Simulating the Season: Panthers leapfrog Maple Leafs in Atlantic, Central Division battle heats up
Welcome to Simulating The Season. Within the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the NHL has put the 2019-20 marketing campaign on maintain with out a clear timeline for a return to motion. As such, with the assistance of EA Sports activities’ NHL 20, we’re trying to determine what the remainder of the season would have seemed like had it not been postponed. Take note, this isn’t an ideal science and the simulation doesn’t bear in mind actual world circumstances, together with present accidents.
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Aaaand we’re again. After a one-day break, we’re glad to have the ability to carry Simulating the Season again. And, pricey simulated (and determined) hockey followers, there’s a lot to atone for.
We start within the Atlantic Division, the place Monday’s battle between the Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs set the stage for probably the most notable change within the standings of the previous two days. Because the Maple Leafs tried to shake off a string of dangerous losses, Toronto was bitten once more by its personal dangerous habits and blew one other third-period lead. The consequence? Florida was in a position to dig itself out of the outlet it was in within the Jap Convention and vault forward of the Maple Leafs within the standings. Now, it’s on Florida to fend off all challengers for the ultimate divisional berth within the Atlantic. (Although that didn’t get off to an amazing begin, as you’ll quickly see.)
Elsewhere, the Central Division playoff race continues to be some of the intriguing, because the three-way divisional battle stays heated and the wild-card contenders within the Central proceed to combat tooth and nail for some respiratory room. Large wins by the Minnesota Wild and Nashville Predators highlighted motion over the previous two days.
Atone for all of the simulated motion from Monday and Tuesday now:
MONDAY, MARCH 23
Edmonton Oilers – 2 (SO)Anaheim Geese – 1
An old school goalie duel! By the primary 60 minutes of this one, John Gibson and Mikko Koskinen went save-for-save, and the 2 opposing keepers continued to stymie all shooters by way of the five-minute time beyond regulation body. Nevertheless it wasn’t simply there that each netminders stood tall: within the shootout, just one purpose, a Connor McDavid tally, was scored by both staff. That was the difference-maker on this one.
Three Stars1. John Gibson, ANA (37 saves)2. Mikko Koskinen, EDM (31 saves)3. Leon Draisaitl, EDM (1-0–1)
Florida Panthers – 5Toronto Maple Leafs – 3
One other night time, one other third-period collapse for the Maple Leafs. Toronto entered the ultimate stanza main 3-1, however the late-game cost led by Panthers forwards Jonathan Huberdeau and Evgeni Dadonov lifted the Cats to victory and left the Leafs in a tricky spot in a decent playoff race. That’s the second blown lead prior to now three video games for the Leafs, and this one stings probably the most because the Panthers leapfrog into third within the Atlantic.
Three Stars1. Jonathan Huberdeau, FLA (2-0–2)2. Cody Ceci, TOR (0-2–2)3. Mike Matheson, FLA (1-0–1)
Calgary Flames – 3San Jose Sharks – 2
Ah, sure, in a battle of two groups heading in reverse instructions within the Pacific Division, this one produced the hero all of us anticipated: Zac Rinaldo. In what was by way of the primary body a 2-2 recreation, Rinaldo’s blast beat Aaron Dell late within the second interval and stood because the game-winning purpose. Full marks to Dillon Dube on this one, because the teen’s purpose and help went a good distance in securing Calgary a pair of factors in a decent playoff race.
Three Stars1. Dillon Dube, CGY (1-1–2)2. Sean Monahan, CGY (1-0–1)3. Zac Rinaldo, CGY (1-0–1)
Minnesota Wild – 4Colorado Avalanche – 3
The slide continues for the Avalanche, who’re doing little to carry off the charging Dallas Stars, however the greater story right here could be the continued success of the Wild. Minnesota continues to maintain tempo with the remainder of the Central Division and is now proper on the cusp of a wild-card berth. There’s not a lot time left, however a late surge and a few assist might see the Wild stun the West and earn a ticket to the dance.
Three Stars1. Zach Parise, MIN (2-0–2)2. Mikko Rantanen, COL (1-1–2)3. Brad Hunt, MIN (1-0–1)
Columbus Blue Jackets – 4New Jersey Devils – 2
The battered Blue Jackets have needed to grind away to safe wins down the stretch, and Monday’s victory over New Jersey was as hard-fought because it will get. 4 separate gamers scored on Monday, together with depth forwards Devin Shore and Kevin Stenlund (who has objectives prior to now three video games). Mackenzie Blackwood, New Jersey’s finest participant for the previous two months, was strong once more with 36 stops, however the membership in entrance of him had simply 19 photographs on purpose.
Three Stars1. Devin Shore, CBJ (1-2–3)2. Kevin Stenlund, CBJ (1-1–2)3. Zach Werenski, CBJ (0-2–2)
Vegas Golden Knights – 4Vancouver Canucks – 2
Each coach is aware of that any profitable staff has to have a number of “goalie wins” sprinkled in every season, video games by which a goaltender stands on his head and delivers the victory for his squad. And Monday’s battle between Vegas and Vancouver? That was a goalie win for the Golden Knights. Marc-Andre Fleury was distinctive, stopping all however two of the 32 photographs that got here his means because the depth scoring carried the offense.
Three Stars1. Marc-Andre Fleury, VGK (30 saves)2. Nick Cousins, VGK (1-1–2)3. Nate Schmidt, VGK (0-2–2)
TUESDAY, MARCH 24
Detroit Purple Wings – 7Boston Bruins – 3
Did the groups swap jerseys earlier than the sport? Oddsmakers would have had the Bruins as near a sure-thing heading into the competition, however Tuukka Rask had one of many worst video games of his profession, permitting 4 objectives on the primary 5 photographs in opposition to. It was 6-1 after the primary interval, and whereas the Bruins had been the higher staff possession-wise within the second half of the sport, it was a goner. Chalk it up as a nasty night time and nothing extra for Boston.
Three Stars1. Dylan Larkin, DET (2-2–4)2. Dmytro Timashov, DET (1-2–3)3. Anthony Mantha, DET (1-2–3)
Los Angeles Kings – 3Dallas Stars – 2
The prospect to tug degree with the Avalanche was there for the taking, however the Stars fell quick in a contest they certainly will really feel they might have gained in opposition to the West-worst Kings. Stunningly, that is one by which Dallas needed to attempt to combat from behind and chased the sport a lot of the night. It was Dustin Brown’s net-side tally with 4:29 left within the third interval that handed Los Angeles the victory.
Three Stars1. Corey Perry, DAL (1-1–2)2. Dustin Brown, LAK (1-0–1)3. Joakim Ryan, LAK (1-0–1)
Buffalo Sabres – 4Montreal Canadiens – 1
This was a bizarre one. The primary 40 minutes had been scoreless and the Sabres had simply 11 photographs in that span with out recording two in a row. However one thing turned the Sabres round after the second intermission, as Buffalo scored scored three objectives within the opening minute and put the Canadiens in a deep gap out of which they might not climb. The Sabres and Canadiens at the moment are dead-even within the Jap Convention.
Three Stars1. Linus Ullmark, BUF (28 saves)2. Victor Olofsson, BUF (1-1–2)3. Zemgus Girgensons, BUF (1-1–2)
Nashville Predators – 6Winnipeg Jets – 2
Large, huge win for the Predators, who press pause on the Jets’ climb in the direction of a divisional playoff berth and be certain that each spots are nonetheless up for grabs with the post-season on the horizon. Within the eight-goal affair, it wasn’t the massive weapons who stepped as much as get the job carried out for Nashville, however the position gamers. Calle Jarnkrok and Colton Sissons every registered a purpose and help, whereas Austin Watson, Craig Smith, Mattias Ekholm and famous fourth-liner Filip Forsberg additionally discovered twine for Nashville.
Three Stars1. Colton Sissons, NSH (1-1–2)2. Mattias Ekholm, NSH (1-0–1)3. Calle Jarnkrok, NSH (1-1–2)
Columbus Blue Jackets – 4New York Rangers – 3
The Blue Jackets stay scorching and earn one other huge victory. Cam Atkinson had a four-point night time and even dropped the gloves with former Columbus teammate Artemi Panarin. Panarin was everywhere in the ice and the scoresheet, registering three assists for the Rangers and one other combat in opposition to Pierre-Luc Dubois, who tussled for the fourth time in 5 video games. The Rangers had been the higher staff by way of 40, however a two-goal third-period and an amazing effort from Joonas Korpisalo gave the Blue Jackets the win.
Three Stars1. Cam Atkinson, CBJ (1-3–4)2. Pavel Buchnevich, NYR (2-1–3)3. Artemi Panarin, NYR (0-3–3)
Washington Capitals – 4St. Louis Blues – 3
The battle of the previous two Stanley Cup champions lived as much as the hype – but it surely wasn’t due to the top-tier star energy followers anticipated. As a substitute, the celebrities of the present had been Washington’s Garnet Hathaway and St. Louis’ Zach Sanford, who traded objectives twice within the third to maintain the motion full of life. Ilya Kovalchuk acquired in a uncommon combat with Sammy Blais, who had a purpose himself regardless of simply six minutes of ice time.
Three Stars1. Garnet Hathaway, WSH (2-0–2)2. Zach Sanford, STL (2-0–2)3. Jaden Schwartz, STL (1-1–2)
Philadelphia Flyers – 4New York Islanders – 3
Welcome to the ‘JVR’ present. James van Riemsdyk had a recreation for the ages, posting 4 objectives, together with three within the third to erase a 3-1 deficit. His heroics wouldn’t have been doable with out Carter Hart making 18 stops within the third when the Islanders began to pour it on. On the different finish, Ryan Pulock had his first profession hat-trick, that means all seven objectives got here by way of two gamers.
Three Stars1. James van Riemsdyk, PHI (4-0–4)2. Ryan Pulock, NYI (3-0–3)3. Shayne Gostisbehere, PHI (0-2–2)
Pittsburgh Penguins – 6Carolina Hurricanes – 2
What a bounce again for the Penguins. A 10-Eight loss by the hands of the rival Capitals over the weekend stung, however a fast 3-Zero lead within the first noticed Pittsburgh will get its confidence again. Two objectives from Jared McCann and Connor Sheary set the stage for the victory. In the meantime, the Hurricanes proceed to lose floor to the Blue Jackets and within the Metropolitan combat.
Three Stars1. Conor Sheary, PIT (2-1–3)2. Jared McCann, PIT (2-1–3)3. Jake Guentzel, PIT (1-2–3)
Ottawa Senators – 6Florida Panthers – 4
There was no scarcity of motion on this one as the primary interval alone featured six objectives in a 3-Three draw. The Senators younger core was prepared for battle, although. Brady Tkachuk and longtime buddy Josh Norris helped the Sens to a 5-Three benefit earlier than the sport hit the midway mark, and whereas Jonathan Huberdeau stored scorching with one other purpose, a Thomas Chabot blast on a late energy play sealed the deal. Particular groups had been the distinction, with seven of the 10 objectives within the recreation coming with the person benefit.
Three Stars1. Brady Tkachuk, OTT (1-1–2)2. Anthony Duclair, OTT (1-1–2)3. Thomas Chabot, OTT (1-1–2)
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Tags: simulating the season, nhl 20Join: Concerning the AuthorJared ClintonJared Clinton is a author and net editor with The Hockey Information. He is been with the staff since 2014. He was born, raised and resides in Winnipeg, the place he could be discovered lacking the online on outside rinks throughout city.