How the 2020-21 NHL season would look under the normal alignment

Victor Hedman #77 of the Tampa Bay Lightning (center). (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Victor Hedman #77 of the Tampa Bay Lightning (center). (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
4 of 4
Leon Draisaitl (29)
Leon Draisaitl #29 of the Edmonton Oilers. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

Pacific Division

The Pacific Division, comprised mostly of the current West Division while including a few North Division teams, would not be very strong. The Edmonton Oilers would lead the division based on points, but based on point percentage, the Vegas Golden Knights would clearly be the class of this division. Overall, this division would essentially be Vegas, Edmonton, and the average to below average teams from the North and West.

1. Edmonton Oilers (18-11-0, 36 points)

2. Vegas Golden Knights (17-6-1, 35 points)

3. Los Angeles Kings (11-9-6, 28 points)

4. Arizona Coyotes (12-11-4, 28 points)

5. Vancouver Canucks (12-16-2, 26 points)

6. Calgary Flames (12-12-3, 27 points)

7. San Jose Sharks (10-11-3, 23 points)

8. Anaheim Ducks (8-14-6, 22 points)

Vegas and Edmonton would be joined in the Stanley Cup Playoffs by Los Angeles, the only team that would directly benefit in terms of a postseason berth from a switch back to the normal alignment. No other team here would reach the postseason, as even the Kings have fewer points than the Central’s wild card teams.

My takeaway here is that we would view every one of these teams more positively in this alignment. The Golden Knights would probably be on track to win the Presidents’ Trophy with as weak as this division would be, the Kings and Coyotes would be battling for that third spot instead of fighting an uphill battle to reach number four in the West, and the Canucks and Flames would be in postseason contention, rather than feeling like they’re miles away in the North. That doesn’t actually make any of these clubs better, but our perceptions would carry a more optimistic tone.

Evan Bouchard needs to play more. dark. Next

The NHL is anything but normal in 2021, but this is a taste of what it could look like if it was. Soon this is how we will view the NHL again, but for now, it is simply a what-if scenario on the anniversary of a week that altered the entire sports landscape.