NHL is again trending globally because it's one of the top trophies; the Stanley Cup is here. In this new season, NHL fans are more excited about the matches, leagues, and their favorite players.
NHL league lovers follow every update about the new NHL season, and Stanley Cup matches. They should be; there are many reasons to be crazy about NHL games and matches.
In this article, we will explore the reasons behind the craze for the NHL league. And see how you can enjoy the NHL playoffs. In addition to that, you will get to know various new and amazing facts about NHL games.
First, Let’s start with the original roots of NHL playoffs to understand its present condition. There is an exciting story behind the beginning of the Stanley Cup, which few people know.
So what happened was that in the year 1892, the then Governor General of Canada, Lord Stanley, was awarded the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup. The receiver was Canada’s highest ranking team Montreal Hockey Club who was awarded.
It was an amateur ice hockey club team whose game was exceptional. Impressed by their game Lord Stanley of Preston awarded them with this honor. And after that, this trophy was named after him, Stanley Cup.
The entire family of Lord Stanley loved ice hockey and dedicated their lives to promoting this sport. Soon after this incident, various changes were in awarding the Stanley Cup trophy.
After being started in 1893, the Stanley Cup was held with the champions until some other team defeated them. Or another way was to announce a formal challenge to another league team and then defeat them.
Until the year 1914, this system remained unchanged. At that time, there was a different format to win the Stanley Cup by challenging the other league team.
First, both clubs had to negotiate, and then a series of matches were held. In this way, one of the teams can win the trophy.
After establishing the Stanley Cup trophy, an evolutionary process was seen in the NHL playoffs. We already know how teams used to win this trophy till 1914. However, when the popularity of Stanley grew, more teams started participating in it.
It was in 1906 that professional ice hockey teams became eligible to challenge for the Stanley Cup. While the Allan Cup replaced the Stanley Cup, the latter became the symbol of professional ice hockey.
In 1910, NHA was founded and arose as the best professional ice hockey league. The Pacific Coast Hockey Association gave the first challenge to the National Hockey Association.
Only a year later, both parties agreed on an agreement that started an annual league between the two clubs. Now both clubs have to compete to become champions and win the Stanley Cup.
Soon there was another change, and NHL came as a successor of the National Hockey Association. The National Hockey League emerged in 1917 and started to compete for the Stanley Cup.
Another change was seen when WCHL became part of the league and started competing for the trophy. However, in 1925 WCHL and PCHA merged, and NHL became the unofficial controller of the Stanley Cup.
There were many more small and big changes to win the Stanley Cup in the league and championship. However, the popularity of the Stanley Cup trophy remained the same or even augmented.
In the current format of the NHL playoffs, four rounds of series are known as best-of-seven. Each series under this format consists of a 2-2-1-1-1 format. It is related to the hosting of ice hockey matches.
In the beginning, there will be a total of eight teams that will participate in the playoffs from all conferences in the NHL league. Apart from these teams, wild card entries are also there, which come in between.
Based on these norms, teams play and get eliminated or win. At last, after calculating the points, the champion of the Stanley Cup is announced.
As always, the NHL playoffs have arrived, and like before, the schedule will be the same, where all conferences will participate. These conferences include the Eastern and Western conferences, which will compete in the Stanley Cup league.
In the first round of the Stanley Cup league, the division winner teams will play against the second wild card team. The maximum points decide which division-winning team will play with the wild card team.
Also, the teams that have fewer points will face the highest-ranking wild card team. All series will be in the best-of-seven format. The team with the top seed in the first rounds will get the home-ice advantage in the league.
The team with the most points in the regular season will get the home-ice advantage. They will get this advantage in the conference finals and the Stanley Cup Final.
When we look at the NHL's history and evolution, we can identify certain trends that became its part. Unlike other sports leagues, playoff upsets are pretty common in the NHL.
The main reason behind this trend is that the style of NHL playoffs differs from other sports leagues. In 2019, it happened for the first time that all winners of earlier divisions were eliminated. This happened in the very first round and surprised NHL fans.
Another trend seen in NHL history was that despite the trophy being Canadian in origin, most teams were American. Even in two instances, no Canadian team got qualified for the final.
And thus, for the Canadian trophy, the Stanley Cup, two American teams faced each other. Another interesting tradition observed in NHL matches is related to the players. They grow their beard and wait to shove them off until they lose or win the series.
Therefore, we can see that NHL sports have a long history to trace back. This journey of the NHL has arrived at the present juncture after passing through so many stops.
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