True blowouts — the kind that make you cringe a little with embarrassment, even if you're cheering for the winning team — are increasingly rare in the low-scoring NHL, but they still happen. This season, there have been three games in which one team won by six goals or more: The Blues beat the Panthers 7-0, the Sharks embarrassed the Rangers 9-2, and the Ducks shut out that same New York team 6-0.
Notice anything they have in common?
This NHL season began with a shift in the balance of power. The league introduced a divisional realignment that moved the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets east and sent the Winnipeg Jets west. In addition, this year saw the return of inter-conference play.1 Fans were left wondering how those changes would affect the playoff races and whether one conference would emerge with an edge over the other.
Two weeks into the season, it would appear that we already have an answer on that second question: The West is better — and it's not close.