Are the NHL Playoffs a Best of 5 or 7 Series?

The 2022 NHL Playoffs are here when these teams go head-to-head in the best-of-seven series.

16 teams made it into the NHL postseason and now have their sights set on the coveted Stanley Cup. After the past three seasons of schedule disruptions due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the NHL finally completed a full season.

Every NHL team has played its full 82-game schedule, and 16 teams are currently in the first round of conference matchups.

How does the NHL playoffs work?

Over the past four decades, 16 teams have qualified, with the top three teams in each division making up the top 12 teams. The bottom four spots consist of the following two teams with the best records in each conference.

One conference might see five teams in the postseason while another only sees three. It all depends on where they finish in the standings.

As with other professional sports, the NHL has teams play series to see who advances.

Does the NHL have a Best of 5 or 7 Series format?

The NHL plays seven-game streaks as the team that earns four wins first advances to the second round.

Games one and two will take place at the higher seed home pitch. Then the next two games will be played by the bottom seed. If a game is 4 or more, the two teams will switch locations for each remaining matchup.

Higher seeded players have a better advantage as they have the opportunity to host four of the seven games.

In round one, the division winner with the best record plays against the wildcard team with the second-best record. The other division winner plays against the wildcard team with the best record.

For example, in the 2022 NHL Eastern Conference, the No. 1 seeded Florida Panthers will play the Washington Capitals and the Carolina Hurricanes will play the Boston Bruins.

For the remaining teams, number 2 plays number 3.

This 2-2-1-1-1 playoff format applies to the first two rounds of the NHL playoffs. However, it changes for the Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup Finals.

The seeding falls by the wayside as the team with the better regular-season record gets home field advantage. However, there will be seven more games and the same format will follow on the outside, who will secure home field advantage first in the first two games.

The NHL playoffs have been the same for decades as it is a tried and tested format. Are the NHL Playoffs a Best of 5 or 7 Series?

John Verrall

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