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NHL Standings 2022: Everything you need to know

Malcolm Michaels

The 2022 NHL playoffs are close at hand, and teams are currently jockeying for position in both the Eastern standings and Western standings. Find out what happens at the end of the regular season when the top-16 teams in the NHL standings have been decided.

Related: Don’t miss any of the action, check out Sportsnaut’s NHL TV schedule now

How many teams make the NHL Playoffs?

The top-16 teams from the NHL standings make the playoffs — eight in each conference. Those teams then face off in a best of seven series over several different rounds. The top three squads in the East, Central, North, and Pacific divisions earn automatic births. Then, the teams with the next highest regular-season points total land the last two spots in the NHL playoffs for a date with the division winners.

NHL Playoff bracket

Once the final eight teams from each conference are decided, the brackets shake out like so. First, the top overall seed faces the lowest of the two wild card teams. Then, the second seed plays the other wild card. After that, the third seed faces the sixth and the fourth takes on the fifth.

Once winners are decided among the first eight in each conference, the next four teams move on to the semifinals round and are then re-seeded. The team with the most points among the remaining four then faces the semifinal squad with the least regular-season points.

Related: Get the scoop on the NHL with Sportsnaut’s Power Rankings

When do the NHL Playoffs start?

Once the regular season comes to a close on April 29, the first-round matchups of the 2022 NHL Playoffs kick off three days later on May 2. The various games for the championship tournament will air on ABC, ESPN, TNT and TBS.

How many playoff rounds in the NHL?

There is four rounds total in the NHL Playoffs, with three apiece in each conference. The playoff action kicks off with the conference quarterfinals round. The winners from that group then face off in the semifinals, and that is then followed by the conference finals featuring the two best teams from the East and West. The victors from each conference final then compete in the best of seven Stanley Cup Finals series.

nhl standings
Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

When is the Stanley Cup?

There is no set date for the 2022 Stanely Cup Finals, however, they usually begin a month after the start of the playoffs. So look for the final series of the 2022 season to kick off during the first week of June.

Who won the Stanley Cup in 2021?

Last season, the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Montreal Canadiens in five games to win a second straight Stanley Cup Finals series, and mark themselves as the kings of the NHL’s COVID-19 era. In back-to-back seasons, they were able to weather the difficulties of a world battling the coronavirus and lift the fabled silver cup at the end of the season. It was the team’s third title overall and the first two since the 2003-2004 season.

In both the 2020 and 2021 seasons, the Lightning finished in the top-five of the Eastern Conference NHL standings and are on pace to do so again in 2022.

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