29 April 2010
After the Habs stunned the Caps in game 7 of the opening round I made a snarky tweet (shocking, I know)
Could we re-seed the playoffs? SJ-MTL, CHI-PHI, VAN-BOS, PIT-DET? Seriously, the WC is ridiculously superior to the EC.
I didn't think this was all that controversial, but somehow the guy who runs a Pens-centric blog took exception to that comment. I don't want to start some sort of blog-flame war, but he argued that the East is far superior to the west, with statements like this just patently absurd one:
The Flyer even injured are better than CHI & DET . I haven't even covered the Bruins.
Now just about anyone who's watched more than a game of the Western Conference teams this season knows that this is so preposterous that it isn't even worth arguing against, but the question does remain.. How much better are the West's top four than the East's?
More after the jump
So I did a little bit of research to figure out how much better the West's top 4 are over the east... and the disparity is frankly astounding. This isn't unexpected since 3 of the East's final four wouldn't have even made the playoffs in the West. (In the West Montreal and Philly: tied for 12th, Boston: 9th). that doesn't even account for the fact that they accumulated that many few points playing an Eastern Conference schedule. The West's overall dominance of the East has been well documented.
But the top four in the West have been even more dominant, and the top 4 in the east were especially dismal against those top 4 with the record and GF/GA.
Top 4: PIT: 1-3-1 GF/GA: 6/17. PHI: 2-3 GF/GA: 11/18. BOS: 1-1-2 GF/GA: 8/11 MTL: 0-3-1 GF/GA 7/16
Pittsburgh: 1-3-1 6/17
Philadelphia: 2-3 11/18
Boston: 1-1-2 8/11
Montreal 0-3-1 7/16
So for the record, The East's top 4 are 4-10-4 and have scored just over 1/2 as many goals as the West's top 4 in those 18 games (32-60).Over the course of an 82 game season, that's 55 points over the course of a season... or they'd get Taylor Hall in a landslide.
Against the opposing conference, the top 4 in the East are 31-30-11. Barely above .500 against the entire West. So if you took the East's top 4 teams, let them play an entire schedule with a Western Conference schedule, including the Edmontons and Columbuses. When projected on an 82 game season (lets say they each would play once every 4 games or something, since this is all hypothetical anyways), the East's top four would finish with 83 points. That would be good enough for 13th in the West.
Meanwhile the West's top 4 against the East: 45-20-7, or on pace for 110 point season.
Now these things ebb and flow. I don't actually think we should re-seed the playoffs after the first round. First of all, it would be impossible to tell who was a higher seed most years because points in the east are worth about 2/3 of points in the West because they are that much easier to come by. It hardly seems fair that only one of these four West teams is going to make the finals, and the East gets one by default. (For the record I think Pittsburgh's the only team in the east that really has much of a chance in the finals, if they make it. Although, Behind the Net makes a pretty strong case that Montreal got healthy and improved dramatically.)
Despite all the dominance, the East does have a chance at the Stanley Cup.... mainly because they have to have a team in the finals. This might be the first season that the Campbell trophy is more prestigious than the Stanley Cup. Ok probably not, but the Western Conference finals should be the de-facto finals.