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.
Note: All standings stats are based on figures taken BEFORE tonight’s games.
Earlier tonight, we took a look at some of the Eastern Conference quirks and totals. Now let’s go out West.
Most games played: 10 – Chicago.
Least games played: 6 – Phoenix, Edmonton, San Jose (although the Sharks will play their seventh game against Calgary tonight).
Strongest teams at home
The West isn’t as weird as the East, although it does have an odd mix of teams who are either really strong at home but weak on the road or vice versa. The Detroit Red Wings are looking like the Red Wings of old – at least early – though, with a league-best 5-1-1 record. Nashville isn’t far behind, though, as they’re 2-0-3 at home and are on the verge of going 3-0 on the road.
Here are the teams who depend heavily on home cooking.
- St. Louis (4-0-0 at home; 1-2-0 on the road)
- Vancouver (3-0-0 at home; 0-3-1 on the road)
- Anaheim (2-0-1 at home; 1-5-0 on the road)
Conversely, here are the teams who might want to consider staying at a hotel rather than the comfort of their own homes if these trends continue.
- Columbus (1-3-0 at home; 3-0-0 on the road)
- San Jose (0-2-1 at home; 3-0-0 on the road)
After a promising 2-0 start, the Edmonton Oilers are plummeting back to earth. They’re on the worst losing streak in the NHL right now (four games), allowing four goals or more in each defeat. Overall, the Oilers have been outscored 19-8 in those losses.
As I said in the Eastern Conference piece, it’s far too early to draw too many conclusions from these trends. Still, it’s interesting to see which teams are getting valuable road wins and which ones are letting crucial home points slip away.
The Columbus Blue Jackets, in particular, will need to play better at home to avoid record low turnouts this season.