The NHL playoff system is very similar to that of the NBA, in that 16 teams qualify, and advancing is determined by playing best-of-seven series in a 2-2-1-1-1 format. The NHL is currently divided into two conferences, Eastern and Western. Within these conferences, there are two divisions. The Atlantic and the Metropolitan divisions make up the Eastern Conference. The Central and Pacific do the same in the West. As in the NFL, it is important how a team places within its division when it comes to making the playoffs.
The NHL divided the 32 teams into two conferences: the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference. The first six teams from each conference to make the playoffs are the top three in each division. Due to how wins, losses, and wins in overtime are weighed during the regular season, the team with the most points is the division champion. The next two teams in the division by total points make up the playoff representatives from each division. To round out the 16-team slate, two Wild Card teams are also selected from each conference. Like in the NFL, these teams receive at-large bids for having the best regular-season records outside of the top three in each division. When is the NHL Playoffs? Check out current NHL Playoff Matchups and find out now.