Way back at the beginning of this series, you all told me you wanted to see the New Jersey Devils make the playoffs in a re-do of the 2015-16 season in Eastside Hockey Manager. With a video example of how it would go without Cory Schneider and knowing what happened in real life, I figured we would have had to make a lot of changes. As it turned out, EHM rated some players who disappointed in real life as really good in the simulation, injuries never really got to the Devils, and the game likely regards Cory Schneider as the best goalie in the world. So with few changes, the playoff goal was met.
And then the Devils drew Our Hated Rivals. The Rangers. A team that went 2-1-1 on the Devils in this simulation, out-scoring them 11-7. Losing to them looked like a real possibility. And while the goal was met, who wants to call a season successful - even a simulated one - with a playoff loss to the Rangers? Thankfully, the game had a more epic idea as to how that one would go.
How would it go? Check out this video. I couldn’t have made it up even if I tried. Please watch it in full screen and in 1080p if you can. My commentary is as expected:
I forgot to mention a few things in the video. One, the Chicago fans apparently held a demonstration after a 1-5 loss near the end of the season. Two, the board of directors are delighted with Kevin Lomax. Three, Albany wasn’t a focus of these videos - they didn’t make their playoffs. Four, I literally jumped up and pumped my fist like I made a big shot over Craig Ehlo at the end. The thing about these games - especially with Football Manager - is how its easy to get really drawn into the games. At some point, it’s less of wanting to win at a video game as it is wanting to see your team, your creation succeed. So I marked out.
And then I cackled when the Devils won their first game in the second round over Washington. Because, hey, it’s the second round.
As noted in the video, I plan on running the sim straight through May. If the Devils make it to June, then there will obviously be another video. I’d be stunned if the Devils went all the way, but I couldn’t predict how the Devils would comeback to eliminate the Rangers so we’ll play it out and see where it goes. So the next video will show off how the Devils do in the playoffs. As mentioned, I am not currently planning to show off the draft, but if there’s interest, I’ll do it. I won’t do the offseason because the plan was just to do 2015-16 - not to keep going afterwards.
To that end, thanks to everyone for their suggestions with how to handle Keith Kinkaid and for all of the comments and suggested roster moves all summer long. Let me know in the comments what you think of how the simulated playoffs went, your reaction to the Devils eliminating Our Hated Rivals, and what you think the Devils will do next in the simulation. Thank you for reading, listening, and watching.