Thursday, December 28, 2006

Northwest Division gets nutty

Standings after Wednesday night's games

Vancouver 38 19 18 1 39 6-4-0
Edmonton 35 18 15 2 38 5-5-0
Colorado 36 18 16 2 38 6-4-0
Minnesota 37 18 17 2 38 4-6-0
Calgary 35 17 14 4 38 4-4-2

It took a wild 6-5 overtime win by the Canucks to get to this point, but with mediocrity overtaking all five Northwest Division teams lately, we've got an interesting, er, battle for the division lead.

The most amazing part about Vancouver being in top spot, however momentarily, is that the Canucks have managed just 2.34 goals per game — a lofty total that, after their goal-plosion on Wednesday, puts them ahead of only St. Louis and Philadelphia as the league's lowest-scoring team (Vancouver was last prior to tonight).

So, then, here's my question: Is the parity we're seeing in the Northwest an indication of it being such a strong division — or just the opposite?


At 1:22 a.m., December 28, 2006, Anonymous Slugonator said...

According to TSN's numbers, the Canucks have more goals than Phoenix and Philadelphia as well.

At 2:23 a.m., December 28, 2006, Blogger Graham said...

it's pretty obvious that the northwest is the toughest division in the league. unlike any other division, there are no pushover teams and all clubs have a reasonable shot at the playoffs.

the last two western conference champs of course came from this division.

At 3:42 a.m., December 28, 2006, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

This isn't even a question worth asking, the answer is so obvious.

At 4:21 a.m., December 28, 2006, Anonymous Bohologo said...

It's an easy enough metric James: compare NW teams' winning percentage against non-division teams and compare that to their intra-divisional records. Assume near-even road/home games, and there's your answer.

At 5:37 a.m., December 28, 2006, Blogger Doogie said...

Well, if the Oilers are any indication, there's a lot of underachieving/mediocrity going on in the NW right now.

At 10:40 a.m., December 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Canucks have like what, 7-8 wins in overtime or shootouts?

Good for them and Minny that they don't use the WJC format (3 points for a reg. win, 2 for OT/SO).

At 12:53 a.m., December 29, 2006, Anonymous Darren said...

I'm not sure if this is the right math to do, but I did some math that suggests the NW teams are above average:

At 12:48 p.m., December 29, 2006, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

Darren, I'm not sure what your numbers mean. What are they?

At 2:45 p.m., December 29, 2006, Anonymous Darren said...

They're wins divided by losses. So a .500 team would be a 1.0.

At 12:46 a.m., December 31, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can understand people discounting the value of a shootout win - it would have been a tie in years past. However, for the record the canucks have one shootout win, that vs the capitals back on october 27, along with 7 overtime wins. And please don't poo-poo overtime wins. We've had them for years in the NHL and I didnt hear anyone whine about overtime wins being somehow less worthy of praise back in the 80s and 90s.


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