Sharks Gameday: Tale of Two Leagues

We'll talk about this later.

The East is bad. The West is good. Michael Jackson's video game was GREAT.

The NHL's Eastern Conference is less of a group of NHL teams than it is a collection of car accidents wearing uniforms.

It's insane. It's ridiculous. It's offensive.

You've all heard this a hundred times by now, but it's only getting more clear as the season goes on. Teams that are currently out of the playoffs in the West have enough points to be on the top of the East. Games between teams from the different conferences frequently look like Olympic-level mismatches.

I wanted to determine exactly HOW dramatic the difference in talent is between the West and the East, so I created a computer simulation to do just that. In my simulation I imagined that the West and the East split apart to form two separate (and unequal) leagues, and that they remained like this for 50 years. What would happen in this scenario? With all the good teams in the West playing each other constantly and forcing the talent level higher and higher, and all the garbage in the East rotting and rolling downhill?

Here are some of the highlights from my simulation:

In the year 2015

In the West

After the Oilers trade for a decent goalie and some defense, the Flames are left as the only bad team in the conference. Calgary proceeds to lose 83 games in the season.

In the East

Sidney Crosby scores 300 points.

2025

In the West

Slapshots routinely break the sound barrier.

In the East

A terminally ill child gets a chance to play for the Florida Panthers for one period thanks to the Make a Wish Foundation. He scores five goals despite the best efforts of the Buffalo Sabres to stop him.

2030

In the West

Lockout.

In the East

Lockout.

2035

An inter-conference All Star game is held for the first time in decades, with the best players from the West vs. the best players from the East. None of the players from the East survive the contest.

2051

In the West

Superstar Horatio Kopitar leads the Seattle Kings to the Stanley Cup.

In the East

The season is cancelled after more than half the players in the league are incapacitated by gout.

2063

In the West

The entire Western Conference vanishes in a flash of brilliant violet light as the players ascend to a higher state of existence.

In the East

Controversy erupts when it's revealed that the Eastern MVP is actually just a big rock.



Prediction: San Jose wins 66 degrees to 48 degrees.

Video Gamery: My 60th-favorite video game is Michael Jackson's Moonwalker. YES it was a real game, and it was actually a GOOD game. In it you play Michael Jackson going around levels inspired by his music videos, fighting guys through the use of magic powers and dancing, shaking off zombies and women who tried to grab you, rescuing children (shut up!), and sometimes turning into a killer robot when you caught a falling star.

No, I didn't make any of that up.

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