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