When do the NHL Playoffs Start?

The quest for the NHL Playoffs is heating up for many teams in the league, even if it looks like the Blackhawks will be sitting this one out.
Feb 13, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Blackhawks forward Philipp Kurashev (23) controls the
Feb 13, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Blackhawks forward Philipp Kurashev (23) controls the / Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Following the All-Star Game and eventually the NHL Trade Deadline, everyone in the pro hockey world will be talking about the premier event of the season: the NHL Playoffs. Even if the Blackhawks don’t seem to be in the hunt this season, it doesn’t mean fans in the Windy City won’t tune in and see which team hoists the Stanley Cup when June rolls around. 

While that may be the case this season, the rebuilding efforts in Chicago have long-since been underway. If everything goes according to plan, it won’t be long until the Blackhawks make their grand return to the postseason.

When do the NHL Playoffs begin?

In 2024, the NHL Playoffs will begin on April 20th, just a few days after the Blackhawks regular season closes out on April 18th.

How can the Blackhawks realistically make a playoff run?

Injuries plus a full-on rebuild have kept the Blackhawks playoff hopes minimal this season. But it was a rebuilding year anyway, and everyone knew this team was at least a year from returning to the postseason. 

But we have also seen some unprecedented things happen in hockey, so if the Blackhawks got healthy fast and caught a few teams off-guard, they would at least build momentum. However, anything short of a miracle-like winning streak would be needed, given how deep we are into the season. 

A recent history of the Blackhawks in the playoffs

Despite their struggles, the Blackhawks have recently been one of the NHL’s more relevant teams. They haven’t qualified for the postseason since the 2019-20 season, but the 2010s was a memorable decade for Chicago, as they won three Stanley Cups between 2010 and 2015.

Connor Bedard’s presence could eventually allow the Blackhawks to see similar success during the mid-to-late 2020s if Chicago properly builds around him. For now, it’s wait and see, but Bedard is already a great player, and he should give fans many memorable postseason moments. 


(Historical data provided by Hockey-Reference)