4.17.2007

Preying on the Weak?


So I have always been a proponent of decreasing the amount of times the teams play the other teams in their own division from the 8 the NHL currently has. My two main reasons are:

1. Teams such as Nashville and Detroit feast on the weaker teams in their division and as such get a much better seeding then they deserve when the playoffs start.

2. I personally would like to see the Canadians teams from the west play the Canadian teams from the east more often. (Or at all, no Hockey Day in Canada next year since the Northwest teams do not play the Northeast teams next year.)

In regards to the first reason that is why I have made this post. I have broken down each division with the teams and the amount of points that they accumulated strictly on divisional games. Hope you enjoy.

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

Team

Div.

Points

New Jersey

23-6-3

49

Pittsburgh

20-9-3

43

NY Rangers

15-12-5

35

NY Islanders

17-11-4

38

Philadelphia

5-20-7

17

As you can see this is pretty even, I am assuming that everyone just feasted on Philly when they played them. However, you can see no other real disparity.

Northeast Division

Team

Div.

Points

Buffalo

18-11-3

39

Ottawa

19-10-3

41

Toronto

13-14-5

31

Montreal

16-12-4

36

Boston

14-17-1

29

I thought it was weird that Ottawa actually did better than Buffalo in divisional point accumulation. However, again overall the teams match up quite well against each other with Toronto being the lowest in the win category at 13.

Southeast Division

Team

Div.

Points

Atlanta

18-7-7

43

Tampa Bay

19-11-2

40

Carolina

19-11-2

40

Florida

13-14-5

31

Washington

11-15-6

28

This division is a little more spread out with Carolina being 9 points ahead of Florida. Maybe this division is starting to show a little bit of the top three teams preying on weaker competition.

Western Conference

Central Division

Team

Div.

Points

Detroit

22-4-6

50

Nashville

21-8-6

48

St. Louis

12-16-4

28

Columbus

11-17-4

26

Chicago

14-17-1

29

Here is the poster boy for disparity between teams in a division. Detroit and Nashville are extremely close to each other. But then Chicago is 19 points back of Nashville. Seems to me that two of these teams are feasting on weaker competition. While St. Louis, Columbus, and Chicago are pretty evenly matched.

Northwest Division

Team

Div.

Points

Vancouver

16-13-3

35

Minnesota

18-8-6

42

Calgary

17-12-3

37

Colorado

18-11-3

39

Edmonton

11-20-1

23

Again you look at this division and obviously with the Oilers fall from grace there would be disparity between the 4th Vancouver and 5th Edmonton. However, the other four teams look like they put up a good fight against each other.

Pacific Division

Team

Div.

Points

Anaheim

19-8-5

43

San Jose

18-13-1

37

Dallas

24-7-1

49

Los Angeles

10-18-4

24

Phoenix

9-18-5

23

Again this division looks as though the top three teams are splitting games between themselves and coming out on top against the bottom two teams.

So, in conclusion, to me it looks like clearly in one division (Central) the top teams are preying on much weaker competition. In two divisions (Pacific, Southeast) the top three teams are preying on the weaker two and in the other three (Northwest, Northeast, and Atlantic) competition is pretty decent between the teams.

All in all I think that the NHL should try to maybe curb the divisional rivalry a little for the fact that some divisions there is no legitimate rivalry between the teams

By the way, the average amount of points for divisional games was 35.8. What ever happened to Jeff Norton?

6 comments:

Josh said...

I want to say Steve Simmons, but i know thats not right. Its some other loser that writes for the sun....

Rory said...

Anyone that writes for the SUN is a loser, so is the photographer of the sunshine girl, that guy has low standards, I mean really low, anyways back to hockey. I think teams should play others in the same division the most IF it has an impact on playoffs like it does now, otherwise it should be even with the conference, then play the other conference at least once. They need to redo the divisions and conferences now, does it really make sense to have Detroit in the West when they can see Toronto from their shores? Oh and not to mention New York did not have to leave their time zone after November.

Rory said...

Jon and Josh I clicked the link today, I wish you all best in your early retirement.

Josh said...

So if Detroit gets eliminated can we only assume this theory holds ground? Both top seeds in that division are out in the first round (again). I think this shows us that their records are not as good as the team, but I also think teams coming from tough divisions play playoff hockey all year just to make the 8th seed, so they are much more prepared for the intensity.

Jon G said...

I think that your last part is true, where teams like Calgary and the like are playing playoff hockey way before, so the mental part of the game is already there for the teams that have not clinched their spots 3 weeks before the season ends

Rory said...

I don't think there is anything special about that series, it is going as their performance in the regular season did, Calgary is the best at home in the league and worst on the road, so far the same in playoffs.