This should be a good debate. Which NHL Conference do you think is better, the Western or the Eastern?
In my opinion the West is better. Not because my favorite NHL team the Detroit Red Wings play in it, but there are too many strong teams in the West. The West has a harder road trip with different timezones in gameplay. In the East you play in the same timezone almost the whole time which is 7:00 PM EST. Traveling is much harder for teams like Detroit and Columbus, because they are in the Eastern timezone but play at different times. The West has tougher players. They play more physical. The crowds are much louder. In the East, the teams are so inconsistent. It seems like every season in the East top teams fall down from the previous year.
Quality Teams In The West
San Jose Sharks
Detroit Red Wings
The West still has teams like Colorado, which are very dangerous still.
Quality Teams In The East
Carolina Hurricanes (Inconsistent)
Toronto Maple Leafs
New Jersey Devils
Pittsburgh (Lost More Than Have Won)
By looking at this, the Eastern Conference teams are weak if they don't even have 8 quality teams. The East has a lot more skilled players, but don't have the better quality teams.
Right now, certainly the western conference has the most dominant teams. The best division in hockey is the Pacific division, with Anaheim, San Jose and Dallas all looking very strong. Phoenix and LA don't have a chance with the teams in this division.
This year, to qualify for the playoffs, the 8th seed in the west will probably need 95 points! That's a tough pace to maintain for the lesser teams in the conference.
In the east, there are only a few solid looking teams. Buffalo seems to be the cream of the crop, but Atlanta (still need help on defence) and Carolina are still close enough to challenge. The eastern conference, for the most part is made up of so-so teams.
I'll have to go with the West right now as well. They've been a lot stronger as a whole.
The East does have some teams playing very well, like Buffalo, Atlanta, Toronto, and Carolina, but the West currently overpower them. Anaheim, San Jose, Minnesota, Dallas, a surging Detroit, and Nashville back on track.
I agree with all of the above. The West dominates, they have good teams as well as the East but the East has teams that are good but never constintley win like the Ducks in the West for example. A good comparison to the East version of the Ducks is the Sabres (I didnt choose them b/c I like them)b/c they are consistent and when they lose it isnt a big streak. They lose one and then win like five or six straight.
In the east, the Sabres are certainly a fine team, solid from their goaltending, right up to their 4th line muckers.
A comment was made that while the West has better teams, that there is more talented young players in the east. This is an interesting statement, and I would agree that the premier talent, especially the youngsters, reside in the east. Stars such as Kovalchuk, Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Lacavlier, Ovechkin etc are all young, and have yet to hit their prime.
However, it's still a team sport, and stars or not, you need the full ensemble to challenge for the silver. Right now, and I know the season is not even 1/4 over, but there appears to be only a handful of strong teams: Buffalo, Atlanta (if they upgrade their D), Carolina, Anaheim, Dallas and San Jose. The rest, for the most part are simply contenders, but you never know, which is why they play the games!
Believe it or not, if you added up the points of all the playoffs teams in each conferance they both 180. Neat. Doesn't really mean much but as of today, the combined point totals of each conferances playoffs teams is 180.
some food for thought I guess.
The west also has more worse teams then the east. This could be due to the better teams at the top of the conferance (or it could be the other way around) but the bottom four teams in the west are way worse then the bottom four teams in the east.