a best-of-seven format, which means we could potentially have up to seven games in each round. So, depending on the length of each series, the dates of later rounds can shift slightly. But don’t worry; we’ll give you a basic outline of what to expect: 

  1. First Round: Mid-April
  2. Second Round: Late-April to early-May
  3. Conference Finals: Mid to late-May
  4. Stanley Cup Finals: Late May to early June

The NHL will typically release a definitive schedule once the regular season ends, which includes the exact date and time of each playoff game. Rest assured, we’ll update this article as soon as we’ve got those specifics. So, pencil in the above-mentioned timeframes into your calendars, and get ready for some exciting hockey action! 

Who are the favourites to win the NHL playoffs?

Picking favourites to win the NHL playoffs can be quite exciting, isn’t it? Typically, teams that have performed strongly throughout the regular season are considered top contenders. But remember, the unpredictability and high-intensity of playoff hockey can lead to surprising outcomes. The beauty of the sports world, right?

So, you’re probably asking, “who are the heavy hitters going into the playoffs?” Well, it’s crucial to keep in mind that the situation can greatly vary from year to year. In the 2020-2021 season, teams like the Colorado Avalanche, the Vegas Golden Knights, and Tampa Bay Lightning were pegged as favourites due to their standout performances. 

When determining who might clinch the victory, it’s essential to look at a variety of factors. We’re talking about regular season performance, team statistics, player injuries, and recent playoff histories. And don’t forget about the impact of well-experienced playoff teams that simply know how to win when it counts, despite what the regular season standings may suggest.

But let’s not kid ourselves; what most fans crave are those upset stories, right? The underdogs defeat the odds and take home the honours. We’ve seen it before, like in 2012, when the Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup as the 8th-seeded team, proving that anything can happen in the world of NHL playoffs.

So, who will be the next favorite and who will be the next underdog story? Only time and the electrifying games of the playoffs will unfold the answers. Buckle up for an exciting journey that the NHL playoffs never fail to deliver!

What is the structure of the NHL playoff bracket?

Imagine the NHL playoff bracket as essentially a road that 16 teams must navigate for a shot at sporting glory. Every turn, every intersection, every milestone on this journey represents an eagerly anticipated match, a face-off, or a sudden death showdown. So, let’s buckle up and take a closer look at this exciting road map. 

First off, the teams. The NHL playoffs consist of 16 teams, comprising the top three from each of the league’s four divisions, plus two wild-card entries from each conference – that’s the Western and Eastern. To simplify it, eight teams from both the Western Conference and Eastern Conference get the ticket to make it to the playoffs. 

The playoffs are divided into four rounds, with each round eliminating the loser and the winner advancing to the next level. The first two rounds are dedicated to determining the conference champions. The third round, commonly known as the Conference Finals, pits the winners from the East and West against each other. These hurdles are crossed through a best-of-seven series. We’ll delve into that in just a second. 

The best-of-seven series simply means the first team to secure four games wins the round and advances. The setup is very strategic, with the initial two games played at the higher-seeded team’s arena, followed by two games at the lower-seeded team’s venue. If necessary, the remaining games alternate between venues. 

When we arrive at the final lap, the fourth round, we see the champions of the Eastern and Western Conferences clash in the Stanley Cup Finals. This is also a best-of-seven series, and the first team to win four games is crowned the NHL champion, lifting the coveted Stanley Cup. This is the ultimate goal, the end of the road, the final destination in our journey through the bracket. 

An interesting point to note here is that reseeding each round based on regular-season points does not occur within the NHL games. Once the first-round matchups are set, the bracket is fixed, depicting the path each team must follow to reach the Stanley Cup Finals. 

So there you have it. The NHL playoff bracket isn’t just a chart. It’s a vibrant story of trials, triumphs, twists, and turns. Its predictable unpredictability makes every NHL playoff season a thrilling spectacle to behold. Are you ready to join in the excitement?

What are some memorable moments from past NHL playoffs?

Jumping right in, who could forget the “Miracle on Manchester” in 1982? The Los Angeles Kings, not viewed as serious contenders, managed to erase a 5-goal deficit against the Edmonton Oilers in the third period. What started out as a no-contest soon turned into one of the most stunning comebacks in NHL history. The Oilers, a team packed with future Hall of Famers like Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, and Jari Kurri, watched as the Kings marched back into the game and eventually sealed their fate in overtime. This unlikely victory remains a legendary chapter in NHL playoffs’ folklore. 

And then, of course, there’s the moment that Bobby Orr flew. Literally, in 1970, Orr scored an overtime goal that clinched the Stanley Cup for the Boston Bruins. The indelible image of him flying through the air, his arms flung wide in celebration, is so iconic that it has been immortalized in a bronze statue outside Boston’s TD Garden. This astonishing moment epitomizes the sheer emotion, surprise, and joy that come with NHL playoff games. 

Fast forward to the 1994 playoffs, and we’re reminded of Mark Messier’s famous guarantee. With the New York Rangers facing elimination against the New Jersey Devils in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Messier publicly guaranteed a Rangers victory. He not only delivered on his promise but also recorded a hat trick to force a Game 7. The Rangers went on to win the Stanley Cup that year, breaking a 54-year championship drought. A feat so miraculous that it’s often referred to as “Messier’s Moment”. 

These incredible events are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to NHL playoff memories. Every year brings new moments of triumph, heartbreak, and historical significance, amplifying the excitement that surrounds the NHL playoff season. As we look forward to this year’s playoffs, we can’t help but wonder: what unforgettable moments lie ahead? The NHL playoffs typically start in mid-April, shortly after the conclusion of the regular season.

After the gruelling battles within the regular season, it’s finally time to shift attention to the big tournament. The playoffs are where heroes are made, reputations are forged, and legends come to life. The playoffs typically kick off with quite a bit of anticipation. Fans are abuzz with predictions, comparisons, and friendly rivalries. The rinks are filled to capacity, the atmosphere is electric, and the tension is palpable. 

You might be wondering, what makes the NHL playoffs so special? It all begins in mid-April, around the time when the first cherry blossoms start to bloom, and the scent of spring is in the air. The puck drops, and teams go head-to-head in nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat action. The playoffs run through May and into early June, when finally, after numerous high-stakes matches, one team emerges victorious, holding high the Stanley Cup, the pinnacle of hockey glory. 

To make sure you don’t miss a moment of the action, be sure to stay tuned to official NHL communications, your local listings, and any sports news updates. Each passing day brings us closer to finding out who will raise the Cup in triumph and etch their names into the annals of hockey history.

Which player holds the record for most goals in the NHL playoffs?

Wayne Gretzky, a retired professional ice hockey player and former head coach, claims the prestigious title of being the NHL player with the most goals in the playoffs. A legend of the sport, Gretzky scored an astonishing number of goals during his illustrious career. 

Gretzky fondly referred to as ‘The Great One’, scored a record-breaking 122 playoff goals throughout his career in the National Hockey League. He set these records while playing for several renowned teams, such as the Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues, and the New York Rangers. Gretzky’s monumental achievements in the NHL playoffs remain unmatched to this day. 

Following Gretzky, the legendary NHL player Mark Messier slots into the second place, having notched 109 goals in the playoffs. However, despite his incredible record, he still falls 13 goals short of Gretzky’s unbeaten record. 

As for the active players, Canadian professional ice hockey player Sidney Crosby holds the most playoff goals. As of securing his 68th playoff goal in 2020, he occupies the 19th position in the list of all-time NHL playoff goal scorers. 

It’s always a thrill to see records like these challenged, as it reminds us of the ever-evolving talent in the sport of ice hockey. Every playoff season can bring about fresh contenders that can possibly etch their names into the annals of NHL history, making the playoffs a much-awaited event for all hockey fans.

Question And Answer 

Are there any specific events or milestones that signal the beginning of the NHL playoffs?

Once the playoff bracket is set and any play-in games are completed, the first round of the playoffs, also known as the Conference Quarterfinals, begins. This is the official start of the NHL playoffs. The playoffs continue through several rounds, culminating in the Stanley Cup Finals.

What factors might affect the start date of the NHL playoffs?

Another factor that can influence the start date of the NHL playoffs is the occurrence of major events or tournaments. For instance, if the Winter Olympics or the World Cup of Hockey are scheduled in the same year, the NHL may adjust its schedule to accommodate these events, which could push back the start of the playoffs.

When do the NHL playoffs typically start each year?

The exact start date of the playoffs can vary slightly from year to year, depending on the NHL schedule and any unforeseen circumstances, such as lockouts or, more recently, global events like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Final Thought 

From the legendary on-ice battles to the sheer anticipation of the matches, the NHL playoffs are a spectacle that never fails to excite fans around the globe. They represent the culmination of a season filled with extraordinary skill, hard-fought matches, and heart-stopping finishes, with players giving it their all to achieve the ultimate glory – lifting the illustrious Stanley Cup. 

As we eagerly anticipate the beginning of the playoffs each year, let’s not forget the journey that led us to this point. From the grueling regular season to the final playoff positions being decided, every moment holds its own unique significance. It is these inconsistencies and unpredictability’s that make the NHL playoffs such a captivating spectacle. 

The NHL playoffs’ start date may vary due to a myriad of factors, as discussed earlier. Yet, when that first puck drops in the opening playoff game, the atmosphere intensifies, creating an indescribable buzz of excitement, passion, and intensity. It is a moment that stands still yet rushes past all at the same time, a moment that truly encapsulates the magic of the sport. 

Whichever team you root for, whatever outcome you remain hopeful for, the magic of NHL playoffs resides not just in the final result but also in the journey leading up to it. So, my dear readers, buckle up and prepare for an enthralling ride as we step into the electrifying world of the NHL playoffs. Rest assured, it’s a journey you wouldn’t want to miss for the world!

About the author


Hey hockey fans, lace up your skates and get ready for a face-off with yours truly, Freddy Scheerer! As a hockey player with a passion for the game, I’m here to share my knowledge, experiences, and love for all things hockey. So join me as we explore the exciting world of hockey! Get ready for drills, discussions, and a whole lot of hockey love. Let’s drop the puck and get this blog started!

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