The 2013 NHL season will be the 95th season of play on the ice. While it’s the 96th year of operation, it’s the 95th season because of the lockout that wiped out the 2004-05 campaign. NHL fans were nearly forced to endure the same pain after the start of another lockout in 2012. Things appeared grim for a season and NHL playoff bracket until the lockout was finally resolved in January.
NHL Playoff Bracket: 2012 Lockout
The 2012 NHL lockout began when the collective bargaining agreement expired in September. The work stoppage came after the NHL playoff bracket at the conclusion of the 2011-12 season featured some of the most exciting games in recent memory.
In all, 510 regular season games were cancelled from the NHL schedule. The popular “Winter Classic” and 2013 All-Star Game were also erased. The lockout stifled the momentum built by the previous 2012 NHL playoff bracket and left fans angry and frustrated.
After agreeing to a new CBA, it was determined that the revised 2013 NHL schedule would begin on January 19th. Instead of playing 82 games, each team would play a compressed 48-game schedule.
2012 NHL Playoff Bracket
The 2012 NHL playoff bracket featured an improbable run to the Stanley Cup by the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings entered the playoffs as the lowest seeded team in the Western Conference, but quickly dispatched of the top-seeded Vancouver Canucks in five games in their opening-round, seven-game series.
The Kings then went on to sweep the St. Louis Blues before beating the Phoenix Coyotes in five games in the Western Conference finals. Los Angeles knocked off the New Jersey Devils in six games in the Stanley Cup Final to hoist the cup for the first time in franchise history. Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick took home the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the NHL playoffs.
Download: NHL Playoff Bracket