- 11/04/2013, 05:13PM ET
kalbrecht17 said 11/05, 12:38 PM
Atlantic- lightning have "looked" the best but i'll go with Det
Central- Colorado (tempting to go with the Hawks, but Col's performance thus far has been incredible)
Sir Loin said 11/05, 12:50 PM
Atlantic: Tampa. Detroit has a -1 goal differential. Not good. Tampa is +12, and has the same amount of points as the Wings with 2 less games played.
Metro: Pens - no contest. This division is weak.
Central: St. Louis. Only one loss at home and one on road. They have 3 games in hand over the Hawks, but are only 4 points behind. Colorado has started incredibly hot, but it won't last.
Pacific: Anaheim. They have the most points in the NHL right now. SJ is cooling off, like they always do. Anaheim has balanced scoring, good D, and a surplus of good goaltending.
kalbrecht17 said 11/05, 03:26 PM
TB vs. Det it is then.
To be honest, I just can't see TB keeping up this torrid pace. On offense, sure Stamkos and St. Louis are fantastic players. no doubt about it. But currently (although less so recently) guys like Val Filppula (currently .79 ppg vs .52 career and .63 the last 3 years) and Alex Killorn (.86 ppg) are contributing at high levels, but I can't see them sustaining it. Currently TB sits at 6th in GPG, but I don't see it continuing with their lack of firepower up top to keep pace against the higher scoring teams unless there's a malone resurgence.
On the back end, I can't see Bishop holding serve for a full season. Its his first year and he's been light out thus far, but how will he handle the every day grind as the year goes on? and given inexperienced lindback behind him, I don't like those odds.
I picked Det because their European style fits the east. They are extremely fluid with the puck and have solid skaters 3 lines deep. My X factor is Det's highly skilled young guys like Andersson, Tatar, and Abdelkader providing the secondary scoring TB lacks in addition to howard's superior talent in net.
Just see Det as a little deeper w/ better tending.
Sir Loin said 11/06, 10:11 AM
Are you abandoning your suggested format?
And, are you arguing who is the best team in each division after one month, or who you expect to be more successful over the course of the season and possibly playoffs?
If I had to pick between the Wings and TB - who will finish higher at the end of the season, or who will go farther in the playoffs - I would pick the Wings, but if we're arguing who is the better team right now, it's TB. Detroit's defensive play has been soft, Howard's play has been lower than his usual. And, like I said, they've allowed more goals than they've scored. The best team in a division can't have a negative goal differential. Period.
But anyways - back to your suggested format.
Best team in the East is Pittsburgh. Loaded with talent, they have arguably the best two players in the game, and Fleury is playing well.
kalbrecht17 said 11/06, 12:50 PM
Col vs StL
Col vs Stl is an interesting matchup. In my eyes, kind of a conflicting set of styles but both undoubtedly are happy to have gotten rid of Det (not in terms of rivalry, but just as a nemesis). They both have some outstanding players offensively (Duchenne, Landy, MacKinnon vs Steen Backes and Oshie). and judging by them being 4th and 2nd in GPG, its pretty much a wash. Really what this comes down to is differential. Stl is doing well at 7th in GAPG but Col is 1st. No one's doing it better and they're +23 differential shows that. Also their PK is lights out and when you're that potent 5 on 5, that's a huge asset to have.
SJ vs ANA
SJ is 1st in GPG and 3rd in GAPG. ANA at 6th and 9th. The biggest difference in why I see SJ as the better now both now and in the future is on ST. SJ PP and PK are 11th and 10th vs 30th and 28th for ANA. That is just brutal from ANA. And we all know that many a game are decided on ST. ANA is still trying to get past the departure of Bobby Ryan on the PP and its showing. And we've seen that Hiller is prone to crumple at times a la the Det playoff series last year. Sharks have only lost once in regulation this year get the edge
Sir Loin said 11/06, 01:34 PM
So, you ignore goal differential when you pick Det over TB, but then you claim "it really comes down to" it when comparing Col vs Stl?
COL v STL
Colorado is allowing two more shots per game than they're taking. That's not a good trend, and their record will normalize soon enough. They don't have the type of clampdown defense that STL has, and STL has the better goaltender in Halak.
SJ v ANA
Anaheim's special teams are way off the average, but that will return to the norm over time. What they're better at, and what is a better indication of the type of team they are, and will be come playoffs (where penalties are called much less than in regular season) is 5 on 5. They fact that their power play and penalty killing has been so off, yet they have still accumulated the most points in the NHL shows how dominant their 5-on-5 has been. And, have you seen Anaheim's schedule? They've only played 5 games at home and 11 on the road, yet they've still accumulated the most points in the NHL.
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