1) While its impossible to scientifically determine which of the 6 NHL divisions is the best/worst, we thought it would be interesting to explore the issue and come up with our own admittedly subjective opinion on why each division is rated where we believe it is.
2) Firstly, the unbalanced schedule makes it especially difficult. For example are the teams in the North West Division really all decent/mediocre or are they that way because play and beat up on each other nightly? Does having 3 of the worst teams help the Preds and Wings bolster their win totals that much?. ETC.
3) Firstly here is our 'Power Rankings' of Divisions if you will:
4) Now the why. The Pacific as # 1 was the easiest pick. Having 3 of the best teams in the NHL made that choice a no-brainer. Though the other 2 teams are not that good, the top 3 carried them. Next the NorthEast has Buffalo, but also a strong Montreal squad. No patsies in that division either. Next is probably a bit controversial as we chose the Southeast as third best. For one the last 2 Stanley Cup champs are from this forgotten division. Add to that the emergence of the Thrashers and Caps and you get quite the competitive division.
5) Next the Atlantic. Possessing both the Devils and Rangers as their top squads, but the Islanders and Pens have played much better than most anticipated. The down side of course is that the Flyers are God-awful. The aforementioned Northwest comes next. Though the last 2 Cup runner ups have come from this 'black and blue' division, we 're not impressed with low offensive output on most of the teams. Finally we have the Norris, or the Central (we miss the old names!). With three of the dregs of the league in one division they pull down the other 2 good teams. We'll give those 2 teams respect as soon as they win a playoff series.We ofcourse would love to hear what our readers think.