ivand87 wrote:The Penguins were 8-1-1 against the Western Conference last year. They beat Dallas 4-1.
Aside from Detroit, Anaheim, San Jose, Dallas, and maybe Calgary, the Western Conference is just as weak as the East.
Vancouver sucks. All they got is Luongo. Minnesota is just purely a defensive team and the Penguins would have a winning record against them almost every season. Colorado, Edmonton and Nashville are decent teams, but the Pens are decisively better. Chicago obviously is on their way up, but can they reach the Penguins' level? I guess we'll see about them. Phoenix is on their way up as well but they have a huge mountain to climb. St. Louis has a few good young players but they're still an average team and I don't expect them to challenge anybody in the West. And Columbus and LA suck.
So what are you people talking about when you say the West is better than the East? You're talking about 4 teams. That's it. Don't believe the hype.
I think it is more correct to say that the West is a tougher conference. The races are typically closer in each division. The 8-1-1 record is a good indication the Pens can beat the teams, but you need to interchange some players to play a full season in the West.
They do play more defensive systems. They do play more physical across the board than the East. The Pens match up great against a lot of the teams on a game by game basis, but the teams in the West are just different than the teams ont he East. A lot of it has to do with travel schedules. It's easy to play more wide open hockey when your players can sleep in their own beds even after away games because it is a 1 hour flight.
The same would hold true for a West team moving to the East. They probably would not fare extremely well because the offensive systems in the East could crack the defensive system of a team after a couple games. Vancouver would die in the East because most teams could put up 2 goals per game on them and the Canucks don't have the offense to score 3 goals per game night in and night out.
The people who say the West is way better are usually more old school. Teams in the West play more of an old school style, while the East teams have generally adopted systems for the newer, more open NHL rules.