When Are The Playoffs For Hockey? [Ultimate Guide!]

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The hockey season is nearly over which means it’s time for the playoffs! But which teams are going to make it and which aren’t? We’re glad you asked. Here’s the scoop on when the postseason begins and how to follow the action.

Who’s Going To Be In The Playoffs?

The Stanley Cup champions will be in the playoffs as expected, but it’s still anyone’s game. Last year’s regular season champion, the Chicago Blackhawks, started slow but finished strong, winning their final 13 games. This year, the Columbus Blue Jackets were the surprise of the regular season, winning 29 of their final 33 games to finish with 102 points, best in the league. And the New York Islanders qualified for the playoffs even though they won just 26 of their final 57 games. Clearly, the season is still open for business.

Playoff Format

The eight team wild card round will begin on Saturday, April 6 with the first games being played the next day. The top four teams in each division will continue on to the following week of play, with the winners moving on to the next round. The final four teams in each division will play a one-game playoff to win the league title. The two winners of these games will then meet in the Stanley Cup Finals, which begin on Thursday, April 11 and run through Monday, April 16, 2019.

Stanley Cup Finals Prediction

This year’s Stanley Cup Finals will be a battle of the titans as the Los Angeles Kings, who finished first in the Pacific Division with 116 points, face off against the Canadian Maple Leafs, who finished first in the Atlantic Division with 104 points.

The Kings are the heavy favorites in this year’s playoffs, having won 11 of their last 12 games, including seven in a row. The playoffs are essentially a best-of-seven series, so Los Angeles will be looking to continue their hot streak into the Finals. Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs have historically underachieved, having only made it to the Finals once in the last 16 years. But this year might be different as the Leafs have plenty of young talent, led by John Tavares and Victor Metlov, who have led their team to wins in their last three games.

The Finals won’t be decided until the very end, however, as each team has a one-goal lead heading into the final minute. The game-winning goal will come from the unexpected source as Toronto takes advantage of some lax defending from Los Angeles, earning them a 4-3 victory.

Other Playoff Stuff

Other than the Stanley Cup Finals, there are a number of playoff races that will determine who wins the 2019 Stanley Cup. The Central Division and Pacific Division champions will meet in the 2019 St. Louis Blues versus Calgary Flames Best-of-7 series with the winners moving on to meet in the Stanley Cup Finals. In the Atlantic Division, the Toronto Maple Leafs will play against the Washington Capitals for the right to advance to the Finals. Finally, the last quarter of the season will be dominated by a race to qualify for the Finals, known as the ‘Knuckleball’ as the top five teams in each division will battle it out for position.

The Boston Bruins are the defending Stanley Cup champions and will be looking to make it a three-peat, as they open the playoffs on Saturday, April 6 against the New York Islanders. In the east, the Washington Capitals will be hoping to make it back-to-back Cup title games as they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round. Last year, the Capitals won their first ever Stanley Cup as Washington stormed to a 4-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils in the Finals.

The Nashville Predators are the defending Stanley Cup champions and will be looking to make it a two-peat as they meet the San Jose Sharks in the first round. In the west, the Los Angeles Kings will be looking to make it a three-peat as they take on the Calgary Flames in the opener. The Kings and Flames have met in the Finals before with the most recent clash coming in 2016, which the Kings won in seven games.

The Vegas Golden Knights will be looking to make it a three-peat as they take on the San Jose Sharks in the first round. In the other west coast series, the Los Angeles Chargers will look to end their two-year dry spell as they take on the Oakland Raiders in the first round. On paper, it’s a pretty even series as the Raiders finished the season with only one more win than the Chargers.

The Toronto Raptors will be looking to make it a three-peat as they take on the Sacramento Kings in the first round. This will be the third meeting between the Raptors and Kings this year as Toronto won the previous two contests. But the Kings are still waiting for their first playoff victory as they come into this year’s matchups on the back of a four-game losing streak.

The defending 2019 Stanley Cup champions, the St. Louis Blues, will be looking to make it a three-peat, as they face off against the Calgary Flames in the first round. The Blues secured the number one seed in the Western Conference with 104 points accrued during the season and will be aiming for their fifth Stanley Cup title, while the Flames will be looking to make it back-to-back appearances in the finals. The two titans have only met in the Finals once before, with Calgary winning in seven games in 2017.

The defending Stanley Cup champions, the Boston Bruins, will be looking to make it a three-peat, as they take on the New York Islanders in the first round. The Isles come into the playoffs as the number four seed in the Metro Division, and this will be the third meeting between the teams, with the Bruins looking to win their second consecutive series. But the Isles have never won a series in Boston and are under a lot of pressure to make it a good game.

How Do I Watch The Playoffs?

A number of the major networks will be showing the majority of the games throughout the playoffs. The postseason begins in the middle of April with the opening round of games being shown on Saturday, April 6. The next round of games will be shown on Tuesday, April 9, with the Finals being shown on Monday, April 16. Here’s a look at when and where you can find the action.

DVR Playback

One of the best things about hockey is being able to follow the action even when you’re not present. With a few key strokes, you can watch the games on your television set even when you’re not physically in front of it. If you missed any games, you can use DVR playback to follow along. Just make sure you’ve recorded the game beforehand as some DVRs will allow you to only watch a specific channel at a certain time.

Internet Streaming

The NBA is one of the most popular sports leagues to follow online, as many games are available to stream online. But most leagues don’t have the same restrictions when it comes to online streaming as the NHL does. The NHL allows for most of their games to be streamed online, which is fantastic news for the following reasons:

  • You can follow the action live.
  • You can watch replays of the games, including those that you missed.
  • You can keep up with all the news about your favorite teams.
  • You can join the conversation about the game with other fans.
  • And most importantly, you can share in the excitement of the players on your team, especially if they’re having a good game!

If you’re an active person who enjoys spending time on the computer or if you just want to follow the action in a different way than television broadcasts, you could definitely stream some NHL games this year. Just make sure you’re aware of all the restrictions when it comes to internet use in relation to sports leagues and events. Otherwise, you might get into trouble.

Predictions & Analysis

As the regular season comes to an end, the interest in the playoffs naturally intensifies. Coaches, players, and fans alike want to know which teams are going to make it and which ones aren’t. The following is a collection of all the top-notch analysis and predictions for the playoffs.

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