NHL Pacific Division: 2015-16 Projected Standings

By Andrew Facemyer
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Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Fifth Place: San Jose Sharks

The Sharks are a very talented hockey team up front, but they just haven’t been able to put anything together come playoff time. Their management has turned them into a joke of a franchise over the past couple years, and the end doesn’t seem anywhere in sight. They’ve chosen to put their faith in two unproven goaltenders behind what they think is an improved defense, but the reality is that after Brent Burns, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and (maybe) Justin Braun, this defense is incredibly inexperienced, and the talent isn’t there. The signing of Paul Martin may help on the experience side, but this is a guy who’s just trying to get a nice paycheck to end his career. Given what we all know is happening in that front office, he honestly can’t be there thinking the Sharks can win anything.

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Mandatory Credit: Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports

Fourth Place: Edmonton Oilers

If Connor McDavid is for real, then we may see something we haven’t seen in years: the Oilers fighting for a playoff spot. The talent on this team is too much to ignore now. The Oilers used to be where talented draft picks go to die, but that terrible reign should be over.  After drafting McDavid, they added a solid defenseman in Andrej Sekera, and they added a reliable goaltender in Cam Talbot. While some of Talbot’s recent success can be attributed to playing behind one of the best defenses in the league, he made some ridiculous plays that no slouch could make. They may not have much depth, but neither does some of their competition. They’re making moves in the right direction, and that could just give them the kickstart to realize their potential.

Next: Who's Nos. 3 & 2?

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