Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Top regular season teams, calendar year 2006

With the Sharks and Stars starting the season with lofty 5-1 records, the Ducks will need two points tonight against the Red Wings to keep pace with the Pacific Division leaders.

And as much as I like bashing Detroit, you gotta hand it to them, they are a regular season monster, weak Central Division or not. Here is a listing of the best regular-season records (.600 and above) since January 1, 2006:

Team

GPW-L-OWin%GF/GGA/GDif/G

Detroit

49

35-8-6

.776

3.55

2.33

1.22

New Jersey

48

33-11-4

.729

2.92

2.40

0.52

Dallas

51

34-12-5

.716

2.92

2.51

0.41

San Jose

51

33-12-6

.706

3.43

2.67

0.76

Buffalo

49

32-13-4

.694

3.61

2.73

0.88

Anaheim

49

29-12-8

.673

3.24

2.65

0.59

Carolina

51

31-15-5

.657

3.31

3.06

0.25

Atlanta

49

29-17-3

.622

3.35

2.94

0.41


Ever since last year, when the NHL adopted its division-heavy schedule, there’s been a lot of talk about “What’s the toughest division in hockey?” Frankly, I’m not that concerned about it; I think it’s generally a mechanism to make fans feel better about where their team sits in the overall standings.

However, if you were to make that judgment, what would it be based on?
a) The best team from the division (a Central argument)?
b) The worst team from the division (a Northwest argument)?
c) The most dominant teams (a Pacific argument)?

Let’s hear it, people: what is the toughest division in hockey and why?

4 comments:

pete (aka Blogdor!) said...

I hate to admit it, but I think the NW people are right -- that's one crazily competitive division.

Five teams, all of whom I suspect will finish within 10 points of one another.

I also think the NE is a tough one. Both those divisions have 5 of the top 8-10 teams in their conference, for sure. But in each, probably no more than 3, or 4 max, will make the playoffs.

I think the Pacific has to be discounted because while the Top 3 are very very good, the bottom two are quite bad. In a divisional-game heavy schedule, that matters.

Full disclosure: I'm a Leafs fan.

VeryProudofYa said...

Him, the hardest division to be IN, I would say is the southeast. They're all so close to each other in terms of talent, that you could order the teams in any manner and it wouldn't be TOO far-fetched.

The hardest division to go against in a gauntlet? Probably the northwest, if only for the high number of goalies with the ability to outright steal games.

JavaGeek said...

There's an easy way to calculate the difficulty (approxemately) of a division is to calcualte how many points the division gets in games vs. teams outside their division...
Last year, there was a three way tie for first as Northwest, Northeast, Pacific all got around 1.2 points per game outside their division (1.1 is average b/c of OTL's). You then had the "average" Ney York Division (Atlantic) and then the Central and Southeast average around 0.9-1.0 per game outside their division.

Andy Grabia said...

Here's a strength of schedule ranking. Dallas and San Jose are 1-2, but the NW has 4 teams in the top ten. Interestingly, both Chicago and Columbus are in the top ten as well.

I would say the NW in addition to this because, well, Edmonton beat both San Jose and Anaheim on their way to the Finals. Just bears repeating, is all.