RULES: REGULAR SEASON AND PLAYOFF SETTINGS

Updated: April 14, 2009, 1:28 PM ET

SEASON SCHEDULE
All standard FHL leagues play with a fixed 22-week regular season, with the playoffs taking place over the final four weeks of the 26-week NHL season. To view your team's schedule click on the "Schedule" link on your main team page. Below is a detailed look at the H2H season schedule (with game limits included).

FULL H2H SEASON SCHEDULE WITH GAME LIMITS
  DATES (NHL GAMEDAYS) FORWARDS DEFENSEMEN     UTILITY NOTES
Week 1    Sat. 10/4 - Sun. 10/12 (6) 31 17 4  Season start - NYR vs. TB (in Prague, Czech Rep.)
Week 2 Mon. 10/13 - Sun. 10/19 (7) 36 20 4
Week 3 Mon. 10/20 - Sun. 10/26 (6) 31 17 4  No games 10/26
Week 4 Mon. 10/27 - Sun. 11/2 (7) 36 20 4
Week 5 Mon. 11/3 - Sun. 11/9 (7) 36 20 4
Week 6 Mon. 11/10 - Sun. 11/16 (7) 36 20 4
Week 7 Mon. 11/17 - Sun. 11/23 (7) 36 20 4
Week 8 Mon. 11/24 - Sun. 11/30 (7) 36 20 4
Week 9 Mon. 12/1 - Sun. 12/7 (7) 36 20 4
Week 10 Mon. 12/8 - Sun. 12/14 (7) 36 20 4
Week 11 Mon. 12/15 - Sun. 12/21 (7) 36 20 4
Week 12 Mon. 12/22 - Sun. 12/28 (5) 26 14 3  No games 12/24 and 12/25
Week 13 Mon. 12/29 - Sun. 1/4/09 (7) 36 20 4
Week 14 Mon. 1/5 - Sun. 1/11 (7) 36 20 4
Week 15 Mon. 1/12 - Sun. 1/18 (7) 36 20 4
Week 16 Mon. 1/19 - Sun. 2/1 (9) 46 26 5  All-Star Break
Week 17 Mon. 2/2 - Sun. 2/8 (7) 36 20 4
Week 18 Mon. 2/9 - Sun. 2/15 (7) 36 20 4
Week 19 Mon. 2/16 - Sun. 2/22 (7) 36 20 4
Week 20 Mon. 2/23 - Sun. 3/1 (7) 36 20 4
Week 21 Mon. 3/2 - Sun. 3/8 (7) 36 20 4
Week 22 Mon. 3/9 - Sun. 3/15 (7) 36 20 4  End of regular season 3/15
H2H PLAYOFFS
Round 1 Mon. 3/16 - Sun. 3/29 (14) 72 40 8  Winners Bracket: 1v4, 2v3
Round 2 Mon. 3/30 - Sun. 4/12 (14) 72 40 8  League Championship; End of season 4/12

H2H PLAYOFF BRACKET SETUP
The playoff bracket view display shows how your bracket would look according to the current selections. Note that all teams who do not make the playoffs still participate in a consolation ladder each week until the season is complete. The playoffs start on Week 23 and run through Week 26 of the NHL season (4 weeks). Round One takes place during Weeks 23 and 24 (two weeks), and Round Two takes place during Week 25 and 26 (two weeks).

NOTE: In 2009 ESPN changed from the "legacy" rules of playing two individual matchups over the two weeks and adding them together (ie 7-3 + 4-6 = 11-9). This season BOTH week are combined into one single matchup period (which also extends the game started limits to include two weeks).

MAKING THE PLAYOFFS
The top four teams in a league make the playoffs. These four comprise the two division champs and two wild-card teams. Division champs are the teams that win the league divisions. The two wild card teams are based on winning percentage and can come from the same division.

PLAYOFF SEEDING AND TIEBREAKERS
When your league converts into playoff mode the system automatically generates a seed for each team in the league based on the regular season results. The seeds determine where the system places each team in the playoffs. The primary factors which determine seeds are:

    1. Division Winner(s)
    2. Winning Percentage
In the event that two or more teams have the same winning percentage at the conclusion of the regular season, and have played the same number of head-to-head games between them, the following tiebreaking system determines the seed:

1 - Overall record *
2 - Head-to-head record
3 - Division record
4 - Coin Flip
    * NOTE: Overall record is based on winning percentage. Therefore, a team that has more losses than another team might have the same winning percentage.

In the event that two or more teams have the same winning percentage at the conclusion of the regular season, and have not played the same number of head-to-head games between them, the following tiebreaking system determines seed:

1 - Overall record
2 - Division record
3 - Coin Flip

SCORING DURING THE PLAYOFFS
Scoring during the playoffs works much the same way as during the regular season, with the object to win as many categories as possible. The difference is that each playoff round lasts two weeks, not one week (as during the regular season). As such the Games Started Limits are increased and you get two full weeks to accumulate stats in each stat category. By winning 6 or more of the 10 categories during each playoff matchup you'll guarantee yourself a win. In the event that two teams have the same win-loss-tie record at the conclusion of their two-week playoff game, the following tie-breaking system is employed:

    Tie Breaker for Playoff Games
    1. Higher seeded team

NOTE: During the playoffs, once your matchup ends, the scoring is final and no scoring corrections will be applied.

PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

In Round One of the playoffs, the division winner with the best win/loss record plays the wild-card team with the worst win/loss record; the other division winner plays the wild-card team with the better win/loss record. In Round Two, the winners of Game 1 and Game 2 in Round One (see table below) compete for the League Championship. Each round of the playoffs spans a two-week period. The remaining teams in each league compete in the consolation bracket.

LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP PAIRINGS
GAME ROUND 1
SEED VS. SEED
ROUND 2
MATCHUPS
1 1 vs. 4 W1 vs. W2*
2 2 vs. 3 L1 vs. L2

CONSOLATION BRACKET PAIRINGS
GAME ROUND 1
SEED VS. SEED
ROUND 2
MATCHUPS
1 5 vs. 6 W1 vs. W2
2 7 vs. 8 L1 vs. W3
3 9 vs. 10 L2 vs. L3

Final league standings following the second round of the playoffs

From the League Championship bracket:
*1st place - Winner of game 1, round 2
2nd place - Loser of game 1, round 2

3rd place - Winner of game 2, round 2
4th place - Loser of game 2, round 2

From the Consolation bracket:
5th place - Winner of game 1, round 2
6th place - Loser of game 1, round 2
7th place - Winner of game 2, round 2
8th place - Loser of game 2, round 2
9th place - Winner of game 3, round 2

10th place - Loser of game 3, round 2