NHL 16: San Jose Sharks to Finish Fourth in Pacific


FanSided’s Gamesided site ran a NHL 16 simulation for the upcoming NHL season and the simulation has the San Jose Sharks finishing the season fourth in the Pacific Division with a 42-30-10 record (94 points) and qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs with an eighth place finish in the Western Conference.

The simulation has the Anaheim Ducks running away with the Pacific Division crown with a 46-28-8 record (100 points). The Calgary Flames are predicted to finish second in the Pacific with a 47-30-5 record (99 points). San Jose’s opening night opponent, the Los Angeles Kings, are slated to come in just ahead of the Sharks in the standings with a 44-30-8 record (96 points).

That’s not much wiggle room between first and fourth place. The gap between the Sharks and the fifth place Vancouver Canucks is much more significant, with the simulation having Vancouver finishing 34-42-6 (74 points). The sixth place Edmonton Oilers are projected to go 27-41-14 (68 points) and the last-place Arizona Coyotes went 28-46-8 (64 points).

The Sharks were led by newly appointed captain Joe Pavelski, Brent Burns, and Tomas Hertl. Pavelski led the team in points, Burns led the team in assists, and Hertl led the team in goals scored. Burns finished with 21 goals and 33 assists on the year.

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Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau had disappointing seasons, unfortunately. Thornton finished with 10 goals and 33 assists, and Marleau scored just 29 points over the entirety of the season. With high hopes surrounding San Jose’s new goalie Martin Jones, he did not disappoint in the simulation. Jones posted a goals against average of 2.18 and a .927 save percentage.

Despite Jones’ terrific play in net, the Sharks were eliminated in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to the hands of Pekka Rinne and the Nashville Predators. Thankfully, for revenge sake, the Chicago Blackhawks were able to sweep the Nashville Predators in the second round.

The simulation ended up plotting the St. Louis Blues, representing the Western Conference, against the Eastern Conference champion Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings and Blues split the first two games of the series in Detroit before the Red Wings won both games in St. Louis to take a 3-1 series lead heading back to Joe Louis Arena. St. Louis was able to stay alive with a game five victory on the road, but the Red Wings bounced back quickly in game six and won the Stanley Cup Finals 4-2.

What do you think of the NHL 16 simulation? Do you think the San Jose Sharks will finish higher or lower than fourth in the Pacific Division? Will the Detroit Red Wings win their 12th Stanley Cup and their first since the 2007-2008 season?

What is known for sure, however, is that it sure is good that the NHL will finally be back underway. The 2015-2016 season kicks off on Wednesday night with four games on the dock, opening with the Montreal Canadiens taking on the Toronto Maple Leafs, followed by the New York Rangers against the Chicago Blackhawks and the Vancouver Canucks squaring off with the Calgary Flames, and finally capped off with the San Jose Sharks against the Los Angeles Kings.

Next: Young Talent on Sharks Roster to Determine Season