Once again the NHL has undergone divisional realignment, the Eastern Conference is now home to 16 teams over the Metropolitan and Atlantic divisions and the Western Conference has 14 teams from the Pacific and Central divisions.
This has lead sports betting fans to ponder whether the balance of power has changed with the new unbalanced NHL divisional format. It is often claimed by fans that the Eastern Conference have an advantage when it comes to team travel time. However, regardless of this, the Western Conference has won five out of the last seven Stanley Cup Championships.
With the new alignment teams in the east will travel around 67,000 miles less than those in the west this season. Perhaps because of this it is an eastern team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, which are current favourites to win the Stanley Cup with odds of 6/1.
Teams in the Western Conference are separated by considerable distances despite the reshuffle. Teams come from all over the place, Calgary, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Chicago and Nashville. The unenviable San Jose Sharks will travel over 57,000 miles during this NHL season.
However, despite the long journeys, teams from the Western Conference are second and third favourites to win the Stanley Cup, the Chicago Blackhawks at 15/2 and the San Jose Sharks at 10/1.