When do the NHL Playoffs Start?

We haven’t quite reached the NHL Playoffs just yet, but teams like the Canucks are storming toward the postseason.
Feb 6, 2024; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller (9) celebrates his
Feb 6, 2024; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller (9) celebrates his / James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

After three straight seasons without an appearance in the NHL Playoffs, the Canucks are looking to complete their surprising run by playing hockey in late April and perhaps beyond. This will excite a fan base that has seen its team struggle through a pedestrian stretch since they lost in the Stanley Cup Final to the Boston Bruins in 2011. 

As irony has it, the Canucks and Bruins are currently the two best teams in the NHL, so perhaps they are once again on a collision course to meet in the Final.

When will the NHL Playoffs start in 2024?

The Canucks and the rest of the NHL are roughly 10 weeks from the beginning of the playoffs, which are scheduled to start on April 20th, 2024. If they keep up their current pace, Vancouver will enter the postseason as the top seed in the Western Conference.

How can the Canucks earn a top seed in the postseason?

Through 50 games this season, few have figured out the Canucks, and they need to keep up their high-octane game until opponents show they can otherwise slow it down. Even if Vancouver hits a rough patch offensively, there is still the question of whether anyone can consistently get the puck past goaltender Thatcher Demko. Overall, nothing on this team is broken, and the best thing they can do is to resist making any real changes and keep playing their current game.

A recent history of the Canucks in the NHL playoffs

Since the 2015-16 season, the Canucks have just one playoff appearance, and that came in the shortened 2019-20 season. That year, they defeated the Minnesota Wild in the Qualifying Round and the St. Louis Blues in the First Round before they lost to the Vegas Golden Knights in seven games. Maybe they will create a better ending to the 2023-24 season if they enter the postseason as the NHL’s most dominant team.