The NHL consists of 28 teams, but two more will be added in the 2000-01 season to bring it up to a total of 30. The league is divided into the Eastern Conference (15 teams) and the Western Conference (13 teams this season, 15 in 2000-01). These conferences are each divided into three divisions of four or five teams. There is inter-conference play, but teams from the same division and conference play each other most often. The teams are divided as follows:


New Jersey Devils Boston Bruins Atlanta Thrashers New York Islanders Buffalo Sabres Carolina Hurricanes New York Rangers Montreal Canadiens Florida Panthers Philadelphia Flyers Ottawa Senators Tampa Bay Lightening Pittsburgh Penguins Toronto Maple Leafs Washington Capitals


Chicago Blackhawks Calgary Flames Anaheim Mighty Ducks Detroit Red Wings Colorado Avalanche Dallas Stars Nashville Predators Edmonton Oilers Los Angeles Kings St. Louis Blues Vancouver Canucks Phoenix Coyotes Columbus Blue Jackets
(coming soon) Minnesota Wild
(coming soon) San Jose Sharks

The NHL season is divided up into the regular season and the playoffs. The regular season consists of 82 games, and it runs from October until April. During the regular season, a team collects points based on its performance as follows:

  • 2 points for a win
  • 1 point for a tie
  • 1 point for a loss in overtime
  • 0 points for a loss

At the end of the regular season, the 8 teams with the most points in each conference go on to the playoffs. Furthermore, the top team in each of the three divisions in a conference will go on to the playoffs, even if it had a lower point total than another team that didn't win its division.

The playoffs consist of four rounds. The first three rounds are the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals in each conference, after which the two winners of the conference finals play each other for the Stanley Cup, the ultimate prize in the NHL. Each round is a "best of seven" series, so a team could play as many as 28 extra games in order to win the Stanley Cup.

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