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Your logic is bang on; after all, Montreal had an amazing season... oh wait, they're golfing.
I did not intend for this thread to go all Ottawa Vs. Vancouver, after all, I wanted to save that drama for the finals. But JD, I do have one nagging question. How many playoff rounds have the Canucks won since, oh, the 95-96 season? Please, worry about giving the heimlich to your own set of chokers before you go on about ours.
copy and pasted from nhl.com
East is East and West is West. But when the two play each other, there’s no question that the West is the best.
San Jose’s visit to Carolina Saturday night will be the 150th and last inter-conference game of the season, the second under the current format that sees teams play just 10 out-of- conference games during an 82-game schedule. Just as they did last season, Western teams have gotten the best of their Eastern rivals. In fact, they’re even more dominant than they were in 2005-06.
With one game remaining, the West leads the series, 82-47-20, while Eastern teams are 67-63-19. That’s even better than last season, the first under the new inter-conference format, when the West went 79-52-19 to 71-62-17 for the East. The Chicago Blackhawks (3-5-2) and Columbus Blue Jackets (4-6-0) were the only teams from the West that got less than half of the 20 points available in inter-conference play.
As they were last season, the Sharks and Vancouver Canucks have been the best of the West. San Jose is 8-1-0 going into its game against Carolina, and can match its 9-1-0 record of last season with a victory. Vancouver was 9-1-0 last season and went 8-1-1 this season. The Canucks also are the only team to go undefeated at home in both seasons; the Sharks were 5-0-0 at the HP Pavilion last season and 4-1-0 this season.
With the Canucks leading the way, the Northwest Division has been the best in the NHL this season at 29-14-7, including a 19-5-1 mark in home games. Those games came against the Southeast Conference, which has a league-worst 16-24-9 mark. Southeast teams went just 6-13-6 on the road and are the only division with a sub-.500 mark at home (10-11-3).
Just enough? -- Snagging a few extra points against the other conference might not sound like much, but it can make the difference between winning and losing a division — or whether a team makes the playoffs. Vancouver’s one-point lead over Minnesota in the Northwest Division stems from the fact that the Canucks got 17 points against the East to 12 for the Wild. In the Central, Detroit has one more point against the West than Nashville, but the Predators have a one-point lead because they got 15 points against the East to 13 for the Wings.
In the East, the defending Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes have more points against Eastern teams than any of the teams they’re competing against in the race for the last three playoff berths. But the ‘Canes have just seven points against the West, less than Tampa Bay (11), the New York Rangers (12) and Islanders (11), Montreal (14) and Toronto (10) — a big reason they’re barely hanging on to the eighth and final playoff berth as they try to avoid becoming the first defending champion since New Jersey in 1996 to miss the playoffs one season after winning the Cup.
Offense or defense -- The West’s dominance of the East would appear to be largely attributable to its defense. Of the nine teams that enter the weekend having allowed less than 200 goals, only two (New Jersey and the Rangers) are from the East. Also, of the 137 shutouts this season, Western teams have 84, with every team having at least three — a total seven Eastern teams haven’t managed. Take out New Jersey’s league-leading 12 shutouts and the other 14 Eastern teams have managed just 41. Seven Western teams have six or more shutouts, compared with just two in the East.