Coyotes GM Maloney: “Unlike every other division in the NHL, there are no weak teams in the Pacific”

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Prior to advancing to the first all-Pacific Western Conference final in league history, Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney took some time to rep his division.

From an email to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:

“Unlike every other division in the NHL, there are no weak teams in the Pacific. Look at the two Pacific Division clubs who missed the playoffs: after a poor start to the season, Anaheim had one of the best records in the league for 3-4 months and only faded at the very end of the season. Dallas won 11 games in a row in March and barely missed the postseason.

“You could certainly argue the Atlantic and Central divisions were strong this year. However, top to bottom, you never go into a game against a Pacific Division opponent expecting an easy night, which speaks volumes to the division’s strength and depth.”

Maloney’s got a point…sorta.

Balance was a big part of the Pacific this year. It was the only division to have three 90-plus point teams and none with less than 80, though the Atlantic came awfully close (the Rangers, Pens, Flyers and Devils all were 100-plus and the Isles had 79.)

Of course, head-to-head matchups tell a different story.

Atlantic vs. Pacific this year: 18-8-6
Pacific vs. Atlantic: 14-10-8

Central vs. Pacific this year: 56-39-5
Pacific vs. Central: 44-47-9