The field is almost ready, which means the NHL playoffs are almost here.
Two weeks is all that is left in the 2021-’22 NHL regular season and playoffs are locked left and right.
The eight teams participating in the Eastern Conference have been determined as it will be the Panthers, Hurricanes, Maple Leafs, Lightning, Penguins, Rangers, Bruins and Capitals vying to be crowned as the Eastern Conference champions and a place to earn in the Stanley Cup final.
From the west, however, there are still four places available. Only the Avalanche, Flames, Wild and Blues are guaranteed to make it to the postseason.
Here’s everything you need to know before the 2022 NHL playoffs.
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When are the 2022 NHL playoffs?
The regular NHL season ends on Friday, April 29 and the playoffs will begin three days after Monday, May 2nd.
The final round is expected to take place sometime in June.
How can I watch the 2022 NHL playoffs?
The Stanley Cup playoffs have a new home this season, with the NHL signing new TV deals with Disney (ESPN, ABC) and Turner Sports (TNT, TBS) this past summer.
As a result, half of the matches in the first three rounds will be on TNT and half on ESPN or ABC. The finals will be watched on ESPN or ABC.
For Canadian viewers, the playoffs can be watched on Sportsnet.
What is the format of the NHL playoffs?
The NHL is returning to its normal format for playoff games after a twist in the postseason last year. With COVID concerns, the league went to four re-aligned divisions and had four teams from each division reach the off-season.
This season, it’s back to eight Eastern and Western Conference teams making it to the postseason. The top three teams in each division make it to the postseason, and then two Wild Card teams earn the final two spots in each conference.
The division winners play against the Wild Card teams while the no. 2- and no. 3 teams from each division go head-to-head in the first round.
Each round contains a best-of-seven series. In total, there are four rounds in the postseason – first round, second round, conference finals and Stanley Cup finals.
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Betting odds, best bets to win the Stanley Cup?
The Avalanche and Panthers are still the frontrunners to win this year’s Stanley Cup, according to Sports Interaction.
Colorado is on track to repeat as President’s Trophy winners as the team with the best record in the regular season. Florida has been the best team in the East all season. It’s no wonder why the gamblers consider them so high.
|TEAM||CHANCE TO WIN CUP|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+800|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+1100|
|New York Rangers||+1700|
|St louis blues||+2000|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+2200|
|Los Angeles Kings||+4200|
Which teams won the Stanley Cup?
The Stanley Cup has been around since 1915, so it has quite a few miles to go.
The Canadiens have won the most trophies by 24, but they have not won a trophy since 1993. This is no surprise as the club is the oldest operational professional hockey franchise.
After the Habs, it’s the Maple Leafs with 13, but their last cup victory came in 1967 and the team has not been to the finals since. In third place behind the Maple Leafs is the Red Wings with 11, most recently winning in 2008.
There are 12 team franchises that have never lifted the trophy: Arizona Coyotes, Buffalo Sabers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, Ottawa Senators, San Jose Sharks, Seattle Kraken, Vancouver Canucks, Vegas Golden Knights and Winnipeg Jets.
Here’s a look at the last 10 Stanley Cup winners:
- 2021: Tampa Bay Lightning
- 2020: Tampa Bay Lightning
- 2019: St louis blues
- 2018: Washington Capitals
- 2017: Pittsburgh Penguins
- 2016: Pittsburgh Penguins
- 2015: Chicago Blackhawks
- 2014: Los Angeles Kings
- 2013: Chicago Blackhawks
- 2012: Los Angeles Kings