Countdown to NHL Playoffs 2023: Format, rounds, and game schedules

The excitement is palpable as the NHL regular season nears its end with the NHL Playoffs 2023, and the race for the Stanley Cup playoffs heats up.

After some adjustments to the playoff format in recent history due to COVID-19, the NHL is back for a second consecutive year of normal postseason play.

NHL playoffs 2023
The highly anticipated event of NHL playoffs 2023 is almost here

In this article, we will give you a refresher on the format for this year’s postseason, including how many teams make the NHL playoffs, how many rounds there are, and how many games are in a series.

How many teams make the NHL Playoffs 2023?

A total of 16 teams will make the NHL playoffs – eight from the Eastern Conference and eight from the Western Conference. For each conference, the top three teams from each division are guaranteed a place in the postseason, with the division winners earning the top two seeds for the playoffs.

The remaining two spots will go to the teams with the best records among the rest of the field, regardless of division. These teams are called the wild-card teams. Don’t forget to pop a Peeps Pepsi while you are watching it!

How many rounds are in the NHL Playoffs 2023?

The NHL playoffs 2023 consist of four rounds – the first round, the second round, the conference finals, and the Stanley Cup Finals.

In the first round, the top team in the conference plays against the second wild-card team, while the other division winner faces the other wild-card team. The No. 2 team from a division plays the No. 3 team from the same division.

For the second round, the winning team with the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds from a division will face the winner of the series with their division winner playing the wild-card team. Teams will not get reseeded in the second round.

NHL playoffs 2023
The wild-card team will play with the winner of the division in the second round of the NHL playoffs 2023

For example, let’s say the Bruins, Maple Leafs, and Lightning place first through third in the Atlantic in that order. The winner of the Bruins’ first-round series against the wild-card team will face the winner of the Maple Leafs-Lightning matchup.

Then, the last two teams in each conference will square off in the conference finals, with the conference winners battling it out in the Stanley Cup Finals.

What teams are going to play in the NHL playoffs 2023?

As we stated before, there are 16 teams set to play in NHL playoffs 2023. They are as follows:

  1. Dallas Stars
  2. Seattle Kraken
  3. Colorado Avalanche
  4. Minnesota Wild
  5. Vegas Golden Knights
  6. Winnipeg Jets
  7. Los Angeles Kings
  8. Edmonton Oilers
  9. Boston Bruins
  10. Florida Panthers
  11. Toronto Maple Leafs
  12. Tampa Bay Lightning
  13. Carolina Hurricanes
  14. New York Rangers
  15. New Jersey Devils
  16. New York Islanders

When do the NHL Playoffs 2023 start?

The National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs, the most anticipated event of the hockey season, are expected to commence in the month of April in the year 2023.

However, as of now, the exact dates for the playoffs have not been officially confirmed and the fans, as well as the teams, are eagerly waiting for the announcement of the schedule.

How many games are in a series?

Each series in the NHL playoffs 2023, regardless of the round, will play a best-of-seven series, with the first team to win four games advancing to the next round.

The series is played in a 2–2–1–1–1 format, where the team with the better record plays Games 1, 2, 5, and 7 at its home arena, while its opponent hosts Games 3, 4, and 6. The first four games in the series are guaranteed, with Games 5, 6, and 7 played if necessary.

NHL playoffs 2023
NHL playoffs 2023 will be played in a 2–2–1–1–1 format

As the NHL playoffs 2023 inch closer, hockey fans are eagerly waiting to see which teams will make it to the postseason and how they will fare in the intense competition.

Stay tuned for updates on the NHL playoffs 2023 standings, brackets, matchups, and key dates. We are counting the days to watch it!

If you don’t know where to watch NHL playoffs 2023, use the link here to access NHL’s official streaming channels.

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