• 11/05/2013, 03:10PM ET

Best in West and East, one month in

kalbrecht17 (17-11-5) vs BM. (65-17-11)

Atl: Det
Metro: Pitt
Central: Col
Pac: SJ

I have only one change, but it's a big one.

In the Atlantic Division, replace Detroit with Boston.

Good luck.

I chose Detroit first and foremost because of the depth that they have at the F position

In terms of top tier talent at the forward position, I'll take Detroit's skill guys over Boston's any day. Datsyuk is the best 2 way forward in the league and has been for several years. The guy's magic both with and without the puck and makes insane plays on a nightly basis. Zetterberg is everything you want in a scrappy yet high end talent captain. He's always in the right place and leads by example with his style. The addition of Alfredsson has been a solid addition as well. You can see he fits remarkably well with the rapid passing puck possession style Det plays. Then filling out the offense are many young guys with some real jets plus some grinders for grit to play against the likes of Boston. Andersson, Tatar, and Helm all provide a spark when they're out there with their speed and high end puck skills. Add in grinders like Abby, Bert, and Weiss, and you have a solid line up with a good mix of everything you need.
Although Boston has some marquee players up front, I just can't see them matching Det's depth of scoring. I'll give them hitting, but you can't score w/o the puck

It's Boston, and here is why:

1. Goaltending/Defense - Tuukka Rask is awesome. He's second in the league in Save %, and fifth in the league in GAA. Boston has given up only 1.93 goals per game this year so far. They keep the puck out of the net. And you know what they say, the key to great offense is great defense. Boston is the standard in that category.

2. Boston gives up less goals than Detroit, and scores more goals than Detroit. As said already, Boston has given up 1.93 GP/G. Detroit has given up 2.50 GP/G. Boston has scored 2.64 GP/G, and Detroit has scored 2.50 GP/G. Boston has a goal differential of +10, compared to Detroit, who has given up 1 more goal than they've scored. Oh, and Boston has scored only 2 less goals than Detroit despite having played 2 less games.

3. Detroit has just switched conferences, meaning they have little to no experience playing against ANY of the teams in the conference on a regular basis. They don't know the tendencies of the teams in the East, so their learning curve is much larger.

Boston has better scoring, better defense, better goaltending, and an all-around better team.

That's why they are tops in their division.

2nd and even bigger reason I'm picking the wings is because of their style of play. The European puck possession dominant style is uber effective in the east. I'm not going to say it trumps other teams in the playoffs where the checking tightens up and penalties are called less, but needless to say there is a reason that the wings have made the playoffs for 22 straight years while the next closest is 9. Yes they've had dominant players, but the system that has been developed in Detroit has really made them flourish.
This style fits the East incredibly well. You say that they have a learning curve to the East, well I'll sure as heck take a 5-2-1 record any day of the week. Their touch passing style fits the faster paced up and down East better than it ever did the tighter checking west and it will allow them to flourish even more once the young guys and Weiss settle in.
Getting all caught up in goal differential at this point in the year is pretty fool hardy. Look at the schedules. Detroit has played 3 more road games and they are historically way better at home (43-14-4 the last 2 years) so their differential is skewed right now.

Their style of play has not been "uber effective" in the East at all. What has it gotten them? 40 goals. Good for 17th in the league. 8 teams in the East have scored more goals than Detroit. Their offensive has been "relatively average", not "uber effective".

Their goal differential is not skewed right now. They just aren't as good offensively as you make them out to be.

Detroit is very injury prone. Last year alone (shortened season) they had 395 man games lost to injuries, good for most in the league. Helm, Bertuzzi, Colaiacovo, and Samuelsson basically missed the entire season. Datsyuk has also had injury issues the last few years.

There are a lot of "seasoned" players on Detroit's roster. They are getting older and more susceptable to injuries. This is only going to hurt them when play very physical teams like Boston.

You want to talk about playoffs, then lets talk about goaltending a little more, because great goaltending wins Cups. Detroit has given up 41 goals this season (doesn't say much about their great defense), compared to 28 by Boston.

Rask > Howard and whoever else they throw out there, plus he proved it in the playoffs before.

Comment #1 has been removed
November 5, 2013  03:53 PM ET

Detroit's in the Atlantic division? Was there a massive earthquake that I missed?

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November 5, 2013  04:53 PM ET

Detroit's in the Atlantic division? Was there a massive earthquake that I missed?

Yes! The Mid-West fault more active but lessor known than the West Coast fault finally dumped Ohio, Indiana and Illonois(sp) into a massive sink hole. So, Detroit is now part of the Atlantic by default.... ;o)

November 5, 2013  04:53 PM ET

I'm surprised you didn't feel all the shaking nerb.

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November 5, 2013  05:58 PM ET

a solid pick BM. they're a damn good team and it'll be fun arguing the 2 of them against each other

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November 6, 2013  03:03 PM ET

a solid pick BM. they're a damn good team and it'll be fun arguing the 2 of them against each other


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November 6, 2013  10:03 PM ET

I'm voting right because he has a avatar!

November 7, 2013  02:06 AM ET

Everyone knows that the West is the best.



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