The NBA seems to have the same teams in the playoffs every year.
In the NHL, every team has a shot. You could go from being among the worst teams in the Eastern Conference one year, barely sneaking into the playoffs, to being among the NHL's elite next season.
Exhibit A: The Boston Bruins.
Now, through the first few games of this new NHL season, the Bruins have limped to a 3-4 record, with their most recent loss to the perennial laughingstocks of the NHL, the Phoenix Coyotes.
It just goes to show you that in the NHL, a team can go from being the worst team in the league one year to barely sneaking into the playoffs the next to being among the NHL's elite the next season. Not to mention, there's always the possibility they'll go right back to where they started.
Teams also have a virtually equal spread of player talent. For every Dany Heatley on the Sharks, there's a Sidney Crosby on the Penguins.
For every Dion Phaneuf on the Flames, there's a Zdeno Chara on the Bruins.
For every Alex Ovechkin on the Capitals, there's a Patrick Kane on the Blackhawks.
For every Zach Parise on the Devils, there's a Ryan Getzlaf on the Ducks.