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Top regular season teams, calendar year 2006

With the Sharks and Stars starting the season with lofty 5-1 records, the Ducks will need two points tonight against the Red Wings to keep pace with the Pacific Division leaders.

And as much as I like bashing Detroit, you gotta hand it to them, they are a regular season monster, weak Central Division or not. Here is a listing of the best regular-season records (.600 and above) since January 1, 2006:

Ever since last year, when the NHL adopted its division-heavy schedule, there’s been a lot of talk about "What’s the toughest division in hockey?" Frankly, I’m not that concerned about it; I think it’s generally a mechanism to make fans feel better about where their team sits in the overall standings.

However, if you were to make that judgment, what would it be based on?
a) The best team from the division (a Central argument)?
b) The worst team from the division (a Northwest argument)?
c) The most dominant teams (a Pacific argument)?

Let’s hear it, people: what is the toughest division in hockey and why?

Team

GP W-L-O Win% GF/G GA/G Dif/G

Detroit

49

35-8-6

.776

3.55

2.33

1.22

New Jersey

48

33-11-4

.729

2.92

2.40

0.52

Dallas

51

34-12-5

.716

2.92

2.51

0.41

San Jose

51

33-12-6

.706

3.43

2.67

0.76

Buffalo

49

32-13-4

.694

3.61

2.73

0.88

Anaheim

49

29-12-8

.673

3.24

2.65

0.59

Carolina

51

31-15-5

.657

3.31

3.06

0.25

Atlanta

49

29-17-3

.622

3.35

2.94

0.41