At the start to every season, each of us tries to pick which team will be the last standing the following June. The NHL has some teams we know will be in the mix at the end, but it's always unpredictable how it will shake out, and each season we see something we haven't seen before. Each time we try to predict who will win the Stanley Cup, it becomes more and more clear that none of us really know how the season will unfold.
Of course, that doesn't mean we don't try.
If there's one thing that is clear as the 2014-15 NHL season begins, it's that there are some contenders in the East and some serious depth in the West. It's easy to say the Western Conference will have more contenders, and it is true that you can't go into a slump in the West or you'll be too far behind. Some very good teams will be on the outside looking in when the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin next spring. But the Eastern Conference will be extremely competitive too for the exact same reason. The West may have more depth than the East, but those teams are still tightly bunched and evenly matched. Just as in the West, you can't afford to have a slump in the East or you might miss your chance at making a Cup run.