Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Stanley Cup playoffs is a best-of-seven elimination tournament in the National Hockey League in North America for four rounds and sixteen teams. Eight teams from both the Eastern and Western confrences qualify for the playoffs based on regular season record. The final round is known as the Stanley Cup Finals, which matches the two conference champions.  The seatings are based on 1. Dvision winner and 2. Record. The Top seed plays lowest seed  (No. 1 vs. No. 8, No. 2 vs. No. 7, No. 3 vs. No. 6, and No. 4 vs. No. 5) for both Confrences. In the second round (Conference Semifinals, round of 8) the top remaining conference seed plays against the lowest remaining seed. The third round (the Conference Finals, Round of 4) the two remaining teams in each conference play each other and the winners proceed to the final round, the Stanley Cup Final (Round of 2).

The Stanley Cup Playoffs usually begin in mid-April.

Since the 1980s (beginning with the New York Islanders) NHL players have often grow beards when their team is in the playoffs and do not shave until their team is eliminated or wins the Stanley Cup.

The winning team is presented with the Stanley Cup, also known as Lord Stanley's Cup, or just "the Cup". The Stanley Cup was crafted in Sheffield, England and was first presented in 1893. It is the oldest trophy in competition by professional athletes. The Stanley Cup is the only trophy in all of sport that is passed along from player to player throughout the summer after their team wins it. The trophy has travels about more than 80,000 miles per season.  It has been in the white house on several occasions, used as a baptismal font, filled with gallons of ice cream, on talk Shows, on stage at a strip club, at the bottom of a couple pools, Stolen & returned, lost & found, and kicked into a canal.

Every player who was part of a Stanly Cup Championship team has had their name engraved on Lord Stanley's Cup.  It takes 13 years to fill the ring of the Stanley Cup with names of the winners. Once a bottom ring is full, another one of the same size is removed from the top of the base and retired at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Canada. In addition to the players' names and teams' names that have won the Stanley Cup, there are two other phrases on the upper bowl of the Stanley Cup. One side says: "Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup" and the other side says: "From Stanley Of Preston".  It is also reported that there are a couple repairmen names engraved on the inside.  There is a second version of the Stanley Cup that remains in the Hall of Fame for display purposes at the Hall of Fame when the Stanley Cup is on the road.

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