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NHL20 Sim: 23 Team Playoff Time!

Going an unorthodox way for our playoff tree!

2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

After extreme boredom took over, we decided to simulate the rest of the Flames 12 games in the 2019-20 season. The team went 7-3-2 over that stretch, closing the regular season schedule with a loss to Edmonton yesterday.

Here’s all of the games and their results in the order they would’ve been played:

  • 3-2 SOW vs NYI
  • 6-3 W vs WPG
  • 3-2 OTW at NYR
  • 3-4 OTL at NYI
  • 3-2 W at NJ
  • 4-5 SOL vs TB
  • 6-4 W vs SJ
  • 5-6 L vs ANA
  • 7-1 W at VAN
  • 3-5 L vs WPG
  • 5-4 OTW vs VGK
  • 3-6 L vs EDM

Here is a look at the Flames leaders from all of our simulations:

Goals: Gaudreau - 7, Bennett - 6, Monahan - 5

Assists: Lindholm - 12, Giordano - 7, Monahan - 7

Points: Lindholm - 15, Gaudreau - 13, Monahan - 12

We figured we couldn’t just end it here, we had to put together a playoff bracket and keep things going. After going back and forth on different ways to make the playoffs happen (we certainly weren’t simming every other game), we decided to pull together a bracket similar to what the NHL might be doing in real life.

We found logical cutoff points in both conferences based on points percentages, and will have a 12 team Western Conference bracket, and a 11 team Eastern Conference bracket. We have also updated any teams points percentage if they were involved in our sim games.

First, we eliminated divisions for this bracket. We took the top four teams in the West and gave them a bye. Now, 5v12, 6v11, 7v10, and 8v9 will all meet in a best-of-three series to advance. We will re-seed after this first round so the 1 seed will play the worst remaining team.

In the East it’s a bit different in that five teams get a bye, with 6v11, 7v10, and 8v9 playing the first round best-of-three. The difference here is that a Philadelphia (4) vs Pittsburgh (5) series will happen in the second round as they both had byes.

After this first short round, things will return to a normal playoffs, however the Round of 16 will be a Best of 5. Here is a look at the bracket, subject to change based on the reseeding of winners from Round 1.

Round 1:

6. Carolina Hurricanes vs 11. New York Rangers

7. NY Islanders vs 10. Florida Panthers

8. Toronto Maple Leafs vs 9. Columbus Blue Jackets

5. Edmonton Oilers vs 12. Chicago Blackhawks

6. Calgary Flames vs 11. Arizona Coyotes

7. Nashville Predators vs 10. Vancouver Canucks

8. Winnipeg Jets vs 9. Minnesota Wild

Playoffs for the Flames will start on Tuesday and play every 2nd day similar to real playoffs. Given that we are a Flames site, we will follow a typical playoff schedule if they make a run in our sim, but expedite it if they get knocked out.

Islanders/Panthers, Hurricanes/Rangers, and Oilers/Blackhawks will join the Flames on Tuesday and every 2nd night. Leafs/Blue Jackets, Jets/Wild, and Canucks Predators will play on Wednesday and every 2nd night after that. The higher seeded team will host Games 1 and 3, with lower seed hosting Game 2.

Flames/Coyotes Game 1 puck drop tomorrow will be 7:30 PM MT.