New NHL Conferences: Historical Head-to-Head Results

New Conference Alignments - Cassie McClellan

What will the NHL's proposed new conferences look like after realignment? And how have the teams fared historically?

In case you were living in a hole without internet over the weekend, then you heard the news that the NHL has proposed another realignment plan consisting of 4 "conferences". Two eight-team conferences in the East, and two seven-team conferences in the West; obviously setting up the NHL for an expansion to 32 teams (Seattle, Toronto 2.0) in the near future.

Since there are some big changes being put forward, I thought it'd be neat to see how the teams in these new conferences have fared against each other over the years, and to see if such statements as "Chicago would slaughter their conference" are in fact true from an historical standpoint.

New Conference: Historical Head-to-Head Results

Let's look at the North*east Conference first because it's the one the Leafs might find themselves in. If history is bound to repeat itself, then the future doesn't look too bright for the Leafs.

GP Pts Pts%
Buffalo 1085 1210 0.558
Montreal 2518 2751 0.546
Ottawa 605 640 0.529
Boston 2468 2497 0.506
Florida 482 487 0.505
Detroit 1987 1972 0.496
Toronto 2416 2365 0.489
Tampa Bay 506 412 0.407

Yes that's right; the Buffalo Sabres are historically the best team head-to-head in the newly proposed North*east division and by a fairly wide margin. Against the 7 other conference teams, the Leafs only have a winning record against three of them: Detroit (1pt above .500), Florida, and Tampa Bay. Ouch.

In what I'm going to call the Atlantic Division because I'm uncreative, Philadelphia comes out on top by the widest margin among all four conferences. The Flyers are above .500 against every team in their proposed conference, with the closest being the Rangers, against whom they have a .510 pts%.


GP
Pts
Pts%
Philadelphia
1311
1516
0.578
Washington
1123
1181
0.526
NY Rangers
1304
1371
0.526
Columbus
90
90
0.500
NY Islanders
1252
1250
0.499
New Jersey
1188
1185
0.499
Pittsburgh
1283
1269
0.495
Carolina
739
700
0.474

How has Columbus done so well against that Murderer's Row of teams?

Moving to the Central time zone and conference, what they say is true; Chicago is the best of the bunch though not by much as Nashville and St. Louis are right on their heels. Winnipeg? The only team under 0.500 because of the crazy amount of OTLs in this conference.

GP Pts Pts%
Chicago 780 851 0.546
Nashville 251 272 0.542
St. Louis 515 555 0.539
Colorado 362 388 0.536
Dallas 483 505 0.523
Minnesota 219 227 0.518
Winnipeg 76 67 0.441

And lastly, the Pacific Conference where Calgary and Edmonton are atop the standings, and Vancouver and Los Angeles are the bottom feeders. Wait what?


GP
Pts
Pts%
Calgary
1018 1136 0.558
Edmonton
955 1049 0.549
Anaheim
560 604 0.539
San Jose
634 668 0.527
Vancouver
1030 1049 0.509
Phoenix
930 902 0.485
Los Angeles
1053 1016 0.482

It seems that the recent results out west are not indicative of those teams' historical performance.

I'm not going to list the full league standings, but I will say Philly's at the top, and Tampa Bay at the very bottom with the Leafs coming in at 25th.

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