In the past few years, the EA Sports simulation engine predicted Chicago's 2010 Stanley Cup championship, Vancouver's 2011 Presidents' Trophy and last season's Stanley Cup Final matchup of the Bruins and Canucks.
According to David Kalan, an NHL staff writer, EA's simulation has Artem Anisimov scoring the first goal on a power play at 10:35 of the first period with Derek Stepan and Brad Richards with the assists. That's interesting to me since the three of them don't even play on the same line, but we'll go with it for now.
New York's lead is short-lived, however, as Philly strikes back with goals from Danny Briere and James van Riemsdyk to take a 2-1 lead in the second period. The Philadelphia Flyers strike one last time early in the third period, with a goal by Jaromir Jagr to put the nail in the coffin for the New York Rangers.
David also adds that while the Rangers fall to the Flyers 3-1, the Rangers do indeed get the best performance of the game, with "King" Henrik Lundqvist making a stellar 32 saves in a lost effort.
EA Sports claims its simulation engine "takes into account multiple factors such as statistics and data from each player, EA's own player ratings and line combinations, while also factoring in injuries and momentum from hot streaks."
Of course, just because a simulation predicted the Flyers to dominate the Rangers in the Classic, recent history suggests otherwise. The Rangers have dominated the Flyers this season, outplaying them and outscoring them significantly both times.
Do you think the EA Sports simulation is accurate?
They've already participated in a Winter Classic two seasons ago, which they lost. I don't think it would settle right with some of the guys to be 0-2 in such a historic and special event—especially to one of their biggest rivals in the league.
Don't expect the Rangers to give the Flyers any breaks, however, as they're in a good position in the standings right now and look to silence their critics, including the EA Sports simulation.
One thing is for sure, it's going to be a hell of a game!
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