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Playoff games in series records are tagged as follows
=====================================================

  !! 1st Round !!               - 3 rounds prior to the Stanley Cup finals
  !! Conference Semi-Finals !!  - 2 rounds prior to the Stanley Cup finals
  !! Conference Finals !!       - 1 round prior to the Stanley Cup finals
  !! Stanley Cup Finals !!


A brief history of NHL playoffs and Conferences/Divisions
=========================================================

1996           - Conferences realigned into 6 divisions.
                 Newly created divisions: Southeast, Northwest

1994           - Conferences renamed Eastern and Western
                 Divisions renamed Northeast, Atlantic, Central, Pacific

1980 - current - Playoffs consist of 16 teams, 8 per conference

1975 - 1979    - League consisted of: 2 conferences, Wales and Campbell
                                      4 divisions, Norris, Adams, Patrick, Smythe
                 Playoffs consist of 12 teams, 6 per conference
                 Top 2 teams in each conference didn't play in first round

1968 - 1974    - League consisted of 2 divisions, East and West.
               - Playoffs consist of 8 teams, 4 per division.  
               - The first round of the playoffs in these years is 
                 "Conference Semi-Finals" since it is 2 rounds prior to 
                 the Stanley Cup finals.

1943 - 1967    - League consists of only the "original 6"
               - Playoff consist of the 4 four teams.  There are 2 playoff
                 rounds, the first round is tagged with "Conference Finals"
                 since it is the round prior to the Stanley Cup finals.

1939 - 1942    - Top 6 teams make the playoffs.
               - Top 2 teams don't play in the first round (which is tagged with
                 "Conference Semi-Finals" on these pages).

1927 - 1938    - League consists of 2 divisons, Canadian and American
               - Top 3 teams from each division make the playoffs.
               - Top team from each division doesn't play in the first
                 round, which is tagged with "Conference Semi-Finals" on 
                 these pages.

1926           - Top 3 teams make the playoffs.
               - The 2nd and 3rd teams play in a rounded tagged with
                 "Conference Semi-Finals" on these pages
               - The winner of that round plays the top team in the round 
                 termed "Conference Finals".
               - The winner of that round plays the winner of the Pacific Coast
                 Hockey Association for the Stanley Cup

1918 - 1925    - Two teams make the playoffs.
               - They play in the round tagged with "Conference Finals"
               - The winner of that round plays the winner of the Pacific Coast
                 Hockey Association for the Stanley Cup.
    
Last updated: October 7, 2017
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