The Northeast division is the best division in the East, opponents have earned 0.990 points per game against the Northeast 4 teams are in the playoffs today and all 5 teams are in the top 10 of the East. The next best division is the Atlantic, opponents earn 1.09 points per game, they have 2 playoff teams and 5 teams in the top 13. The Southeast is the worst division, 1.22 points earned against them per game, they have 2 playoff teams but also the 2 worst teams in the conference.
Great news for the Sabres, as they face three Southeast opponents in a row as they try to get into the top 8, or not, the Sabres are 2-7 against the Southeast, the 2nd worst points per game rate of any team against any division in the East this year.
Winnipeg is the greatest beneficiary of the Southeast conference this year with only 11 points outside of the Southeast but 23 points within the division. Carolina would be the #2 team in points per game not counting the Southeast division and Buffalo would be #8, right on the heels of Ottawa, New Jersey and Toronto.
However the Southeast division does count, and for the next three games, the Sabres road to #8 goes through the weakest division in the conference. Despite what Montreal says, truly dominant teams give inferior teams no chance to win. The Sabres have not done that, and if the trend holds, they'll only earn 1 point in the next 3 games.
The push to playoffs begins now, and if the Sabres want to get in, they'll have to do much better than that.
Best and worst against the Northeast Division
1) Pittsburgh 16 points in 9 games
2) Carolina 14 points in 10 games
3) Boston 14 points in 11 games
6) Buffalo 16 points in 14 games
13) Philly 4 points in 7 games
14) Tampa 5 points in 9 games
15) Florida 4 points in 10 games
Best and worst against the Atlantic Division
1) Montreal 14 points in 9 games
2) Pittsburgh 18 points in 13 games
3) N Jersey 18 points in 13 games
9) Buffalo 10 points in 9 games
13) Philly 8 points in 11 games
14) Tampa 6 points in 12 games
15) Wash 5 points in 11 games
Best and worst against the Southeast Division
1) Montreal 18 points in 9 games
2) Boston 17 points in 19 games
3) Tampa 16 points in 10 games
13) Florida 12 points in 14 games
14) Carolina 6 points in 11 games
15) Buffalo 4 points in 9 games