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01-27-2013, 07:54 PM
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What if the Detroit Red Wings Were in the Eastern Conference (1995-2004)?

Between 1995 and 2004, the rivalry between the Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche was one of the fiercest in professional sports and when the two teams met in the playoffs, it was arguably more exciting than the year’s Stanley Cup finals match and the winner of that series usually went on to win the Stanley Cup.

However, Detroit is one of the few teams in the Western Conference located in Eastern Time Zone (usually it was the lone WC/ETZ team that qualified for the playoffs). What if the Red Wings were in the Eastern Conference, leading to the possibility of a Red Wings/Avalanche Stanley Cup Final? How often would the two of them have met? Would the Eastern Conference “Cinderella Teams” ( ’96 Florida, ’98 Washington, ’99 Buffalo, ’02 Carolina) have advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals? Would New Jersey still have won three Stanley Cups with Detroit in the same conference or would a more competitive Eastern Conference result in fewer Red Wing Stanley Cups? Would other teams have emerged out of the west like Dallas or St Louis (or western dark horse)?

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