When the Anaheim Ducks outscored and out-hit the opposition on the way to the Stanley Cup last season, they re-ignited the "rock'em, sock'em" hockey trend.
In last year's final, the Ducks amassed 64 minutes in penalties to the Ottawa Senators' 54, winning the Cup in five games.
But Anaheim didn't just turn it up for the Cup final. Throughout the 2007 Stanley Cup playoffs the Ducks racked up 155 penalties for 365 minutes.
In contrast, the Senators were in the penalty box 117 times for 240 minutes.
The Ducks seem to be at their snarly worst again this year and a couple of Western Conference rivals are trying to follow suit.
As it stands, the Western Conference is surpassing the Eastern Conference on a number of levels. Not only are Western teams topping the standings, they are also among the league's elite in the fighting department.
The top three teams in the league's standings are all from the Western Conference—Detroit, Dallas, and San Jose.
Taking a glance at the penalty minute stats shows that seven out of the top 10 teams are from the Western Conference with the Anaheim Ducks as the league's most penalized team. Western Conference rivals Vancouver and Calgary are second and third respectively.
Not surprisingly, according to the Web site hockeyfights.com, the Ducks lead the league in fighting majors with 65.
Dominating the East
Last season in inter-conference play, the Western Conference dominated, posting a 82–48–20 (win–loss–overtime loss) record in 150 games. On the flipside, the Eastern Conference went 68–63–19.
The trend continues this year as Western teams have tallied a record of 80–47–13 against Eastern teams while the East has gone 60–65–15 so far in 2007–08.
The Western Conference is the more aggressive of the two conferences. Having Anaheim as a conference rival probably makes teams play more physically, but whatever the case may be the Western Conference is where the more successful teams are to be found.