1967 to now: A Race through the Expansion Era
As you may know, every year since 2013 I've done the race to sixteen wins come playoff time. It's basically a designer's look at the playoffs, and a way to see the progress all in one area.
With that in mind, this year I decided to do it all the way back since 1967-68, the year of the NHL's first expansion. Originally I was going to go all the way back to the beginning of the NHL but the playoff formats were so wacky, I had to contain it to 1967.
I also removed any references to the Clarence Campbell Bowl and Prince of Wales Trophy until 1982, as with crossovers it didn't truly always represent the Cup Final.
1967-1981: The 8 Playoff Team Era
In this era, the league went from 12 win playoffs, to 15 win playoffs.
From 1974-81 a preliminary round was used to get to the final 8. In these years, the chart began after the preliminary round.
1982-Now: The 16 Playoff Team Era
In this era, we saw the league go from 15 win playoffs, into the current format of 16 wins.
All of these charts were done by me, and human error may occur, please let me know if you notice any errors.