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PickupHockey All-Star

3670 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2013 :  09:35:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Someone mentioned the disparity between east and west conferences in another thread. It was earlier in the season, but since that time the disparity only seems to have gotten worse. As I type:

- 4 of the top 5, and 8 of the top 10 teams in the NHL are in the West
- only 2 of the bottom 10 are in the west
- only 3 teams from the east would be playoff teams in the west, while the top-12 teams in the west would be playoff teams in the east

Are western teams simply better than eastern teams, and we're only seeing it now because of more interplay? Or is it just a statistical blip?

As a VAN fan, I've seen them regularly beat eastern teams this year, while games against western teams are much harder fought.

PickupHockey Veteran

2307 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2013 :  15:03:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't think the interdivisional matchups are a clear indication of which conference's are better. Its harder to match up to a team you only see twice a year and only one of those is a home game. Prior to this year those matchups were once every couple of years. The fact the West has such a lead in games outside of the West has a lot to do with the schedule and injuries as well. Early games in the season were pretty much a crap shoot, before teams finalized there rosters and I would bet injuries played a large part in some of those matchups, as well. Its like divisional games, where a poor team like Ottawa went a long time undefeated in the Division, but couldn't win a home game outside of there division. That's no indication that a team is doing good or bad, just that when they get a regular look at a team they can win.

I'm not saying the West isn't stronger or the East is weaker, but a small sample of games against uncommon rivals early in the season is not the best way to determine Conference strength. Playoffs and the games leading up to finalizing playoff positioning are the best indication, when teams get a longer look at the oppositions roster, but of course that's not when outside of conference games happen until the final.

Edited by - JOSHUACANADA on 12/17/2013 17:03:01
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