NHL standings 2013: The West is still the best

Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

A weekly look at the NHL landscape. In case you were wondering, the Western Conference is still better than the East.

Much has been made of the disparity between the Eastern and Western Conference this season, as the East has a combined record of 74-95-27 against Western counterparts. That difference is further amplified when comparing the meager Metropolitan Division with the Central grouping.

The Winnipeg Jets currently claim ownership to the cellar position in the Central and are 10 points out of a playoff spot. However, if the newly realigned club played in the Metropolitan Division it would only be two points out of a playoff spot. The Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators also sit on the outside of the Western Conference playoff race, but would both have enough points to qualify for a spot if they played in the Metropolitan Division.

The Pacific Division is even more difficult than the Central given that the grouping has five clubs with 40 points or more, which would result in playoff positions for all five teams if they played in either division in the Eastern Conference. Even the Calgary Flames would still be in the hunt for the playoffs if they played in the Metropolitan.

Ultimately, this means some pretty good teams are probably going to miss out on the playoffs in the West. Here's a look at the divisional standings in the NHL entering Monday night:

Atlantic
GP Record Points
Boston Bruins 33 22-9-2 46
Montreal Canadiens 35 20-12-3 43
Tampa Bay Lightning 33 19-11-3 41
Detroit Red Wings * 35 15-11-9 39
Toronto Maple Leafs * 34 17-14-3 37
Ottawa Senators 34 13-15-6 32
Florida Panthers 34 12-17-5 29
Buffalo Sabres 33 7-23-3 17

Metropolitan
GP Record Points
Pittsburgh Penguins 34 23-10-1 47
Washington Capitals 33 18-12-3 39
Carolina Hurricanes 34 14-13-7 35
New York Rangers 34 16-17-1 33
Columbus Blue Jackets 33 14-15-4 32
Philadelphia Flyers 33 14-15-4 32
New Jersey Devils 34 13-15-6 32
New York Islanders 34 9-19-6 24

Central
GP Record Points
Chicago Blackhawks 36 24-7-5 53
St. Louis Blues 31 22-6-3 47
Colorado Avalanche 31 21-9-1 43
Minnesota Wild * 35 19-11-5 43
Dallas Stars 31 15-11-5 35
Nashville Predators 33 16-14-3 35
Winnipeg Jets 34 14-15-5 33
Pacific
Anaheim Ducks 35 23-7-5 51
Los Angeles Kings 34 22-8-4 48
San Jose Sharks 33 20-7-6 46
Vancouver Canucks * 35 20-10-5 45
Phoenix Coyotes 32 18-9-5 41
Calgary Flames 33 13-15-5 31
Edmonton Oilers 35 11-21-3 25

Playoff Picture

Top three teams in each division make the playoffs.

* denotes wild card playoff position.

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Charlie Coyle makes a little kid’s day

Opinion: It’s time for a new direction in Nashville

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