Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Leading Scorers In The West League

As Tom Benjamin pointed out yesterday, the east and west conferences have not played against each other. In fact the only east vs. west game so far this year was a Washington vs. Columbus game on opening day. Since then west teams and east teams have not played against each other at all.

We can look at the NHL as two separate leagues. The east league and the west league. The east league is higher scoring by close to 0.7 goals per game. this shows up in the top scorers in the NHL. Most of them play in the east league. Whenever I have gushed about a player scoring well (such as Simon Gagne, Bryan McCabe and Eric Staal) they have all been east players.

What about the west players? Why are they not top scorers? Its not as though the West Conference lacks scoring ability. Maybe its because there are better defendences in the west. If both divisions were equivalent, one would expect equal numbers of west and east players scrambled throughout the scoring leaders. I submit that the main differences in the number of points the top scorers in each division has are due mainly to the differences within their division.

Here are the top ten scorers so far in the western conference.
Name Team Games Played Goals Assists Points Standing in NHL
Pavol DemitraLA221122336
Alexander FrolovLA2212162814
Markus NaslundVan2213142715
Craig ConroyLA2211142518
Lubomir VisnovskyLA228162425
Pavel DatsyukDet229142326
Alex TanguayCol218152327
Shawn HorcoffEdm214192329
Jarome IginlaCgy2311112232
Pierre TurgeonCol208142233

So there are only ten western players in the top 33 scorers in the league. I believe this group of players are playing roughly as good as the top ten eastern scorers so far this year. They are just playing in a different league where scoring is not as easy.

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