am-300x600
am-300x600
apv-300x250
apst-300x250.jpg
More Sports

Ice Hockey

Ice Hockey

Articles

5 Best NHL Jerseys Ever5 Most Common Ice Hockey InjuriesAlex Ovechkin Bio And FactsBobby Orr Bio And FactsBrent Burns Bio And FactsHockey BlockerHockey Body CheckHockey FlexHockey GiveawayHockey InfractionHockey ManagerHockey Power ForwardHockey PressHockey TrapsHockey Two Line PassHockey Wrap AroundHow Does Hockey Betting Work?Mark Messier Bio And FactsNHL Playoff FormatNHL Skills Competition FormatNikita Kucherov BiographyPatrick Kane Bio And FactsSidney Crosby Bio And FactsTop 10 College Hockey JerseysTop 10 Hockey MoviesTop 10 Hockey RulesTop 10 Hockey Shots All TimeTop 10 Hockey Video GamesTop 10 Ice Hockey BrandsTop 10 Minor League Hockey JerseysTop 10 NHL FightsTop 10 NHL Hockey RinksTop 10 NHL Throwback JerseysTop 10 Richest Hockey PlayersTop 5 Hockey All-Star GamesTop 5 Hockey AnnouncersTop 5 Hockey World Juniors RivalriesTop 5 NHL Goal SavesTop 5 NHL GoalsTop 5 NHL Playoff BeardsTop 5 NHL Playoff GamesWayne Gretzky Bio And FactsWhat Is The NHL All Star Game?

Basics

Hockey BasicsHockey Game ClockHockey Game StructureHockey HistoryHockey IntermissionHockey PassingHockey Penalty ClockHockey Penalty KillingHockey Penalty ShotsHockey Power PlaysHockey Shot TypesHockey Takeaways vs GiveawaysHockey Team RosterHockey Turnovers

Coaching

Hockey CoachingWhat Are The Kinds Of Injuries In Hockey?

Equipment

Hockey EquipmentHockey HelmetsIce Hockey Equipment ListWhat Is A Zamboni In Hockey?

Leagues

Hockey LeaguesWhat Is Minor League Hockey?What Is The Swedish Hockey League?

Lingo And Terminology

Hockey Defensive ZoneHockey Lingo And TerminologyHockey Neutral ZoneHockey Offensive ZoneHockey PeriodsHockey Short HandedWhat Is A Breakout In Hockey?What Is A Hat Trick In Hockey?What Is A Line In Hockey?What Is A Shot On Goal In Hockey?What Is A Shutout In Hockey?What Is An Assist In Hockey?What Is An Instigator In Hockey?What Is Breakaway In Hockey?What Is Center Ice In Hockey?What Is Deke In Hockey?What Is Five Hole In Hockey?What Is Left Wing Lock In Hockey?What Is Plus-Minus In Hockey?What Is The Challenge Cup In Hockey?What Is The Frozen Four In Hockey?What Is The Memorial Cup In Hockey?What Is The Stanley Cup In Hockey?

Officiating

Hockey OfficialsHockey OfficiatingHockey Referee CertificationWhat Does A Linesman Do In Hockey?What Does An Official Do In Hockey?

Penalties

Hockey Bench Minor PenaltiesHockey BoardingHockey Double Minor PenaltiesHockey Game Misconduct PenaltiesHockey Major PenaltiesHockey Match PenaltiesHockey Minor PenaltiesHockey Misconduct PenaltiesHockey PenaltiesWhat Is A Major Penalty In Hockey?What Is A Match Penalty In Hockey?What Is An Illegal Stick Penalty In Hockey?What Is Biting In Hockey?What Is Butt Ending In Hockey?What Is Charging In Hockey?What Is Clipping In Hockey?What Is Delay Of Game In Hockey?What Is Elbowing In Hockey?What Is Embellishment In Hockey?What Is High Sticking In Hockey?What Is Hooking In Hockey?What Is Interference In Hockey?What Is Kneeing In Hockey?What Is Roughing In Hockey?What Is Slashing In Hockey?What Is Spearing In Hockey?What Is Tripping In Hockey?What Is Unsportsmanlike Conduct In Hockey?

Players

Hockey PlayersTop 5 Ranked Mens Ice Hockey Players Of All TimeTop 6 Best Womens Ice Hockey Players Of All TimeTop 7 NHL MVPsWho Is Gordie Howe In Hockey?Who Is Wayne Gretzky In Hockey?

Position Roles And Responsibilities

Hockey CenterHockey DefensemanHockey GoalieHockey Position Roles and ResponsibilitiesHockey WingerWhat Are Enforcers In Hockey?What Does A Captain Do In Hockey?What Does A Forward Do In Hockey?What Does A Goalie Do In Hockey?What Does A Hockey Center Do?What Does A Hockey Goalie Do?What Does A Left Wing Do In Hockey?What Does A Right Wing Do In Hockey?What Does A Wing Do In Hockey?What Is A Grinder In Hockey?What Is The Defense In Hockey?

Rules

Hockey ChallengesHockey Disallowed GoalsHockey Face Off RulesHockey Fighting RulesHockey Icing Rule ExplainedHockey Icing Rule For KidsHockey Icing Rule QuizHockey OffsideHockey Offsides Rule For KidsHockey Offsides Rule QuizHockey OvertimeHockey Rules ReferenceHockey Shootout RulesHockey SubstitutionsHockey TimeoutsHow Does Scoring Work In Hockey?Ice Hockey Basic Rules For KidsWhat Are The Rules Of Ice Hockey?What Is A Face-Off In Hockey?What Is A Hand Pass In Hockey?What Is A Penalty Shot In Hockey?What Is A Power Play In Hockey?What Is Sudden-Death Format In Hockey?

Skills And Techniques

Hockey BackcheckingHockey ForecheckingHockey Skills And TechniquesWhat Is A One-Timer In Hockey?What Is A Slap Shot In Hockey?What Is A Snap Shot In Hockey?What Is A Wrist Shot In Hockey?

Strategy

Hockey CheckingHockey CyclingHockey Puck BattlesHockey StrategyList Of Hockey StrategiesWhat Is A Line Change In Hockey?What Is An Empty Net Strategy In Hockey?

Teams

Hockey TeamsNHL Hockey Teams ListTop 10 NHL Teams

The Rink

Hockey BoardsHockey Goal CreaseHockey Goalie TrapezoidHockey Hash MarksHockey Referee CreaseHockey Restraining LineHockey The RinkWhat Is Blue Line In Hockey?What Is Goal Line In Hockey?What Is Penalty Box In Hockey?What Is Red Line In Hockey?What Is Slot In Hockey?What Is The Size Of A Hockey Net?
ap-728x90

NHL Playoff Format

nhl playoff format

The NHL playoffs are an exciting event for hockey fans all over. Similar to many other sports playoffs, the NHL usually uses a bracket system to organize its playoff games. Due to the unprecedented times in 2020, the NHL playoffs began in August instead of April and the format was changed accordingly.

am-300x250.jpg

Table of Contents

ap-300x600

Qualifying for the Playoffs

There are 24 teams that have the chance to qualify for the playoffs. The top four teams in each conference, the Eastern and Western Conferences, play one another one time each to determine their seeding from 1 to 4. Therefore, there are six games per conference to determine the top 4 seeds. This is known as a "round robin seeding tournament."

Below the top 4 seeds, there are eight teams from each conference competing against one another to qualify for the playoffs. The teams are matched up based on their given seeds entering the qualifying round. As a result, the number 5 seeded team plays against the number 12 seeded team, the 6 seed plays the 11 seed, the 7 seed plays the 10 seed, and the 8 seed plays the 9 seed. Each series is played to a best of five games, with the first team to win three games advancing to the playoffs. At the end of this round, the winning four teams from each conference (total of eight teams) advance to compete against the top four seeded teams in each conference.

am-300x250.jpg

The First Round

Once the qualifying round of the playoffs concludes, there are 16 remaining teams that play in the official first round. Unlike the NHL playoffs in the past, the highest seeded teams play the lowest seeded teams. Therefore, the 1 seeded team plays the number 8 seeded team, the 2 seed plays the 7 seed, the 3 seed plays the 6 seed, and the 4 seed plays the 5 seed in each conference. From the first round on, all of the teams compete in a series that is played to the best of seven games. Therefore, the teams that win four games first in each series advance to the next round of the playoffs.

aa-300x250.png

The Second Round

Unlike previous years, the winners of each round will be reseeded after the first and second rounds. Therefore, the teams that play one another after each round depends on how each team is seeded.

After the first round, four teams from each conference advance to the second round. Similar to the first round, the highest remaining seed will play the lowest remaining seed. From both conferences, the number 1 seed faces the 4 seed while the number 2 seed will face the 3 seed.

apst-300x250.jpg

Conference Finals

After the second round finishes, the two teams that won their respective series from each conference will advance to the Conference Finals round. This round is also a series of best out of seven games, with the team who wins four games first winning. There will be one champion from each conference and these two teams will go on to the Stanley Cup final.

apst-300x250.jpg

Stanley Cup Final

Following the Conference Finals, the two winning teams advance to face one another in the Stanley Cup Finals. Like the previous rounds, the series is played to the best of seven games. The first team that earns four wins is awarded the Stanley Cup.

apst-300x250.jpg

FAQ

What are the rules for overtime in the NHL qualifying round?

The overtime rules differ between the games played in the round robin tournament and the qualifying games that are played in a best-of-five series. For the round robin tournament games, the overtime and shootout rules are the same as regular season games. However, for the qualifying games, the overtime rules adhere to playoff standards. This means that there are no shootouts and that the first team to score in the extended overtime wins the game.

Which NHL teams qualified for the playoffs in 2020?

In the Eastern Conference, the Canadiens, Hurricanes, Islanders, and Blue Jackets won their qualifying series. The Canadiens received the 8 seed, the Blue Jackets the 7 seed, the Islanders the 6 seed, and the Hurricanes the 5 seed. In the Western Conference, the Blackhawks, Coyotes, Flames, and Canucks qualified. The Blackhawks received the 8 seed, the Coyotes the 7 seed, the Flames the 6 seed, and the Canucks the 5 seed.

What seeds did the round robin teams receive in 2020?

In the Eastern Conference, the Flyers won all three games while the Bruins lost all three. Therefore, the Flyers received the 1 seed, Lighting the 2 seed, Capitals the 3 seed, and Bruins the 4 seed. In the Western Conference, the Golden Knights won the most games while the Blues won the least. As a result, the Golden Knights received the 1 seed, Avalanche the 2 seed, Stars the 3 seed, and Blues the 4 seed.

How does seeding differ from a bracket system?

In past years, the NHL used a bracket system in the playoffs whereas this year, the league is using a seeding system. In a bracket system, teams play each other based on where they are placed in the bracket and originally seeded. However, in the seeding system, each round the highest seeded team will play the lowest seeded team in each conference while the second highest seeded team will play the second lowest seeded team and so on.

aa-300x250.png

  • aa-300x250.png
  • am-300x250.jpg