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NHL Playoff Bracket 2022 | Stanley Cup Playoffs Schedule & Format

Posted: Jun 27, 2022Last updated: Jun 27, 2022

The Colorado Avalanche are the 2022 Stanley Cup champs.

For the first time in 21 years, Colorado scaled the mountain and claimed the title, paying out for preseason Cup bettors (+675) and Avalanche fans around the country.

The 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs were highly entertaining and exciting. Here’s a look at what happened.

NHL Playoff Bracket 2022 Printable

NHL Playoff Bracket Printable Template

How Do the Stanley Cup Playoffs Work?

This was the most difficult playoff to qualify for in NHL history, with only 16 of the 32 teams (50 percent) qualifying for the annual postseason tournament. As many as 76.2 percent qualified — 16 of the 21-team league — as recently as 1990.

The postseason consisted of four best-of-seven rounds, with the Cup champion needing to win 16 games to lift the trophy. Unlike the past two years, where the postseason format was affected due to COVID-19 restrictions, this season’s playoffs returned to the pre-pandemic format where eight teams from each conference qualify — three from each division plus a pair of wild cards in the Eastern and Western Conferences.

Recent NHL Playoff History

The 2022 playoffs were a return to normal after two seasons affected by COVID-19. Sixteen teams still qualified for the playoffs a year ago, but they were broken down by divisions, four from each. In 2020, because the season was shortened with about 10 games to go for each team, 24 teams qualified for the postseason bubbles, played in Edmonton and Toronto, with best-of-5 play-in rounds deciding the final field of 16.

Here’s a look at the 2022 playoff results

Eastern Conference

  • First Round (all series are best-of-seven)
    • Metropolitan Division No. 1 Carolina Hurricanes 4, Wild Card 2 Boston Bruins 3
    • Metropolitan Division No. 2 New York Rangers 4, Metropolitan Division No. 3 Pittsburgh Penguins 3
    • Atlantic Division No. 1 Florida Panthers 4, Wild Card 1 Washington Capitals 2
    • Atlantic Division No. 3 Tampa Bay Lightning 4, Atlantic Division No. 2 Toronto Maple Leafs 3
  • Second Round
    • Metropolitan Division No. 2 New York Rangers 4, Metropolitan Division No. 1 Carolina Hurricanes 3
    • Atlantic Division No. 3 Tampa Bay Lightning 4, Atlantic Division No. 1 Florida Panthers 0
  • Conference Final
    • Atlantic Division No. 3 Tampa Bay Lightning 4, Metropolitan Division No. 2 New York Rangers 2

Western Conference

  • First Round
    • Central Division No. 1 Colorado Avalanche 4, Wild Card 2 Nashville Predators 0
    • Central Division No. 3 St. Louis Blues 4, Central Division No. 2 Minnesota Wild 2
    • Pacific Division No. 1 Calgary Flames 4, Wild Card 1 Dallas Stars 3
    • Pacific Division No. 2 Edmonton Oilers 4, Pacific Division No. 3 Los Angeles Kings 3
  • Second Round
    • Central Division No. 1 Colorado Avalanche 4, Central Division No. 3 St. Louis Blues 2
    • Pacific Division No. 2 Edmonton Oilers 4, Pacific Division No. 1 Calgary Flames 1
  • Conference Final
    • Central Division No. 1 Colorado Avalanche 4, Pacific Division No. 2 Edmonton Oilers 0

2022 Stanley Cup Final

  • Central Division No. 1 Colorado Avalanche 4, Atlantic Division No. 3 Tampa Bay Lightning 2

The Avalanche went from preseason favorites to Cup champs with the second-shortest run to the title (20 games) since the league went to four best-of-7 series in 1987. Colorado, which hadn’t advanced past the second round since 2002 and had lost in the second round three straight years, was led by superstar defenseman Cale Makar, who had a year for the ages by winning the Conn Smythe Trophy and Norris Trophy in the same season for the first time since Nicklas Lidstrom in 2002.

The Lightning were valiant, getting back to the Cup Final for the third straight year to become the first team to compete for the trophy in three straight seasons since the New York Islanders advanced to five straight Cup Finals between 1980-84. But in the end Tampa Bay was done in by two straight Cup runs plus injuries, bad breaks and a decimation of its roster due to salary-cap constraints.

How to Bet on the NHL Playoffs

The playoffs are among the most exciting events to bet on the North American sports calendar. Betting on the postseason is as easy as placing a Futures bet at the moment, but more props and picks — including taking odds and bets on whether any bubble teams will miss the postseason — are available to wager at most online sportsbooks.

NHL Playoff Promotions

There will undoubtedly be boosts and prop promos come playoff time — aside from the aforementioned wagers we mentioned above. Be on the lookout for those in the coming days.

Author

Pat Pickens

Pat Pickens is a seasoned sportswriter who has covered the NHL since 2013 for various websites, including The New York Times, NHL.com, Sportsnet.ca, USA Today, the Associated Press and many others. His debut book, titled "The Whalers" about the history of the NHL's Hartford Whalers, was released in October 2021. His greatest successful wager was an LA Kings puck-line bet (+200) in Game 1 of the 2012 Western Conference Final.

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