The 2022 NHL Playoffs are here as these teams battle in the best-of-seven series.
16 teams made it to the NHL postseason and now eye the coveted Stanley Cup. After the past three seasons of schedule interruptions from the COVID-19 global pandemic, the NHL finally finished an entire season.
Every NHL team played its full 82-game schedule, and 16 teams are currently in the first-round conference matchups.
How do the NHL Playoffs work?
For the past four decades, 16 teams have qualified, with the top three teams in each division making up the top 12 teams. The last four spots consist of the following the next two teams with the best records in each conference.
One conference could see five teams in the postseason, while another only sees three. It all depends on where they finish in the standings.
Like other professional sports, the NHL has the teams play series to see who advances.
Does the NHL have a best of 5 or 7 series format?
The NHL plays seven-game series, as the team that gets to four wins first will advance into the second round.
Games one and two are at the higher seeds home rink. Then the next two games, the lower seed will host. If a Game 4 or more happen, the two teams will alternate locations for each remaining matchup.
Higher-seeds have a better advantage as they have the opportunity to host four of the seven games.
Round one will see the division winner with the best record plays the wild card team with the second-best record. The other division winner plays the wild card team with the best record.
For example, in the 2022 NHL Eastern conference side of the basket, the No.1 seed Florida Panthers play the Washington Capitals, and the Carolina Hurricanes play the Boston Bruins.
For the remaining teams, the No.2 seed plays the No.3 seed.
This 2-2-1-1-1 playoff format is for the first two rounds of the NHL playoffs. However, it changes for the Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup Final.
Seedings go to the wayside as the team with the better regular-season record gets home-ice advantage. However, there will still be seven games, and it will follow the same format outside who initially gets the home advantage for the first two games.
The NHL Playoffs have been the same for decades as it’s a proven format.