The Stanley Cup Playoffs take place every April once the NHL regular season wraps up. With how tight the standings generally get and the competitiveness of the League, we normally see seeding for the playoffs decided on the final few days of the regular season. With that, you’re probably wondering how the tiebreakers in the standings work for teams tied in points.
Below is the NHL’s process for tiebreakers should playoff teams finish with the same amount of points in the final standings.
NHL tiebreaking scenarios
If two or more clubs are tied in points during the regular season, the standing of the clubs is determined in the following order:
1. The greater number of games won in regulation, which, exclude games won in overtime or by shootout. This figure is reflected in the RW column in expanded NHL standings.
2. The greater number of games won in regulation or overtime, but excluding games won by shootout. This figure is reflected in the ROW column.
3. The greater number of games won by the Club in any manner.
4. The greater number of points earned in games against each other among two or more tied clubs. For the purpose of determining standing for two or more clubs that have not played an even number of games with one or more of the other tied clubs, the first game played in the city that has the extra game would not be included.
5. Regular season goal differential, which includes goals scored in overtime or awarded for winning a shootout.
6. Number of goals scored, including overtime goals and shootout goals awarded for the entire regular season.