NHL Playoffs 2012: How the Playoffs Shape Up on EA NHL '12

Joe MaloneyContributor IIIApril 28, 2012

NHL Playoffs 2012: How the Playoffs Shape Up on EA NHL '12

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    The second round of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs has arrived with some surprises.

    Gone are the Presidents' Trophy-winning Vancouver Canucks. Gone are three of the top four seeds in the Eastern Conference.

    We have already seen three Game 7's, 16 overtime games and eight suspensions for a total of 40 games. 

    Curious to see if the intensity could be matched, the final three rounds of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs were simulated using EA Sports' NHL '12.

    Here are the results. 

Conference Semifinals

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    All team rosters used in the simulation are the current playoff rosters for each team involved, with the exception of Chris Kreider.

    Round 2 of the the path to the Stanley Cup has begun. The matchups are as follows:

    Western Conference

    (3) Phoenix Coyotes vs. (4) Nashville Predators

    (2) St. Louis Blues vs. (8) L.A. Kings

     

    Eastern Conference

    (1) New York Rangers vs. (7) Washington Capitals

    (5) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (6) New Jersey Devils

(3) Phoenix Coyotes vs. (4) Nashville Predators

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    The Statistics: Top 3 in Points

    Phoenix Coyotes

    Shane Doan - 1 goal, 3 assists

    Ray Whitney - 1 goal, 2 assists

    Daymond Langkow - 0 goals, 3 assists

     

    Nashville Predators

    Mike Fisher - 4 goals, 1 assist

    Patric Hornqvist - 1 goal, 2 assist

    Ryan Suter - 0 goals, 2 assists

     

    Goaltending

    Phoenix

    Mike Smith - 3.88 goals-against-average

     

    Nashville

    Pekka Rinne - 3.78 goals-against-average

     

    The Result

    Phoenix Coyotes in 6 

(2) St. Louis Blues vs. (8) L.A. Kings

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    The Statistics: Top 3 in Points

    St. Louis Blues

    Patrik Berglund - 5 goals, 2 assists

    David Backes - 1 goal, 4 assists

    Alex Pietrangelo - 1 goal, 3 assists

     

    L.A. Kings

    Dustin Penner - 4 goals, 0 assists

    Drew Doughty - 0 goals, 3 assists

    Dustin Brown - 1 goal, 1 assist

     

    Goaltending

    St. Louis 

    Brian Elliott - 1.51 goals-against-average

    L.A.

    Johnathan Quick - 2.57 goals-against-average

     

    The Result

    St. Louis Blues in 7

(1) New York Rangers vs. (7) Washington Capitals

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    The Statistics: Top 3 in Points

    New York Rangers

    Marian Gaborik - 3 goals, 5 assists

    Brad Richards - 4 goals, 4 assists

    Derek Stepan - 3 goals, 2 assists

     

    Washington Capitals

    Nicklas Backstrom - 1 goal, 7 assists

    Alex Ovechkin - 2 goals, 6 assists

    Alexander Semin - 7 goals, 0 assists

     

    Goaltending

    New York

    Henrik Lundqvist - 2.03 goals-against-average

     

    Washington

    Braden Holtby - 2.11 goals-against-average

     

    The Result

    New York Rangers in 7

(5) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (6) New Jersey Devils

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    The Statistics: Top 3 in Points

    Philadelphia Flyers

    Kimmo Timonen - 0 goals, 7 assists

    Danny Briere - 0 goals, 6 assists

    Wayne Simmonds - 3 goals, 2 assists

     

    New Jersey Devils

    Zach Parise - 4 goals, 4 assists 

    Ilya Kovalchuk - 2 goals, 4 assists

    Patrick Elias - 1 goals, 3 assists  

     

    Goaltending

    Philadelphia

    Ilya Bryzgalov - 2.46 goals-against-average

     

    New Jersey

    Martin Brodeur - 1.87 goals-against-average

     

    The Result

    New Jersey Devils in 7 

Conference Finals

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    The semifinals saw some contrast between the goalie play in real life versus NHL '12.

    Brian Elliott and Henrik Lundqvist continued to amaze. Mike Smith struggled in the game while Martin Brodeur seemed to turn back the clock with a below 2.00 GAA. 

    Conference Finals Matchups:

    (2) St. Louis Blues vs. (3) Phoenix Coyotes

    (1) New York Rangers vs. (6) New Jersey Devils

    The Rangers' series brought back memories of the 1993-1994 season, which prompted me to fire up the old Sega Genesis and blow the dust out of NHL '94

(2) St. Louis Blues vs. (3) Phoenix Coyotes

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    The Statistics: Top 3 in Points

    St. Louis Blues

    David Backes - 6 goals, 5 assists

    Andy McDonald - 5 goals, 4 assists

    Carlo Colaiacovo - 2 goals, 5 assists 

     

    Phoenix Coyotes

    Ray Whitney - 2 goals, 2 assists  

    Radim Vrbata - 3 goals, 1 assist

    Shane Doan - 1 goal, 2 assists

     

    Goaltending

    St. Louis

    Brian Elliott - 2.03 goals-against-average

    Phoenix 

    Mike Smith - 3.79 goals-against-average

     

    The Result

    St. Louis Blues in 5

(1) New York Rangers vs. (6) New Jersey Devils

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    The Statistics: Top 3 in Points

    New York Rangers

    Marian Gaborik - 3 goals, 5 assists

    Brad Richards - 3 goals, 4 assists

    Ryan Callahan - 2 goals, 3 assists

     

    New Jersey Devils

    Zach Parise - 3 goals, 4 assists 

    Ilya Kovalchuk - 4 goals, 1 assist

    Petr Sykora - 2 goals, 2 assists 

     

    Goaltending

    New York Rangers

    Henrik Lundqvist - 2.21 goals-against-average

     

    New Jersey Devils

    Martin Brodeur - 2.08 goals-against-average

     

    The Result

    New York Rangers in 6

Stanley Cup

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    The Stanley Cup showdown, as NHL '12 had it decided, pins two of the league's higher seeds against each other.

    Despite the presence of numerous lower seeds in the quarterfinals, a first- and second-seeded team made it to the final series. 

    The New York Rangers with their three Stanley Cups take on the St. Louis Blues, who have yet to win a Stanley Cup, being 0-3 in their long history. 

    And the winner is...

(1) New York Rangers vs. (2) St. Louis Blues

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    The Statistics: Top 3 in Points

    New York Rangers

    Ryan Callahan - 5 goals, 3 assists

    Marian Gaborik - 4 goals, 1 assist

    Brad Richards - 2 goals, 3 assists

     

    St. Louis Blues

    Andy McDonald - 3 goals, 3 assists 

    Patrik Berglund - 3 goals, 1 assist

    David Perron - 1 goal, 2 assists

     

    Goaltending

    New York Rangers

    Henrik Lundqvist - 2.08 goals-against-average

    St. Louis Blues

    Brian Elliott - 2.06 goals-against-average

     

    The Result

    New York Rangers in 7

Stanley Cup Champions: New York Rangers

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    Stanley Cup Champions: New York Rangers!

    While that is a headline I hope to read in June, I assure you the NHL '12 simulation was no hoax.

    The stellar goaltending of Henrik Lundqvist, which we saw in the Ottawa Senators series, continued throughout New York's playoffs in the game. 

    Superstars Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards, who boast an 89 and 88 rating, respectively, in the game, stepped up huge throughout the playoffs.  

    Lundqvist was able to stymie the offense of the Blues, while the Rangers were able to get just enough goals passed Brian Elliott to outlast St. Louis in a gritty seven-game series. 

    Don't like my simulation? Try it yourself!