Explaining NHL Schedule, Divisions And Playoffs

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2013-14 NHL Schedule

New Conference And Division Names …. breaking down the new format

WESTERN CONFERENCE                                       EASTERN CONFERENCE

Pacific                            CentralMetropolitan                 Atlantic
DivisionDivision DivisionDivision
AnaheimChicagoCarolinaBoston
CalgaryColoradoColumbusBuffalo
EdmontonDallasNew JerseyDetroit
Los AngelesMinnesotaNY IslandersFlorida
PhoenixNashvilleNY RangersMontreal
San JoseSt. LouisPhiladelphiaOttawa
VancouverWinnipegPittsburghTampa Bay
WashingtonToronto

 

This is a brief explanation of how the NHL schedule was broken down and formatted.  With this set-up NHL teams will play every other NHL team at least twice and fans are guaranteed to see every team in the NHL visit their city at least once a season.      

Western Conference (Two 7-Team Divisions) Scheduling Format

Within Division:

29 games

1.  5 games vs. five teams

a.  3 Home/2 Away vs. two teams =10 games

b.  2 Home/3 Away vs. three teams = 15 games

c.  4 games vs. one team 2 Home/2 Away = 4 games  ….  Teams rotated on a yearly basis.

 

Within Conference:

Non-Division:

21 games

1.  3 games vs. 7  teams

a.  2 Home/1 Away vs. four teams = 12 games

b.  1 Home/2 Away vs. three teams = 9 games …  Teams rotated on a yearly basis.

 

Non-Conference:

32 games

1. 2 games vs. 16 teams

a. 1 Home/1 Away = 16 games

Total = 82 games

(Exception: one team from each division plays one less game inside Division and one more game inside Conference outside Division)

Eastern Conference (Two 8-Team Divisions) Scheduling Format

Within Division:

30 games

1.  5 games vs. two teams

a.  3 Home/2 Away vs. one team = 5 games

b. 2 Home/3 Away vs. one team = 5 games

2. 4 games vs. five teams

a.  2 Home/2 Away = 20  ….  Teams rotated on a yearly basis.

 

Within Conference:

Non-Division:

24 games

1.  3 games vs. each team

a.  2 Home/1 Away vs. four teams = 12 games

b.  1 Home/2 Away vs. four teams = 12 games ….  Teams rotated on a yearly basis.

 

Non-Conference:

28 games

1.  2 games vs. each team

a.  1 Home/1 Away = 14 games

Total = 82 games

The Stanley Cup Playoffs have a new division-based format. Playoff qualification will be primarily Division-based.

1. The top three finishers in each Division qualifying for the first 12 spots in the Stanley Cup Playoffs

2. They will be the first three “seeds” in each Division.

3.  The two additional playoff spots in each Conference will be designated as “Wild Cards” and will be awarded to the next two highest-placed finishers in each Conference.

4.  Ranking will be based on regular-season points regardless of Division.

5.  The League will play under this new alignment and playoff system for a minimum of three seasons, through the 2015-16 NHL season.

Other Random Schedule Notes

1.  Training Camp Opens — Wednesday, Sept. 11

2. Exhibition Games Begin — Friday, Sept. 13

3.  Regular Season Opens — Tuesday, Oct. 1

4.  Hall of Fame Game — Friday, Nov. 8

5.  Christmas Break — Tuesday, Dec. 24 – Thursday, Dec. 26

6.  Hockey Day In Canada — Saturday, Jan. 18

7.  Olympic Break — Sunday, Feb. 9 – Tuesday, Feb. 25

8.  Last Day of Regular Season — Sunday, Apr. 13

9.  Stanley Cup Playoffs Begin — Wednesday, Apr. 16

 


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