If you're reading this, strap in because odds are you are not a hockey fan, have never been a hockey fan, and know nothing about the sport. I started this series because next year, my fiancee and I are moving to Nashville, Tennessee, away from any team I've ever followed.
The Tennessee Titans were a viable option, but I've already got the Chicago Bears to root for in the NFL. There is no NBA team in Nashville, and the next best thing is either the Nashville Sounds Minor League Baseball team or Vanderbilt. I'm not going to root for Vanderbilt, considering Oklahoma is joining the SEC in a few years, and they're Vanderbilt. The Sounds are a Minor League team, and any team that feeds into a Wisconsin team is no team for me.
So, that leaves me with one other option—the Nashville Predators. If I hang around Nashville for a while, I want a team that I can watch for a reasonable price. Like the NBA, ticket prices are lower per game since there are so many games. I want to be able to bring my kids to games and understand what's going on. The purpose of this series is to learn about the NHL and bring you all along with me, so maybe I can have a Nashville Predators fan club built around this series.
There's so much in hockey to understand, so I'm taking it one week, one blog at a time, and this week, we are covering the NHL Playoffs.
Divisions significantly affect who does and does not make playoffs, like the NFL. The NHL has two conferences, the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference, which are divided into two divisions comprising eight teams each. If you can do some simple math, you can figure out that there are thirty-two teams in the league.
To make the playoffs, your team must be top-three in their division. Since there are four divisions, there are 12 teams that qualify this way. However, if your team is not a top-three team in the division, they still have a shot at reaching the playoffs if they are one of the two next-best teams in the conference, totaling 16 teams making playoffs.
Playoffs are split by conference, and just like the NBA, your team must win a best-of-seven series to advance. The last team standing wins the Stanley Cup!
So, there you have it! That's what I learned about hockey this week! So, join us next Friday for the next volume of "What I Learned About Hockey." If there is something about the NHL or Hockey that you would like us to research, comment down below!
This week, the Nashville Predators' schedule is as follows:
Nov. 19: vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Nov. 21: vs. Arizona Coyotes
Nov. 23: @ Detroit Red Wings