At the beginning of the NHL season EA had a season simulation in NHL 17 to see how the standings might shake out and possibly predict the Stanley Cup Champions.
Six months later and heading into the playoffs, let’s look back at how the simulation stacks up to the simulation.
As predicted the Washington Capitals take the Metropolitan Division over the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Columbus Blue Jackets had an explosive year placing second in the division and shutting down the simulations expectations of finishing last with 76 points.
The Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders were set to go for a post season run. They inevitably fell short of the mark with Columbus having such a strong year and the New York Rangers clinching the fourth slot in the Metro Division.
The last season at The Joe in Detroit, Michigan was predicted to fall short of a Stanley Cup run and that prediction was correct. The Detroit Red Wings 25 consecutive playoff runs has come to an end with a last place finish in the Atlantic.
This division is the closest in points with Ottawa, Toronto, Boston and Tampa within six points of each other. Five teams with only four playoff spots available.
The Florida Panthers were predicted to make a run but fell to the competition. Montreal Canadians clinched the number one spot over their second-place simulated standings.
The Boston Bruins are primed to take third or the wild card position and were able to stay healthy despite EA simulating an injury prone team finishing last with 84 points.
EA made an ambitious call that the Nashville Predators defensive line would dominate the division with offensive powerhouses like Minnesota, Chicago and Dallas.
The Predators will make an appearance in the playoffs most likely as a wild card. Chicago places takes the division and the conference.
The Dallas Stars had a rough start to the season and despite having a high scoring finish fall short of their second-place simulated seat trailing the division above the Colorado Avalanche who is dead last in the NHL.
Anaheim, Edmonton and San Jose have clinched the top three slots of the Pacific Division. The Sharks and Oilers were among the simulated standings alongside the Los Angeles Kings who were plagued with goaltending issues all season and couldn’t contend.
Anaheim was expected to place sixth in EA’s eyes but had an over-the-top season and took the Pacific Division.
Vancouver as predicted did not make the playoffs but did beat the predictions of being last in the NHL.
“The Nashville Predators are the Stanley Cup Champions” is not something I expect to hear come this June. EA predicts that that is how things will shake out in the playoffs while also thinking Nashville would lead the NHL with 110 points overall.
Whether Ovechkin finally gets paid his dues, the Bruins make a repeat of their 2011 cup run or Minnesota steps up to clinch their first Stanley Cup.
EA came close on some but seemed to miss the mark on any predictions for this year’s NHL 17 season simulation but as it goes in sports, there is always next year.