Share This Page

Penguins best vs. Western Conference

| Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, 4:30 p.m.

If the Penguins are to retain top seeding in the Eastern Conference and home-ice advantage in the playoffs, they'll have to earn it by vanquishing juggernaut teams in the Western Conference.

Nineteen of the Penguins' 39 remaining regular-season games come against the West, which is dominating Eastern Conference competition this season. Such a grueling schedule would concern most Eastern teams, but the Penguins excel when they play the best in the West.

Eastern Conference teams have earned a mere 48.1 percent of total possible points when squaring off against the Western Conference. Just four Eastern squads would make the playoffs if they had to switch conferences.

The Penguins are one of those teams, however, and they carry a 7-2-0 record against the Western Conference into Sunday's game against the Winnipeg Jets. Among Eastern teams, the Penguins boasts the highest points percentage against the West.

Matching up

Team Points pct. vs. West

Penguins 77.8

Lightning 73.3

Bruins 72.7

Maple Leafs 55.9

Canadiens 52.8

Source: NHL.com

Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is shutting down Western teams, allowing just 1.74 goals per game (2.15 goals allowed against the Eastern Conference).

The Penguins also are getting a boost from Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz, who ramp up their already-impressive scoring output when taking on the Western Conference.

Player, team West East

Sidney Crosby, Penguins 1.78 1.35

Chris Kunitz, Penguins 1.22 1.03

Alex Ovechkin, Capitals 1.20 1.00

John Tavares, Islanders 1.19 1.04

Kyle Okposo, Islanders 1.19 0.88

Source: ESPN.com

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.