December 18, 2008

NHL Western Conference, Pacific Division: Map and Team Profiles.

Filed under: Hockey-NHL, pre-realignm't — admin @ 8:07 am

This post begins my series on National Hockey League Divisions.   Each team’s current home and away jerseys are prominently shown;  third jerseys and secondary logos are also shown.   Within each teams’ rectangular box,  there are two smaller boxes…the upper box shows notable uniforms and logos from the past.   The box in the lower left shows each NHL team’s minor-league affiliates.   The entire 30-team NHL,  by divisions,  is shown at the top. 

The NHL is divided into two 15-team conferences (the Eastern and Western Conferences),  each with three 5-team divisions.  The current schedule has the teams playing fellow division members 6 times,  and fellow conference members 4 times,  with the remaining 18 games played versus the 15 teams in the other conference  {see this,  from a hockey blog on the New York Rangers called The}.  

8 teams from each conference qualify for the playoffs,  which includes the 3 division-winning teams plus the 5 other teams with the best records in each conference.   The NHL used to be criticized for having too many teams qualifying for the playoffs:  teams with losing records often qualified,  25 years ago or so.   That is no longer the case,  as expansion has swelled the ranks to where a team almost definitely has to have a winning record to make it to the post-season.   Of course,  hockey purists might insist that this is no improvement,  as the 30-team NHL has watered down the talent-level.   But with the influx of overseas talent currently in the league,  hopefully this is not a problem.   Hockey’s real hurdle has always been the lack of major-media-outlet exposure,  but it seems that the internet,  and fans’ ability to get NHL games and news there,  has allowed the whole professional game to find a comfortable niche.   The biggest problem with hockey’s ability to attract new fans (or lack thereof) has always been the fact that it doesn’t translate well onto the television screen.   There is nothing like seeing an NHL game in person.   It is an intense thing,  viewing the precision and fluidity of the players as they glide across the ice,  engaged in a game that melds graceful athletic prowess with sudden episodes of brutal physical collision.    

The current conference/divisonal set-up dates back to the 1998-1999 season;  the current team alignment dates back to the 2000-2001 season,  when the last two expansion teams,  the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Minnesota Wild,  were added.

The Pacific Division has two teams that have won the Stanley Cup:  the Dallas Stars,  in 1999,  and the Anaheim Ducks,  in 2007.

Thanks to site  {Click here}.   Thanks to shop {Click here}.   Thanks to the contributors to the pages on NHL teams on Wikipedia  {Click here}.   Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page  {Click here}.   Thanks to  {Click here}.

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