After simulating the final dozen games of the 2019-20 regular season on EA Sports’ NHL 20 video game, good news: the (simulated) Calgary Flames have qualified for the (virtual) Stanley Cup Playoffs.
We simmed the Flames’ games and used The Athletic’s simulated results for the remainder of the Western Conference games. The Flames went 8-4-0 over the last 12 games to punch their ticket, finishing 44-31-7 for 95 points on the season. It’s the second season in a row (and fourth time in six seasons) that the Flames have qualified for the playoffs.
They finished second in the Pacific Division. Vancouver won the Pacific handily, but the other two spots weren’t decided until the final night of the season. The Flames beat Edmonton to clinch a spot and pass Vegas, and cemented second place in Pacific when Vancouver beat Vegas in the late game.
Here’s how the Western playoff picture looks:
- St. Louis Blues (1st, Central) vs. Nashville Predators (2nd, wildcard)
- Colorado Avalanche (2nd, Central) vs. Dallas Stars (3rd, Central)
- Vancouver Canucks (1st, Pacific) vs. Minnesota Wild (1st, wildcard)
- Calgary Flames (2nd, Pacific) vs. Vegas Golden Knights (3rd, Pacific)
Because there’s nothing better to do with our time, we’ll be simulating the Flames’ virtual first round starting on Wednesday with Game 1.
Can the Flames finally win a damn game in Vegas? Or will the house continue to always win? Let’s find out.