When Does Hockey Playoffs End? [Updated!]

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When does hockey playoffs end? Is April enough time for fans to sit back, relax, and let their eyes feast upon the beautiful game? It’s the end of April, which means that the second round of the playoffs has already commenced. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be keeping you up to date on the latest news and notes surrounding the postseason. Here is a roundup of everything you need to know.

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The Maple Leaf and the Stanley Cup are among the greatest symbols of Canada and its thriving hockey culture. Over the past decade or so, the country has emerged as a force to be reckoned with on the international stage.

Canada, a country of almost a quarter of a million square kilometres, qualified for the 2018 Winter Olympics after winning the right to host the tournament. The move marks the first time since 1960 that the country has hosted the Winter Olympics. Thanks in large part to this international stage, Canada has seen a rise in popularity that hasn’t been seen in the country for over 70 years. According to the latest census data, 1.7 million Canadians now claim Japanese ancestry. That’s 1.7% of the total population. It would be wise to expect increased interest in the beautiful game as a result of this newfound emphasis on international competitiveness.

Stanley Cup Playoffs Begin

The post-season is coming. The regular season ended on April 13th and today is the halfway point between seasons. Over the course of the next few months, we’ll be keeping you up to date on the latest news and notes surrounding the playoff races. There are 17 teams left in the hunt for the Stanley Cup, which means there are still plenty of games to be played. The last hurdle for a team to clear is the playoffs. There are four rounds of the playoffs, with each team playing 16 games. This is on top of the games that were already played during the regular season. So, while we await the end of the season, there’s still plenty to watch. Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect from the beginning of the NHL postseason.

Roughly 6-8 Weeks

The first round of the playoffs will last for roughly six to eight weeks. This is a difficult time frame to accurately predict. We know that teams will be battling for seeding in the subsequent round, which will lead to some dramatic and unpredictable series. No one knows for sure how long the post-season will last. However, we do know that it’s going to be a while. There’s still plenty of hockey to be played and fans can continue to follow the action using the media coverage available through platforms like Twitter.

No Changes To Seeding

The NHL doesn’t change the playoff bracketology every year. For example, in 2018, the Nashville Predators were the 15th seed in the East and played the 13th seeded Buffalo Sabres in the first round. The Predators won that series in seven games and moved on to the next round. This is the case because the bracket is set in stone once the regular season has ended. As a result, we don’t need to worry about the seeds changing. This can make for some unusual situations in the playoffs. If, for example, the 12th seeded Columbus Blue Jackets were to upset the 2nd seeded Montreal Canadiens in the first round, we’d have a rematch of the 2016 Eastern Conference Finals in the second round. This year’s bracket is similar in that regard. The Blue Jackets are the 15th seeded team in their conference and will face the 16th seeded New York Rangers in the first round. This is the same for the Nashville Predators and the Buffalo Sabres. These teams all finished with the same record during the regular season, which was 49 wins and 26 losses. In the event of a tie during the regular season, the NHL follows a modified “Heads Up” protocol. This protocol is similar to NCAA tournament seeding where the goal is to avoid a rematch from a previous round. The Nashville Predators will play the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round, and the Buffalo Sabres will play the New York Rangers. There’s no changes to be made here.

Changes To Be Expected

The second round of the playoffs is when the games really start to matter. This is when series that don’t go five games are decided, or when a team moves on to the next round after sweeping their opponents. As we’ve established, the first round is relatively static, meaning that the matchups are set and there aren’t any big changes to be made. However, the second round is when the games start to get interesting. The third round is where things can get even more interesting if an undefeated team comes knocking at your door. We’re not sure if anyone has ever finished the entire post-season without losing a game, but it’s certainly a feat that’s never been accomplished. The final week of the season is when we find out who actually is the best team in the NHL. The playoffs are where the best teams fight for supremacy and the Stanley Cup. Who will be this year’s champion?

The Maple Leaf and the Stanley Cup are among the greatest symbols of Canada and its thriving hockey culture. Over the past decade or so, the country has emerged as a force to be reckoned with on the international stage. Many credit this rise to competitiveness and the fact that the best teams are more focused on the present than the past. This is now evident throughout the entire league. We’re in the middle of a dynasty in the making. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out over the coming years.

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