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Monday, April 12, 2010

Playoff Seeding (Playoffs)

Posts with (Playoffs) in the title will all be regarding the NHL 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which start next Wednesday, April 14th.

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All the 16 playoff spots have finally been clinched, and the order of the teams has also finally been determined. First, here’s a quick explanation of how the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs work…

The Stanley Cup Playoffs consist of 16 NHL teams, 8 from both the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference, battling each other in a series of Best-of-7 sets, with the final winner receiving the most prestigious and important award in hockey, the Stanley Cup.

In each conference, the 8 teams are seeded in the following way; the 3 division champions receive automatically the top-3 seeds in the conference, with the seeding determined by points. The other 5 seeds are filled out by the top 5 teams, determined by points, of the 13 remaining in each conference. 14 teams, the bottom 7 from each conference, do not make the playoffs.

The top 4 seeds in each conference receive home-ice advantage in the first round, which essentially means that they get the final line change every time, allowing them to put their best line for whatever situation onto the ice. After the first round, the higher seed in a pairing gains home-ice advantage.

The team with the most points at the end of the NHL regular season receives the Presidents’ Trophy, which guarantees  home-ice advantage for the team’ entire Stanley Cup Playoffs run.

The teams play each other in this order:

- The 1st seed plays the 8th seed in round 1

- The 2nd seed plays the 7th seed in round 1

- The 3rd seed plays the 6th seed in round 1

- The 4th seed plays the 5th seed in round 1

These pairings are designed to award high-ranked teams.

Teams are reseeded after the first round. The highest seeded remaining team will play the lowest seeded remaining team, and the 2nd highest the 2nd lowest. In the third round, the conference finals, the remaining 2 teams play. The last remaining team in both the Western and Eastern conferences play each other for the Stanley Cup.

Eventually, whatever team wins the best-of-7 Stanley Cup Finals series will be named Stanley Cup Champions and be presented the Stanley Cup, as well as have all the players’ names engraved onto the Cup.

Alright. So, for the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, here are the final seedings…

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Seed Points Team Record
#1 121 Washington Capitals 54 – 15 – 13
#2 101 New Jersey Devils 48 – 27 – 7
#3 100 Buffalo Sabres 45 – 27 – 10
#4 99 Pittsburgh Penguins 47 – 28 – 7
#5 94 Ottawa Senators 44 – 32 – 6
#6 91 Boston Bruins 39 – 30 – 13
#7 88 Philadelphia Flyers 41 – 35 – 6
#8 88 Montreal Canadiens 39 – 33 – 10
WESTERN CONFERENCE
Seed Points Team Record
#1 113 San Jose Sharks 51 – 20 – 11
#2 112 Chicago Blackhawks 52 – 22 – 8
#3 103 Vancouver Canucks 49 – 28 – 5
#4 107 Phoenix Coyotes 50 – 25 – 7
#5 102 Detroit Red Wings 44 – 24 – 14
#6 101 Los Angeles Kings 46 – 27 – 9
#7 100 Nashville Predators 47 – 29 – 6
#8 95 Colorado Avalanche 43 – 30 – 9

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