The Big Question: Is the East just as good as the West now?


The Big Question will be a weekly feature on PHT where we ask a question, provide some background and ask you, the reader, to weigh in with your opinions.

Today’s question: Is the East just as good as the West now?

For years the Western Conference has looked down its nose at the East. However, the balance of power may have finally shifted. At the very least, there’s reason to believe the NHL’s two conferences are on par with each other.

Heading into Monday’s action, the top eight teams in the East are 29-12-10 against the West while the top eight teams in the West are 23-11-7 against the East.

Pretty similar.

All told, there are seven teams in the East with a winning record against the West and seven teams in the West with a winning record against the East.


Personally, if I had to pick 10 teams with the best chance to win the Stanley Cup, I’d go with Pittsburgh, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, NY Rangers, Buffalo, Chicago, San Jose, Detroit and Vancouver. That’s six teams from the East, four from the West.

You might have a different list, but it absolutely has to include at least three teams from the East – Pittsburgh, Boston and Philadelphia.

It’s not just the top clubs that define a conference either. Another thing that’s made the West so tough in recent years has been the relative strength of the conference’s lower echelon. However, based on today’s standings, four of the NHL’s worst six teams are from the West – Colorado, Calgary, Anaheim and Columbus.

In conclusion, the days of “well, we’d have made the playoffs if we were in the East” seem to be over. Agree? Disagree?

Kassian sent to hospital after being involved in car accident

Scott Darling, Zack Kassian

Montreal Canadiens winger Zack Kassian was involved in a car accident early Sunday morning.

According to the Montreal Gazette, Kassian was a passenger in a vehicle that ran into a tree.

The Canadiens have since confirmed the incident took place and have also mentioned that Kassian was taken to hospital.

A club official described his injuries as being “minor”.

“(Kassian) was all bloodied up and stuff. He was in a daze,” said Steve Petrenko, a resident of the street on which the accident took place. “He had a hard time walking, and he almost took a fall.”

This story will be updated when more information is made available.

Habs and Fleischmann agree on one-year deal

Tomas Fleischmann,
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The Montreal Canadiens announced that they have signed Tomas Fleischmann to a one-year contract.

According to TVA Sports, the deal is worth $750,000.

The 31-year-old was invited to camp on a professional tryout, but his preseason performance showed that he could still contribute at the NHL level.

Fleischmann found instant chemistry with new linemates David Desharnais and Dale Weise, and it looks like the trio will open the regular season as Montreal’s third line.

The veteran winger started  last season with Florida, but was traded to Anaheim on Feb. 28. He had a hard time cracking the Duck’s lineup and was a healthy scratch in most of their playoff games last spring.

Fleischmann scored eight goals and 27 points in 66 games last season.