What to Expect from the NHL Leading up to the Stanley Cup Playoffs 2023?

For all hockey fans, sadly the NHL regular season is coming to a close on April 13th, and playoffs are set to start on April 17th (fingers crossed). The good news is that Stanley Cup Final kicks off on June 8th, and Game 7 (if needed) is on June 18th.

So, in the 2022-23 NHL season, each team plays 82 games, which means there’s a whopping total of 1,312 games on the schedule! They play a mix of three or four games against divisional teams, three games against conference teams, and two games against teams from the other conference.

When the regular season ends, 16 teams will be heading to the playoffs – the top three from each division and two Wild Card teams from each conference. Here’s the NHL playoff bracket if the season ended today.

How is the NHL Playoff Bracket Set Up?

This is how the seeding will function now that the NHL playoff structure has been restored to its original layout. Both the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference will send eight teams to the tournament.

The top three teams from the Metropolitan Division and the Atlantic Division, as well as two wild card berths, will compete in the Eastern Conference. The top three teams from the Pacific and Central Divisions, as well as the two best teams outside of those six, will make up the Western Conference playoff schedule.

Round 1 will feature matches between the Wild Card teams and the top two seeds in each division of the Eastern Conference and Western Conference. Other #2 and #3 seeds for each division will compete against one another in the opening round. Even though all three teams in a division are ahead of a team in regular-season points, that team may still be in the Wild Card place.

The bottom feeder in the East will be the opponent for the Bruins, who are currently leading the NHL standings and Stanley Cup odds. That’s the New York Islanders as of right now. The eight-seeded Jets would be their opponent because the Golden Knights are now in first place in the West.

Best ways to enjoy Stanley Cup

You can always take the traditional route and enjoy the Staley Cup games on cable. Just like last year, Hulu, ESPN, ESPN+, and TNT will join hands to host every nationally broadcast game during the season. In fact, TNT will be the home of the 2023 Stanley Cup Finals. If not, you can watch the games on your phone or laptop via DirectTV Stream, FuboTV and other online platforms.   

And hey, if you’re into betting on hockey, Play Alberta has got you covered. You can bet on all sorts of hockey options, like moneyline parlays or player props on the website. There are tons of options and even more rewards! So, enjoy the games and you can make the experience even better by earning some money. 

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