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Your Guide to the 2024 NHL Playoffs

by Leap on April 16, 2024

April has arrived, and for hockey fans, that means one thing: playoff season! With 16 teams in the mix, eight each from the Eastern and Western Conferences, the battle for the coveted Stanley Cup is on! In this post, we're covering the excitement of the 2024 NHL playoffs, exploring matchups between the top teams in the league. Get ready for an adrenaline-filled end to the 2024 season as we break down all the action on the ice!

NHL Playoffs Overview

The NHL playoffs mark the climax of the hockey season, pitting the top 16 teams against each other in a quest for the Stanley Cup. The league is divided into two conferences, each with its own subdivisions. At the end of the regular season, teams are ranked based on points earned from wins and overtime losses. The top three teams from each division secure playoff berths, along with two wild card teams from each conference, determined by their overall points regardless of division.

From there, a bracket-style tournament unfolds, with matchups determined by seeding. Each round consists of a best-of-seven series, where teams compete until one emerges victorious. The journey culminates in the Stanley Cup Finals, where the last two teams standing battle it out for hockey's most prestigious prize.

NHL Playoff Series Explained

The NHL playoffs consist of four rounds, each round being a best-of-seven series. This means the first team to win four games in a series advances to the next round. The four rounds are:

  • First Round: Also known as the Conference Quarterfinals, this round features the top-seeded teams facing off against the wild card teams or lower-seeded divisional teams.
  • Second Round: Referred to as the Conference Semifinals, the winners from the first round advance to face each other within their respective conferences.
  • Conference Finals: The winners of the second round within each conference compete in the Conference Finals to determine the Eastern and Western Conference Champions.
  • NHL Finals: The champions from the Eastern and Western Conferences meet in the Stanley Cup Finals to vie for the Stanley Cup.

Home-Ice Advantage: In each series, the team with the higher seed (i.e., better regular season record) has home-ice advantage for the majority of the games. This means they get to play more games at their home arena, giving them familiarity with their surroundings, enthusiastic fan support and the logistical benefits of not having to travel as much.

2024 NHL Playoffs Schedule

Here's when each round begins.

  • First Round: April 20, 2024 (moved up by two days)
  • Second Round: TBD
  • Conference Finals: TBD
  • NHL Finals: June 2024

2024 NHL Playoff Teams and Tickets

The first round of the 2024 Stanley Cup playoffs begins Saturday, April 20. The postseason will end no later than June 24. Currently, the regular season ends April 18, so there's still some time for the brackets to switch up based on who wins the division titles, but we do know which teams have clinched playoff spots so far. In the Eastern Conference, the New York Rangers, Carolina Hurricanes, New York Islanders, Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning are locked in, with one more team to be decided.

In the Western Conference, Vancouver Canucks, Vegas Golden Knights, Winnipeg Jets, Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators have clinched.

Until those winners are decided, we won't know who will move on to the conference semifinals, but we're on the edge of our seats to see how it all plays out!

The NHL playoffs are all about intense competition and thrilling hockey action. Whether you're a seasoned fan or new to the game, there's nothing quite like experiencing the excitement live. If you're looking to catch a game in person, check out Undercover Tourist for great deals on postseason tickets. With over 20 years in the business, Undercover Tourist is a trusted ticket provider that offers a 100 percent buyer guarantee. So sit back and relax knowing your ticket purchase is safe and secure with Undercover Tourist.

We're fired up for the NHL playoffs and eager to see which team will emerge triumphant with the Stanley Cup in hand. Will the reigning champion Golden Knights defend their title, or will we witness an underdog story unfold? With so much excitement on the ice, we want to hear from you! Which team are you rooting for this playoff season? Share your thoughts in the comments below and let's get ready to cheer on our favorite teams together!

Related: 2023-24 NHL Schedule — Everything to Know for This Season

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