I said a few months ago that the Central Division was easily the best division in the National Hockey League. Obviously, several games have been played since then and the landscape has been drastically altered across the league. One thing has stayed the same though, the Central has been the powerhouse in the West.
What has emerged on the other side of the NHL’s standings has raised an interesting debate among hockey fans. I was admittedly a little hasty in proclaiming the superiority of the Central because the Atlantic isn’t to shabby itself. With the East leading Rangers, suddenly healthy Penguins, suddenly quality backstopped Flyers and stubbornly good Devils, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the balance of power isn’t too far towards the Central.
As a fan of audience participation I want to poll Backhand Shelf nation on this and hopefully reach some sort of consensus on which division rules the NHL roost.
Here’s my thought experiment: I thought the best way to determine the best division is set up a hypothetical series between the two teams, matching their seeds. For example…
Blues vs. Rangers
Red Wings vs. Penguins
Predators vs. Flyers
Blackhawks vs. Devils
…and whichever division comes out with the better record is the better team. The problem with that is I have them coming out 2-2 with wins going to St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Nashville and New Jersey.
I need you gang to break this tie.
“Division X sucks” is not a valid answer.