Just win, baby.

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.

Comment, Tweet, Facebook your rationale for which division is better.

“Division X sucks” is not a valid answer.

Comments (11)

  1. Atlantic, because the Isles are slightly better than the Blue Jackets (Weakest > weakest).

    OR

    On the other hand, The Central has 2 of the last 4 Cup champions.

  2. If we’re including Columbus in the discussion I think we have to go with the Atlantic…

    but one thing of note: There have been 25 games between teams in the two divisions. Central 13 wins, Atlantic 12 wins. That’s pretty close. Even if you take out Cbs and Nyi the gap just widens to 2 extra wins for the Central. Still close, and with games remaining.

  3. I always liked the central because it’s the most colorful division in sports.
    Red Wings, Blackhawks, Blue Jackets, Blues… and one outlier. I guess we could call em the pReds…

  4. Either way it would go, I would love to watch it

  5. Well the tie would go to whoever wins the Blue Jackets-Islanders Game. I think the Islanders would win. Atlantic is the better division.

  6. I’m with Kevin – as long as Columbus is in the Central, the Atlantic is better. I’d takes the Isles over them every day of the week.

    • Don’t get how CBJ & NYI are the sole pieces to this discussion that push one division better then the other..

      CBJ & NYI play eachother on the last game of the year in April.

      So if CBJ wins, they’ll prove the Central is better than? LOL

  7. I wonder what an All-Star lineup just consisting of these two divisions would look like, and then how that game would go. Just in net you would have an amazing showdown with Pekka Rinne, Jimmy Howard and either Jaro Halak or Brian Elliot going against Henrik Lundqvist, Ilya Bryzgalov and either Marc-Andre Fleury or Martin Brodeur.

    It would be a pretty fierce game I think.

  8. I’m going with Central because they boast the best team, who’s beaten the best teams in the Atlantic:

    Blues over Philly @PHI, with their old coach, they still underperformed and beat them 4-2.

    Blues won @ Pitt, with Malkin/Crosby/Staal in lineup too (since that sometimes is an excuse), Blues dressed 3 players from AHL team, and played their backup goalie, still win in OT, not shoot out.

    Blues over NYR 4-1. That was on HBO 24/7, Torts closest blow up we ever saw, although he did mention the Blues were the best team they’ll play.

    Blues lost to Pitt in SO 2-1, because MAF saved 39 shots, as anybody who watched that game knew Pittsburgh was clearly outplayed (Crosby/Staal out of lineup)

    Beat NJ @ NJ 4-3 & Beat NYI 5-1

    Blues have never lost in Regulation to an Atlantic team, and are 5-0-1 against that division. Would love to see the Blues move to the Easy Conference, and get media hyped up to their ears.

    I refuse to build on reasons why BJ’s, Detoilet, & Pred’s are a good team. But I will say this, the Hawks are legit once they get their Captain back, he’s clearly a vital piece to that team.

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