Go West. . .For Boredom
We can argue all day long over whether the Western Conference of the NHL is better than the Eastern Conference, or vice versa.
The fact the east has produced the last three Stanley Cup champions - albeit just barely all three times - suggests that grouping is superior in the most important sense.
But there can be no argument that when it comes to exciting, creative and interesting hockey, the east is miles ahead. No wonder of the top 20 scorers in the league, 18 play in the east.
Remember the days when the Western Conference was all about flow and speed and Gretzky and offence? Remember when the trap lived in the east, along with slow, grind-it-out hockey?
Those days are gone.
Of the top eight teams out west, only Minnesota, really, is a particularly interesting team to watch.
Anaheim, even with the fabulous Teemu Selanne, is very good and brutally efficient, but also deadly dull. Dallas puts my feet to sleep. Detroit, once the most exciting, skillfull team in the game, is now a snooze to watch. Calgary is fast and energetic, but it's about defence and Mikka Kiprusoff most nights.
Even Vancouver, formerly a vibrant and often controversial team, has now gone vanilla.
Come back Brian Burke and Marc Crawford - all is forgiven.
It goes right through the conference. Dull, dull, dull. No wonder nobody wants to watch the back end of Hockey Night in Canada's Saturday double-header anymore.
In the east, by contrast, there's all sorts of entertaining stuff to watch.
Sidney Crosby, Evgeny Malkin and the Penguins. Marian Hossa, Ilya Kovalchuk and the Thrashers. Run 'n gun Montreal. Ottawa, Carolina and even Washington will make you want to watch.
Oh yes, and that Buffalo team, quite probably the flashiest team in hockey right now.
You'll notice when it came to the scheduling debate, it was all about getting Crosby and Alex Ovechkin to town.
Nobody said much about eastern cities getting the opportunity to watch Ryan Getzlaf. Or Milan Michalek. Or Ladislav Nagy.
This too, of course, will change. Excitement will come back to the west one day.
But not this season.