NHLDownload App

NHL Playoffs: The Conference Semifinals 'Seed' Advantage

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26:  Henrik Lundqvist #30 and Brandon Prust #8 of the New York Rangers celebrate their 2 to 1 win over the Ottawa Senators in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 26, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Jerry TappSenior Analyst IIINovember 22, 2016

The next round of the NHL playoffs begins tonight as the first of the four conference semifinals will have Phoenix and Nashville facing off in Phoenix. The matchups for the conference semis are:

No. 2 St. Louis vs. No. 8 Los Angeles

No. 3 Phoenix vs. No. 4 Nashville

No. 1 NY Rangers vs. No. 7 Washington

No. 5 Philadelphia vs. No. 6 New Jersey

Since we have each of the eight seeds represented in the second round, how well has each seed done in previous conference semifinals? Following are the series records of each seed in the second round from 1994 to 2011. (The 1994 playoffs mark the first year the league ranked eight teams from each of the two conferences No. 1 through No. 8, the current playoff format.)  

Notice how the No. 2 seed has the best series record since 1994; also notice how well the No. 6 seed has performed in the second round.


Series Record (series won/lost) of Seeds in Conference Semifinals

No. 1 Seed… 17-8 .680

No. 2 Seed… 14-5 .737

No. 3 Seed… 9-13 .409

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 21: Roman Polak #46 of the St. Louis Blues aunts Ryane Clowe #29 of the San Jose Sharks during Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Scottrade Center on April 21, 2012 in St
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

No. 4 Seed… 11-11 .500

No. 5 Seed… 4-8 .333

No. 6 Seed… 7-5 .583

No. 7 Seed… 4-11 .267

No. 8 Seed… 2-7 .222

Let’s take it a step further. Here are the actual seed matchups from the second round from 1994 to 2011

Conference Semifinals Matchups (by seed) 1994 to 2011

No. 1 vs. No. 4: Series tied at 2-2; No. 1 vs. No. 5: No. 1 has won five series and lost two; No. 1 vs. No. 6: No. 1 has won two series and lost three; No. 1 vs. No. 7: No. 1 has won eight series and lost one.

No. 2 vs. No. 3: No. 2 has won nine series and lost two; No. 2 vs. No. 4: No. 2 has won one series and lost two; No. 2 vs. No. 5: series tied at 1-1; No. 2 vs. No. 8: No. 2 has won all three series.

No. 3 vs. No. 4: No. 3 has won five series and lost three; No. 3 vs. No. 5: No. 3 lost the only series; No. 3 vs. No. 8: No. 3 has won both series.

No. 4 vs. No. 6: Series tied at 1-1; No. 4 vs. No. 7: series tied at 1-1; No. 4 vs. No. 8: No. 4 has won two series and lost one.

SUNRISE, FL - APRIL 26: Stephen Gionta #11 of the New Jersey Devils is congratulated by teammates after scoring a second period goal against the Florida Panthers in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

No. 5 vs. No. 6: No. 5 has lost only series; No. 5 vs. No. 8: No. 5 has lost only series.

No. 6 vs. No. 7: Series tied at 2-2.

The results: The higher seed has won 64.7 percent of the NHL conference semifinals series from 1994 to 2011.

As mentioned above, each of the eight seeds (No. 1 through No. 8) have a team playing in the second round. This is the fourth time this has happened in the second round of the playoffs since 1994 (1995, 1999, 2006 and 2010). The No. 2 seed in 2010 and 2006 won the Stanley Cup that year. Could this bode well for the St. Louis Blues?

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices