Where art thou, VoteBots, that thou forget'st so long, To speak of that which gives thee Pacific all its might?
- William Shakespeare
And boy was he right. Let me tell you about a little poll on NHL.com right now. Our VoteBots, which so valiantly got 3 of our players into the All-Star Game, are failing us. And the rest of the Pacific is getting rammed too,
but their fanbase voted honestly VoteBots suck, apparently. And to think San Jose is like right in Silicon Valley, hacker central. Where's Noah Wyle when you need him?
Anyway, so there's this poll which asks fans:
What is the strongest division this season?
Not as elegant as Shakespeare, certainly. I can't help but call this East Coast Bias, but it's on the part of fans, so I can't blame the NHL for it. But I can blame them for asking it, I guess. Either way, we all know the true question it is asking is probably "Which Division is your favorite team in?"
Anyway, I've put together some stuff graphs to help visualize the results. And just to make things easy (meaning I think it randomly worked out this way) the Western Conference makes up the left side of the pie, and the East makes up the right side.
As you may or may not be able to tell, the Atlantic division is winning the poll, with the Northeast close behind. The Pacific is at a mediocre 4th place. But I'm a skeptical person, and I wanted to see if these poll results were what Penn & Teller would call "Bullshit."
So I added it up, and carried the two, and decided to take a look at which division had the highest number of Points per Games Played. These were the results.
Why, that's weird, the Pacific on this graph appears to be... 2nd place? And it got a measly 4th on the last graph? BULLSHIT! And then there's this asshole.
Actually I have no asshole to show you, but it follows any statement so well.
Now the Sharks do tip the scales a little bit in favor of the Pacific, but even if they were a team of mere mortals, they probably would only have 10 points less or so, and to take them out of the equation we'd also have to take the Bruins out because they're really good, and Detroit out because they're Detroit, etc, etc. So don't cry to me that the reason the Pacific is 2nd is because of the Sharks.
Then I took a look at something the poll doesn't ask about, but which could be a related question. Which division is the tightest? Ugh, that is going to get annoying fast, so I'll avoid the word tightest as much as possible.
As is stated, bigger slices of the pie are "looser" divisions. The results were determined by taking the Standard Deviation of the Points earned, per team, divided by the number of games played. Basically the Standard Deviation of the 2nd graph's results. As you may or may not be able to tell, in this scenario, the Pacific actually is 4th. The Northwest achieves 1st here because it simultaneously has the worst #1 team and the best #5 team out of all of the divisions.
Damn Eastern fans... Notice the Atlantic. Voted by most to be the strongest division, but is actually one of the worst. You could say that the fans might be talking about inner-division competitiveness, but as the third graph's results explain that away easily.
I guess if there's something we can learn from all of this, it's that we can all agree that the Southeast is terrible.