NHL 20 Sim Results: Eastern Conference Play-Ins
Written by: Raffi Sarrafian
Welcome to the Eastern Conference play-in series results. If you thought the round robin games were a bit wacky, just wait until you see some of the results from the simulation this time around. If you're a Penguins fan, at least this is just a simulation and hopefully this simulation doesn’t predict the future. Some players proved they deserved they deserved a raise, and others may have just lost their spot in the line up. Without further ado, here’s the results and breakdown of the Eastern Conference play-in series.
Eastern Conference Series Results
Pittsburgh (5 seed) vs Montreal (12 seed)
Game 1: Pittsburgh: 4 Montreal: 2 (Pittsburgh leads 1-0)
Game 2: Montreal: 4 Pittsburgh: 3 (Tied 1-1)
Game 3: Montreal: 4 Pittsburgh: 2 (Montreal leads 2-1)
Game 4: Pittsburgh: 7 Montreal: 3 (Tied 2-2)
Game 5: Montreal: 4 Pittsburgh: 1 (Montreal wins 3-2)
In the playoffs, a key part of how your team does is based on your goaltender. While both teams had good games offensively, it really came down to which goaltender could keep their team in it for longer. Carey Price was solid in net for games 1,2, 3, and 5. Even with allowing 3 goals early in game 4 and getting pulled, he had a 3.19 GAA and a .906 SV%. The defense held their ground and the offense produced well enough to keep them in games. Matt Murray on the other hand had a 3.23 GAA, but a .891 SV%. Pittsburgh’s defense continuously left Murray out to dry, and Murray suffered immensely in net from it. The ghosts of 2010 were out again tonight as Montreal upsets Pittsburgh in the play-ins 3-2. Montreal now gets a date with the Lightning, and will look to carry the momentum from this win and possibly get a playoff run out of it.
Carolina (6 seed) vs Rangers (11 seed)
Game 1: Carolina: 5 Rangers: 1 (Carolina leads 1-0)
Game 2: Rangers: 5 Carolina: 1 (Tied 1-1)
Game 3: Carolina: 7 Rangers: 3 (Carolina leads 2-1)
Game 4: Carolina: 4 Rangers: 0 (Carolina wins 3-1)
All season long the Hurricanes were praised for their defensive play, and in the playoffs they proved why they were so good on defense by holding the Rangers to 0, 1, and 3 goals in 3 of the 4 games. Martin Necas stole the show putting up 6 points in the 4 games which was the most by any player in the series. Petr Mrazek was stellar in net, putting up a SV% of .928, and a 2.25 GAA. The Rangers failed to produce enough offense aside from game 2, and sadly Lundqvist in this simulation will still be cupless. Carolina takes on the Flyers in the playoffs in what should be a great series all around.
Islanders (7 seed) vs Florida (10 seed)
Game 1: Florida: 5 Islanders: 4 OT (Florida leads 1-0)
Game 2: Florida: 5 Islanders: 2 (Florida leads 2-0)
Game 3: Islanders: 6 Florida: 2 (Florida leads 2-1)
Game 4: Islanders: 4 Florida: 0 (Tied 2-2)
Game 5: Florida: 3 Islanders: 2 (Florida wins 3-2)
Another series goaltending was a key factor, but the results were flipped. Sergei Bobrovsky had a rough regular season and continued it with a .881 SV% and 3.57 GAA. He was facing an average of 30 shots per game, so although it wasn’t all his fault, he wasn’t too great overall. However, he still got 3 wins, and that’s all that was needed to make it to the playoffs. Although Varlamov was the better goalie in the series with a .900 SV% and 3.03 GAA, he failed to be clutch, allowing an OT winner in game 1 and a late goal in game 5 to ultimately lose the series. Mike Hoffman and Evgeni Dadonov came up huge late in games 1 and 5 respectively to book the Panthers ticket to the playoffs where they will face off against the Capitals.
Toronto (8 seed) vs Columbus (9 seed)
Game 1: Toronto: 5 Columbus: 4 (Toronto leads 1-0)
Game 2: Columbus: 5 Toronto: 3 (Tied 1-1)
Game 3: Toronto: 2 Columbus: 0 (Toronto leads (2-1)
Game 4: Toronto: 3 Columbus: 2 (Toronto wins 3-1)
Some things are just meant to be. Even with Boston getting the 3 seed, Toronto has wound up playing against them for the third straight year in a row thanks to Pittsburgh and the Islanders losing their series’. For the most part, all of these games were very close with one team winning just barely over the other. Fredrik Andersen was able to stand tall and help Toronto advance with a .902 SV% and 2.76 GAA. Alex Kerfoot and Cody Ceci stepped up in the series with 4 points each, the most on their team along with John Tavares, and a Travis Dermott game winner in game 4 bolstered Toronto back into the playoffs. The experience showed with Toronto as they were able to beat a young Columbus team that should be even better next season. We’ll see if Toronto will finally beat Boston in the playoffs and break through into the second round.
Toronto gets stuck in a first round matchup with Boston, Pittsburgh gets stunned by Montreal like it's still 2010, lots of terrible goaltending all around but Matt Murray stood out as the worst out of all of them. Now that the play-ins and round robin games are over the Eastern Conference seeding goes as the following:
1 Tampa Bay Lightning vs 12 Montreal Canadiens
2 Washington Capitals vs 11 Florida Panthers
3 Boston Bruins vs 8 Toronto Maple Leafs
4 Philadelphia Flyers vs 7 Carolina Hurricanes
That’s all for the Eastern Conference play-in rounds, official playoffs rounds one will be underway soon!