It’s almost time to start the battle for the Stanley Cup.
With the 2021-22 National Hockey League regular season wrapping up soon, 16 teams will enter the offseason. The other 16 teams, however, will duke it out for the championship.
The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are on the horizon. Here’s when the action kicks off, along with other important information about the postseason:
When do the NHL playoffs start?
The NHL regular season ends on Friday, April 29. The 2021-22 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs will begin on Monday, May 2, three days after the conclusion of the 82-game regular season. The last day of the postseason will either be on or before June 30, depending on how many games the final series runs.
How long is each series in the NHL playoffs?
The format of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs consists of four rounds of best-of-seven series. The first team to reach four wins advances to the next round while the loser is eliminated from the postseason bracket.
The team with the better record has home-ice advantage. That team hosts Games 1, 2, 5 and 7, with the latter two on an as-needed basis. The away team hosts Games 3, 4 and 6, with the last game played if necessary.
Which teams are in the NHL playoffs?
Eight teams from each conference – Eastern and Western – qualify for the playoffs.
The race in the West is still ongoing. So far, the Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames, Minnesota Wild and Edmonton Oilers have locked up a playoff seed. The Los Angeles Kings, Las Vegas Golden Knights, Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars are still vying for a berth.
Who are the recent winners of the NHL Stanley Cup?
Since 2016, two franchises have hoisted the NHL Stanley Cup in back-to-back seasons:
2016 - Pittsburgh Penguins
2017 - Pittsburgh Penguins
2018 - Washington Capitals
2019 - St. Louis Blues
2020 - Tampa Bay Lightning
2021 - Tampa Bay Lightning