NHL Pacific Division: 2015-16 Projected Standings

By Andrew Facemyer
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Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Third Place: Los Angeles Kings

The Kings have had a tough year. They started the 2014-15 season with Slava Voynov’s domestic abuse case. Then, Jarret Stoll gets caught with cocaine and ecstasy in Las Vegas. Then, Mike Richards gets caught with oxycodone going into Canada. After a lackluster 2014-15 season in which they missed the playoffs, they lost 2014 Conn Smythe winner Justin Williams to Washington. For a team that boasts the likes of Dustin Brown and now Milan Lucic, we shouldn’t be short of cheap shots to witness. Throw in Drew Doughty complaining about a call the ref made six years ago, and you have a Kings’ season that looks exactly like last year. The only difference is that this division has gotten worse. The Kings should be able to take advantage of this behind Anze Kopitar and Jonathan Quick, who we should all expect to rebound after both had a somewhat inconsistent season last year.

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Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Second Place: Calgary Flames

The Flames surprised everyone last year by not only making the playoffs but getting to the second round. This year should be no different. They have the most offensively talented group of defensemen in the league, and they’re no slouch on the defensive side either. If you combine that with the speed and skill of their young forwards such as Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau, this team can only get better from here. If Jonas Hiller can perform well in net, there is no reason this team can’t go far into the playoffs not only this year but for years to come.

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