The story of Cinderella is a common one where upon midnight, most of what she had at the ball turned back into what it was. The horses became mice. The gown became just peasant rags. The carriage turned into a pumpkin. Such was the story of the 2015-16 Simulated New Jersey Devils’ playoff run in Eastside Hockey Manager. That there was a playoff run at all was a laudable achievement. Beating Our Hated Rivals in a seven-game series where the seventh game was decided in its sixth overtime was just an amazing feat. The good times rolled on - until they didn’t. And, as with many things, it just ended.
How did it go down? How deep did the Devils go? And how much of this can be called a simulator if the San Jose Sharks won sixteen games and lost only two to win the greatest trophy in sports? Find out in this video. Please watch it in full screen and in 1080p if you can. My commentary is as expected:
The ending was a rough one. But the journey was far longer than I expected. When I announced this Let’s Re-Do the 2015-16 Devils Season series, I was secretly hoping the readers who voted in the poll wanted to see a tank job. I was thinking of all kinds of ways to make the team come in last while not losing my own job in the game. Then the poll results wanted to see the Simulated Devils “go for it.” They didn’t just go for it, they got in it and were in it for quite a while. And it was a quite a fun ride along the way, both in playing the game and making the video summaries.
Here are some postscripts from the simulation following the postseason:
- Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat both led the NHL Playoffs with 20 points.
- Eric Gelinas’ thirteen assists placed him in a three way tie with Anton Stralman and Joe Thornton for the most in the playoffs.
- Mike Cammalleri’s eight playoff goals placed him tied for sixth among all playoff scorers. Alexander Steen - who got eliminated in a sweep by San Jose in the Western Conference Finals - led the league with eleven.
- AI teams still wanted to trade for Bobby Ryan. Jiri Hudler and Mark Giordano were players highly sought after with computer-made trade proposals before the draft. After: Mitch Marner and Patrice Bergeron. Seriously.
- Pittsburgh won the Draft Lottery, but since Toronto owned their first round pick; they’ll get to go first instead. Calgary and Buffalo will follow them. The Devils will draft at 22nd overall; not in the final four spots due to their playoff run.
- As GM, Kevin Lomax did get the opportunity to vote for the Vezina! But only for one of three finalists decided by the game. The choices: Holtby, Bishop, and Schneider. I don’t have to tell you who Kevin Lomax voted for, do I?
- 2016 Draft: First three picks: Chychrun, Laine, Tkachuk. Seriously. At 22, it was suggested to get Sean-Michael Berlin. OK.
- Awards! It is garbage that Cory Schneider didn’t win the Vezina. Nor was a finalist for the Hart. 79 games played! Best save percentage in the league (and won the Roger Crozier Saving Grace award)! Named to the 2015-16 NHL All Star First Team! Won the King Clancy! Stupid Ben Bishop got it instead. I booed at my computer monitor. Relevant to that, it is odd that A.I. John Hynes didn’t make the finalists for the Jack Adams seeing that the Devils, you know, made the playoffs and earned 100 points. Oh, well. No other Devil really made the cut.
Again, I thank everyone for watching this series, making comments or suggestions or what to do, and hearing me out about this throughout the summer. Making videos was clearly new to me; but I’m surprised that it got on this well. Maybe we’ll do it again next Summer to pass some time? We’ll see. For the last time for this Let’s Re-Do series: Thank you for reading, listening, and watching.