Another year, another E3, another gut-punch loss to a southern California team for the New York Rangers, according to NHL 15's simulation of the hockey playoffs beginning tomorrow.
New York is due for another loss in the Stanley Cup Finals, four games to three, to Anaheim, according to the playoff simulation the EA Sports game carried out today. Last year, the Rangers closed down E3 week in the Staples Center with a five-game loss to the Los Angeles Kings.
The NHL hasn't projected the dates for the final round of the Stanley Cup playoffs yet, as that will depend on when the preceding three rounds, all best-of-seven series, finish. However, if the finals do involve the Ducks and Rangers, the Rangers would have home-ice advantage with the better regular-season record. So the seventh game NHL 15 predicts would take place in New York in Madison Square Garden. E3 is June 16-18 in L.A.
Not only does NHL 15 pick the Ducks, it predicts they will play the maximum number of games possible — seven-game series for all four rounds, squeaking by Winnipeg, Minnesota and Calgary before reaching the Rangers.
New York is scheduled to defeat Montreal in the conference finals to make it to the last round.
If your favorite teams aren't the Rangers or the Ducks, you might wonder what happens to them. Here's all EA Sports provided:
- Tampa Bay: Eliminated in six games by Detroit in round one.
- Ottawa and Detroit: Both lose to Montreal.
- Calgary: Beat Vancouver before losing to Anaheim.
- St. Louis: Tied for the best record in the Western Conference this year, they don't even get out of the first round, falling to Minnesota.
In 2013, before the season began, NHL 14 called for for St. Louis to win its first-ever Stanley Cup; the Blues were eliminated in the first round in real life. EA Sports tried again before the beginning of the 2014 playoffs, predicting the Boston Bruins to defeat the San Jose Sharks in the Cup finals. In real life, the Bruins were sent home in the second round, while the Sharks lost in the first.
So, take these predictions with a grain of salt.
For more on NHL 15, see Polygon's review from its September 2014 launch. We enjoyed its gameplay, advanced skating and puck physics, and lamented the absence of longtime features and modes present on the earlier console generation.