The NHL’s regular season officially closed Sunday and matchups for the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs were set. Action starts tonight at 7PM EST when new division rivals Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning meet in the First Round of the NHL Playoffs. The new bracket format has divisional matchups taking place in the first two rounds, with wild cards (Columbus, Detroit, Minnesota, Dallas) being able to cross over regardless of division, and no reseeding of the 16 teams after each round. Get ready for two months of postseason action in one of the most exciting tournaments in all of sports!
The first round of the NHL playoffs kicks off Wednesday with three games, Thursday with four, and Friday with one. If any of the eight series goes to Game 7, we are looking at two weeks of Divisional Semifinals hockey. Last year, we referred to this round as the Conference Quarterfinals. 2013 NHL playoff tickets in the first round averaged $306; 2014 NHL playoff tickets in the first round are a much cheaper $233. Like last year, Anaheim Ducks first round playoff tickets are the cheapest of the teams to qualify and Eastern Conference teams are more expensive (avg. $280) than Western Conference teams (avg. $190) combined. At first glance, it may surprise fans that the weaker of the two conferences boasts higher ticket prices (only the Boston Bruins tallied more than 110 points); but, the East does offer some exciting match-ups in the first round, especially the rivalry showdown between the Rangers and Flyers (avg. $305) and the budding rivalry between neighboring Blue Jackets and Penguins.
- Most Expensive First Round Series: Blue Jackets vs. Penguins (avg. $342)
- Most Expensive First Round Game in Series: Game 7 (avg. $347)
- Most Expensive NHL Team: New York Rangers (avg. $418)
- Cheapest First Round Series: Stars vs. Ducks (avg. $129)
- Cheapest First Round Game in Series: Game 1 (avg. $169)
- Cheapest NHL Team: Anaheim Ducks (avg. $110)