It’s fictitious, but interesting none the less. Or maybe that’s what we’ve succumbed to during this painful NHL lockout; turning our attention to the results of a video game.
ESPN.com has been simulating what was supposed to be the 2012-13 NHL regular season via EA Sports NHL ’13 and they do it by the week. To date, our beloved Minnesota Wild are struggling according to the simulated version that is roughly at the half way point. After the week of December 31 – January 6, the Wild sit in 11th spot in the Western Conference with a record of 16-19-5 and sit five points back of Dallas for the eighth and final playoff spot.
The Wild lost all three games this week, starting with a 3-2 decision to the Edmonton Oilers on the Wild’s traditional New Year’s Eve game. Next they would lose to the Calgary Flames by a 5-4 OT decision, before losing a 2-1 game to the Nashville Predators.
It’s also worth noting that the Winter Classic was played as part of this simulated season with the Maple Leafs defeating the Red Wings in a 5-4 shootout fashion.
Alex Ovechkin continues to rip up the league with 34 goals and 56 points in 40 games, both good enough to lead the league in each category.
The Wild appear to have trouble scoring goals in this simulated season but not to worry, this version of the game doesn’t appear to be even remotely close to accurate.
For instance, the Detroit Red Wings are dead last in the Western Conference with only 31 points and the Vancouver Canucks are sitting so far ahead of everyone right now they are on pace to win 60 games. Even the Columbus Blue Jackets are close to playing .500 hockey in the simulated version and a true hockey fan knows that the likelihood of that happening is about as rare as Gary Bettman not getting booed when he presents the Stanley Cup.
Furthermore, in the Eastern conference, the New York Islanders sit in third place with a record of 19-13-6 while the Pittsburgh Penguins are in 13th place with a 15-16-4 record. The chances of that happening? I think I summed it up fairly well above.
And so it goes on. As the lockout drags on so to will the simulated games at ESPN and we’re forced to read about a simulated version of the game we all love. What has this world come to? Seriously, end the damn lockout already.