When Do The NHL Playoffs Start? Updated Pro Hockey Schedule Info

Written By Matt Burke on May 13, 2021
when do the NHL playoffs start what day date hockey Stanley Cup

Any day now, NHL. Hockey fans everywhere are currently waiting with bated breath on an announcement from the league on when do the NHL playoffs start?

The league had to postpone the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs because of COVID-19 rescheduling. Here we will look at the possible start dates for pro sports’ most exciting postseason, current team odds to raise the Cup, and how to bet on hockey this spring and summer.

ALSO READ: Latest Super Bowl odds post-NFL Draft

Bet on the NHL – Get Risk-Free $$$ over $1,000

Sports betting in the US has never been easier with more and more states legalizing wagering on events. And the best part for users is that US sportsbooks are giving away thousands of dollars in the form of Risk Free bets and deposit matches. Click on the promos below from top US sportsbooks like DraftKings and FanDuel to sign up now.

UP TO $1,250
On Caesars
Up to $1,250 On Caesars
+ get 1,000 Caesars Reward Credits 
+ also get 1,000 Tier Credits 
Redeem for free bets, hotel stays, & more!
Use Promo Code: LEGALFULL
No Sweat First Bet
Up to $1,000 No Sweat First Bet
Available on iOS, Android & Desktop
To Claim: Click Bet Now
Risk Free Bet
Exclusive Offer:
$100 Risk Free Bet
Use Promo Code: BETBONUS

When do the NHL playoffs start?

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has yet to officially answer the question as to when do the NHL playoffs start. However, there are several dates in the month of May that have come into focus.

Saturday, May 15 will serve as the “soft launch” for the start of the NHL playoffs as the Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins will meet in Game 1 of their series.

This series will be starting despite the North Division still playing out the regular season string. In the first two rounds of this year’s postseason, all games will be played exclusively within a team’s division.

Here are the first round matchups that are set so far:

  • Washington Capitals vs. Boston Bruins
  • Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Islanders
  • Carolina Hurricanes vs. Nashville Predators
  • Florida Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Montreal Canadiens
  • Edmonton Oilers vs. Winnipeg Jets

Expect all NHL playoff series’ to be started by Friday, May 21 as the NBA kicks off its postseason a day later. The NHL would likely want to avoid going head-to-head with a full slate. As for when the Stanley Cup playoffs will end, that is still up in the air as well but pencil in early to mid-July.

Odds to win the Cup

Lord Stanley’s Cup is the most prestigious prize in all of sports and we are just days away from the beginning of pro hockey’s grand tournament to see who will take home the big trophy. Check out the prices below from the top US sportsbooks on each team to win the NHL championship and click on the price(s) to make a wager now. The Colorado Avalanche are the favorites at most books heading into the postseason.

Matt Burke Avatar
Written by
Matt Burke

Matt Burke is the Sports Editor and Head of Evergreen/SEO Content at TheLines.com. He is the Founder and former Editor-in-Chief of MetroBet, a digital and print sports betting platform, and was the Executive Sports Editor at Metro US Newspapers (New York, Philadelphia, Boston) from 2014-2020. Matt has covered Super Bowls and Final Fours, and his work has appeared for Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports, the Eagle Tribune, Gloucester Daily Times and Newburyport Daily News. Matt is a graduate of the University of Connecticut.

View all posts by Matt Burke