The Calgary Flames and Arizona Coyotes will square off in the first round of our NHL20 Sim playoffs as we use a much different bracket than the traditional one. With the league having discussed the possibility of up to 12 teams in each conference making the playoffs, we decided to do just that with our bracket while also incorporating sims we did for the Flames remaining regular season games.
As a result, the Flames finished with the 6th seed in the Western Conference and will host the 11th seeded Arizona Coyotes in this qualifying round for the playoffs. This first round will be a Best of 3 series, with Games 1 & 3 in Calgary and Game 2 in Arizona. Here is the full first round bracket:
This will be the first meeting between the two teams since the Coyotes moved to Arizona from Winnipeg. Prior to that the Flames and original Jets franchise met in three straight seasons, from 1984-85 to 1986-87, with the Jets winning in ‘85 and ‘87.
The Flames went 3-1 against the Coyotes this year, winning both matchups in Calgary and splitting the two games in Arizona.
With this series the Coyotes will get the opportunity to see Taylor Hall in the playoffs, something that may not have been afforded to them in real life. Of course the Coyotes fell right off a cliff shortly after acquiring Hall and would’ve almost definitely missed the playoffs with the standard eight team format.
Here is our projected lineup for tonight’s game against Arizona:
Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Elias Lindholm
Matthew Tkachuk - Mikael Backlund - Andrew Mangiapane
Milan Lucic - Dillon Dube - Sam Bennett
Tobias Rieder - Derek Ryan - Austin Czarnik
Mark Giordano - TJ Brodie
Erik Gustafsson - Rasmus Andersson
Noah Hanifin - Travis Hamonic
Taylor Hall - Christian Dvorak - Clayton Keller
Carl Soderberg - Nick Schmaltz - Phil Kessel
Lawson Crouse - Derek Stepan - Conor Garland
Michael Grabner - Brad Richardson - Vinnie Hinostroza
Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Ilya Lyubushkin
Alex Goligoski - Niklas Hjalmarsson
Jakob Chychrun - Jason Demers
Puck drop will be at 7:30 PM. Be sure to follow our live updates on Twitter. Game 2 and 3 if necessary will be on Thursday and Saturday.
Other playoff series also being played tonight:
6. Carolina vs 11. NY Rangers
7. NY Islanders vs 10. Florida
5. Edmonton vs 12. Chicago