Central Division malaise
Or... Why Detroit's division dominance meant less than you think
A friend of mine remarked yesterday that he was surprised more people weren't talking about how Detroit's weak division skewed their record into 'elite' territory. After all, it's rather commonly held wisdom that the Red Wings really benefited in the standings from playing the triumverate of awful Columbus/St. Louis/Chicago 24 times this season.
Including their games against Nashville, the Red Wings were 25-3-4 in their own division.
Gaudy numbers, to be sure. But it's misleading to say Detroit wasn't deserving of being the NHL's top team.
Even without those Central Division games, the Red Wings would have still had the best point totals in the league. Their record minus games against their own division was 33-13-4.
That's a 115-point pace (which would have won the President's Trophy).
So, the next time someone discounts the point differential between Edmonton and Detroit, offer up that tidbit. That series gave us the biggest upset possible this year — weak division or not.