Tom L at Sabre Rattling has pointed to a Damien Cox ESPN piece that asks a good question: which team is better, the Buffalo Sabres or the Anaheim Ducks?
Wait, scratch that. That’s not a good question, that’s a dumb question. Who really gives a shit? These teams are playing in two separate leagues on two separate leaderboards. It matters very little how good Anaheim is compared to Buffalo; what matters is how Anaheim stacks vs. the west and how Buffalo stacks vs. the east.
That said, I will offer a little fodder for this burning question. Here, for argument’s sake, is a look at regulation standings, how teams are doing when 60 minutes are up. I only bring it up because it exposes Buffalo for the extra-point slut that it is:
Buffalo, while still class of the east, does have less regulation wins than 6 western teams (and the same amount Calgary has), so maybe the real question that deserves to be asked isn’t which of two specific teams is better.
Rather, my question is: If Buffalo were in the west, where would it finish? Would it be a first-place club in a much more highly-contested conference?