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How many teams in the West are better than the Rangers?


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Okay, as the season winds down, one more swipe at the mediocrity that is the Eastern conference.


 Two Western conference clubs moved East this year, both made the playoffs. Since 2009 when the Penguins won, in the five seasons since only the Bruins have won a cup out of the East, well actually it was more a loss by the Canucks than a win by the Bruins. But anyway, the West after this year has won 4 of the past 5. Assuming a sweep tonight, the record in the finals over the past 5 years is West 19 wins and the East 10.


  Where would the Rangers rank in the West? Or more to the point, how many teams from the West would have defeated the Rangers this postseason?


1. Kings. Obviously.

2. Hawks. Equally obviously.

3. Sharks. With ease.

4. Blues. Miller and all.

5. Ducks. Hiller and all.

6. Wild. Bryz and all.

7. Avalanche. Probably.


  So to my way of thinking, the Eastern conference is way, way behind the West, 6 possibly even 7 teams from the West would have beaten the Rangers who clearly were the best in the East.


  Look at how the Western teams are built, almost universally through the draft, the Kings, Hawks, Sharks, Blues, Ducks, and Avalanche are all built of homegrown skilled young players. Occasionally you see a Gaborik or Hossa, but more often than not teams from the West are homegrown.

  The East is filled with aging veterans a Vinnie, Iginla, Alfredsson,, Jagr who are brought in to hopefully catch lightning in a bottle. It is an oversimplification but the fact is the West is miles ahead of the East in young talent. The East tries to hold on for dear life with the old guys.


  Tampa is an example of an Eastern team building by the Western conference example. They are the team I would look to that has the best shot at breaking the grip the West is developing over the East. Beyond that, the East is composed of mostly aging, flawed clubs with glaring holes that compete with like teams for the right to get killed in the finals by whoever survives the gauntlet in the West.


  There are a dozen teams in the East who feel they are a player or two from competing. For the most part, they would be hard pressed to even make the playoffs in the West, with the exception of only a few teams. Boston, Pittsburgh. Tampa is a comer. The rest are all the same animal.

  And really,what is wrong with parity? What is wrong with Philadelphia or New Jersey occasionally sneaking into the finals because of parity?

  Would you rather be in a conference where if you are say, the Wild, the deck is seriously stacked against you from coming out of the West because of teams such as Chicago and the Kings and more. The Wild are built to compete but the West is so loaded.

  Or would you rather be the Canadiens, solid but flawed, too small, but any year they could come out of the East?



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I do wonder if the Rangers would have beaten the Bruins.  I don't think they would have.  I honestly think the Rangers "snuck in" in a very similar way that the Flyers did in 2010.  You beat who you play, and you have to give the Rangers props for overcoming a 1-3 series deficit against the Pens, but...


They went 7 games against the Flyers. It really should not have gone that long.  Not against a "meh" team that was playing without its starting goalie for the first two.   Props for comeback againstthe Pens, but that was more about the Pens imploding than the Rags beating them.   And honestly, the Canadiens won their mini-cup when they beat Boston and played like it.  Additionally, they, too, lost their starting goalie and arguably their MVP.


All that said, your question is still valid.


There were 8 playoff teams in the west?   At least 7 are better.  That doesn't mean that I think all seven beat the Rangers.   I don't think the Sharks can beat their dead Aunt Mary in the playoffs.  Until they win, they lose to an AHL team in my book.


Same with the Blues.  I have zero respect for that franchise and, like the Flyers in some respects, they will find a way to piss it away.  This year, that was done at the trade deadline.


I wonder about Dallas.  I actually think it's even money that the Stars beat the Rangers in a seven game series.   So for me:



Black Hawks--in a walk

Colorado Avalanche---yes, yes, yes

Sharks--Not until they show me. 

Blues--Not until they show me


Ducks--Dangerously close to my feelings on SJ & STL, but sure, why not?

Stars--going to say yes but this might be a long series.

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Honestly I still think the Rags are the third best team in the east. Maybe 4th. I think they got through the Pens on the emotion of St.Louis' mother passing away, then the Habs because Lundqvist continued to play off his rocker and they're very even teams. I think if the Pens had a better coach that doesn't happen. A combination of events yes, but its not surprising to me that the Kings have dominated this series.

The West is a tougher place thanks to Chicago and LA. I think the Pens and Bruins are maybe half a step below them. Below that they're all a mixed box of chocolates.

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