The regular season ends on April 9 and the 2005 Kelly Cup Playoffs are scheduled to begin on April 12 with the Division Semifinals in the National Conference and the Conference Quarterfinals in the American Conference.
The first two rounds of the postseason are best-of-five series with the higher seed hosting the first two games and the fifth game, if necessary. The Conference Finals and the Kelly Cup Finals are best-of-seven series with the higher seed hosting the first two games and the sixth and seventh games, if necessary. Games in the first round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs are to be played April 12-21 while games in the second round are to be played April 22-May 1. The Conference Finals are May 3-16 with the Kelly Cup Finals being held May 18-June 1.
The postseason qualifiers in the National Conference will be the top four teams with the highest regular-season point total from the North Division and the top four teams with the highest regular-season point total from the West Division. The Division Semifinals will be best-of-five series with the first-place finisher meeting the fourth-place finisher and the second-place finisher meeting the third-place finisher. The winners of the Division Semifinals will advance to the Division Finals which is also a best-of-five series. The winners of the Division Finals will meet in the best-of-seven Conference Finals to determine the National Conference Champion and representative in the best-of-seven Kelly Cup Finals.
Because of geographical proximity in the American Conference, first-round playoff berths will be awarded to the top eight (8) teams – the first-place team in each division (based on regular-season point totals in each conference), as well as the next six-best teams (based on regular-season point totals in each conference). The two division winners will be seeded first and second (in order of points) and the next six-best teams (in order of points) will be seeded third through eighth.
In the Conference Quarterfinals, the first-place team will meet the eighth-place team, the second-place team will meet the seventh-place team, the third-place team will meet the sixth-place team, and the fourth-place team will meet the fifth-place team. Home ice in the Conference Quarterfinals is granted to those teams seeded first through fourth.
In the Conference Semifinals and Conference Finals, teams will be reseeded according to the same criteria as the Conference Quarterfinals (division leaders will be seeded first and granted home-ice advantage while the remaining teams will be seeded in order of regular-season points).
The winners of the best-of-five Conference Semifinals advance to the best-of-seven Conference Finals to determine the American Conference Champion and representative in the best-of-seven Kelly Cup Finals.