There was plenty of drama and intrigue in the penultimate month of the 2015-16 re-do of the New Jersey Devils season in Eastside Hockey Manager. The NHL Trade Deadline roared into the picture like a fast-moving thunderstorm. After the deluge of activity, games were common place and watching the standings became a common practice. Every time the game view showed a “key only” highlight, one would hope whether that little black dot would be on the stick of a larger dot of a Devil, only to find its way past the goalie dot of the other team. There was a tension. It seems odd to read that about a hockey franchise simulation game. However, that’s the effect that Eastside Hockey Manager, Football Manager, and other such games can bring out. Even veterans of the genre or the game series know the feeling
But we did it. Despite no suggested deal going through. Despite realism kicking in and handing a significant injury to Mike Cammalleri (fractured shin, two months) and a minor one to Jacob Josefson (he’s OK now). Despite dropping points and watching the shootout magic fade away. The job was done. The goal was set at the beginning of this series for the New Jersey Devils to make the playoffs in EHM. And they have clinched a spot on the last day of March - with four games to go.
For more details on how all it went down, please watch the following video. Please watch it in full screen and in 1080p if you can. My commentary is as expected:
The Devils ended February post-trade deadline with a 1-1-1 run. March wasn’t as solid, but they maintained their position. Thanks to some helpful spoiling in other games, the Devils were only briefly overtaken by the Isles in the standings. They finished the video in the same spot in the East as they started: with the fifth most points in the East and the third place spot in the Metropolitan.
In the video, you’ll learn that I made an executive decision with the trade deadline. Buffalo kept rejecting the suggested deal for Ryan O’Reilly due to financial concerns even with Zajac in the package. Ottawa wasn’t giving up Bobby Ryan to anyone. At the last moment, I checked who they had on the block and I saw Milan Michalek. They just wanted a second round pick; I made it happen. Fun fact: You have to hit respond in the in-game email for the trade for the accepted trade to go through. Michalek meant I had to send someone down; I chose Jordin Tootoo, who was not missed in the game. As you’ll see in the video, Michalek has been a very good pick up. I still thank everyone for their suggestions in previous posts; I’m sorry the A.I. was not as cooperative as I would have liked.
I do have one last request for you about Keith Kinkaid. So far, A.I. John Hynes has decided to play Cory Schneider in every single game so far this season. While there is some potential jockeying for position, we met the earlier-set goal of making the playoffs. Should Kinkaid play in the final four games of the season and, if so, how many? Let me know in the comments along with what you want me to do with #1.
The next video will include the final four games of the season and the playoffs through April. Hopefully it won’t be the end of the run. In the meantime, please let me know what you want me to do with Kinkaid, what you think of how the simulated season went, how EHM regards the Devils roster, and what could have been done differently in the comments. Thank you for reading, listening, and watching.