Every now and then, we’ll take a look at each conference’s standings to see if there are any trends or quirks that explain why some teams are failing and others are overachieving. Obviously, these results will reveal bigger truths once we advance later into this season … but it’s still fun and interesting to take a peek at bigger picture numbers.
Click here for the Eastern Conference version from earlier this afternoon.
Click here for last month’s Western Conference standings post.
Let’s take a look at some of the trends – both good and bad – in the tough as nails West.
The Coyotes and Blue Jackets are the hottest teams in the West, but the Red Wings aren’t far behind
Phoenix owns the longest winning streak in the NHL (seven games), but Columbus has a strong winning streak (five) and are the best over the last 10 games (8-2-0). The Red Wings aren’t far behind, though, with a 7-1-2 record in their last 10.
Detroit might face a bumpy road
That being said, don’t be surprised if the Red Wings struggle a bit here and there. They played 12 (9-1-2) of their 19 games at Joe Louis Arena so far, so they’ll have to play five more games away from home the rest of this season.
Both the Oilers and Predators faced tough starts to the season, with eight games at home and 12 on the road. They also will get more “at bats,” having played in only 20 games.
Reason to relax
The Kings have been a bit flat lately (5-5-0 in their last 10), but they have played nine games at home and 12 on the road. Considering the fact that Los Angeles is 8-1-0 at home, those three games could be the difference they need in the tough Pacific.
Reason for concern
San Jose and Minnesota are on the flip side of Nashville and Edmonton; each team played 12 games at home and only eight on the road so far. At least that means they’ve only played in 20, but they’re both hit-or-miss even with an advantageous situation.
Acceptably not very good at losing
The Panthers and Blue Jackets are the only two teams in the NHL without an overtime or shootout loss, but you cannot complain about Columbus. That’s because they’ve won five more games than Florida.
The Oilers might be worse than the Islanders
Edmonton has more points (14 to 13), more wins (five to four) and played in one less game than the Long Island squad. That being said, the Oilers have been losing a little worse; they’ve been outscored by 33 goals as opposed to the Islanders’ -28.
So, there you go. We’ll see how things shake out over the next month in both conferences. Now eat some more turkey.