I have to say what I am loving is the new divisions and conferences. It seems like every single night there is a great match up between a team from the west and a team from the east. Maybe this is because of the new schedule? Who knows? In the image above you can see the four new divisions and the teams who play in each respective division.
How does the schedule breakdown differently you wonder? Here you go! There are still two conferences West and East but now there are only 2 divisions within each conference. In the Eastern Conference you have the Metropolitan and Atlantic divisions and in the Western Conference you have the Pacific and Central divisions. Each team still plays 82 games a season.
The Western Conference
Teams within their division play 29 against each other
5 games vs 5 teams = 25 games (home and away games are alternated each year for fairness since 3 home games and 2 away games would happen every year)
4 games vs 1 team = 4 (again rotated every year for fairness)
Teams within conference but different division play 21 games
3 games vs 7 teams = 21 (again rotated yearly for fairness)
Teams play teams in the other conference a total of 32 games
2 games vs 16 teams = 32 (1 home and 1 away the perfect balance)
The Eastern Conference
Teams within their division they play 30 times
5 games vs 2 teams =10
4 games vs 5 teams = 20 (again rotated yearly for fairness)
Within conference but other division they play 24 games
3 games vs each team =24 (again home and away games are rotated yearly)
Teams in the east play teams in the west 28 times
2 games vs each team = 28 games (1 home and 1 away, the perfect balance again)
Wow, that can get exhausting to read! Now I know what you are probably thinking? How can that possibly be fair come playoff time? Let's leave that for a different day but the NHL found a way they believe to be fair for the playoffs.
Here are a few little fun facts for the week ladies:
Pittsburgh Penguin Sidney Crosby leads the pack with the most points (goals and assists combined) with 23
Alexander Steen of the St. Louis Blues has the most goals with 12
Vancouver Canuck Captain Henrik Sedin has the most assists with 16
Dustin Penner has a +/- of +12 meaning he is on the ice a lot when his team, the Anaheim Ducks score!
Newly minted Buffalo Sabre Matt Moulson has the most power play goals with 5
Vancouver Canucks Brad Richardson has the top spot in short handed goals with 2
And finally Pittsburgh Penguin Marc-Andre Fleury has the most wins with 10 (maybe that is because Sid the Kid always has the puck at the other end of the ice helping to score goals……..?)
Below are a two of the goals the Vancouver Canucks scored Saturday in their 4-0 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs! Enjoy