here's some data I calculated for the new conferences
first three columns: average number of point of teams in the conference per year
middle three columns: average number of points for all except two best conference teams (best in this 3 year span)
last three columns: average number of points for all "non-playoff teams" (3 or 4 worst team in the conference throughout 2009, 2010 and 2011 seasons)
B is the conference that can potentially produce most diversity in terms of playoff teams. Wings and Hawks look like safe bets but remaining 2 seats can be filled by almost any other team. D on the other hand looks like fixed choice.
as for conference "toughness"... D and A look like strongest of all, with the advantage to D.
now let's take a look at another set of data - a score of playoff success of conference teams:
PO total - scores for all teams in conference
PO poteams - scores for 4 best playoff teams in conference
first score is in the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 model (1 point for making playoffs, 2 for winning 1st round, ... , 5 for SC champ)
second score is for 1, 3, 6, 10, 15 model (a model that emphasizes deeper playoff runs)
analysis: teams in conference D had most success. for B it's the Wings and Hawks but these both teams run up the score significantly. for the rest... C looks like Bruins title to lose and A is Canucks vs Sharks, whoever is better at the moment.
in short: it looks like West could be Wings/Hawks against Sharks/Canucks, while in East it's Bruins against whomever survives D...
take it FWIW and don't read to much into the data...
Edited by akustyk, 06 December 2011 - 06:37 PM.