So the Red Wings only have 50 points and are currently 3 points out of a play-off spot. Ninth in the West. I wonder where they would be in the Eastern Conference...
Right now in the East, 50 points is good enough for 6th place. Jeez Louise Carolina has twenty-nine freakin' points. Only one team from the South East Division is in the play-offs right now (Washington).
Well maybe the East is just as strong as the West, they just beat each other up...right? Wrong:
So the Blackhawks completely own the Eastern Conference right now. San Jose, Calgary, Vancouver, and even Colorado have extremely strong records against teams from the East.
Detroit has 12 out of a possible 20 points. Even Columbus and Dallas took half of the possible points up for grabs against the East. Only Anaheim, St. Louis, and Edmonton have straight-up losing records (based on points available) against the Eastern Conference.
So basically, the Eastern Conference (the one that geographically, Detroit should be playing in) is much, much weaker than the Western Conference.
Hence: Eastern Conference = Leastern Confernce. Western Conference = Bestern Conference.