Fantasy Hockey Playoff ONE: Kings-Devils SIX!

Now here we are……..please note this obviously could be the last game of the season tonight. If not, the scene shifts back to New Jersey on Wednesday for a Game 7.

It is Monday already and time for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Los Angeles Kings and the New Jersey Devils. When you have an eight seed up against a six seed, one has to say that this is just highly unlikely and yet it happened. A sign of the casual fan invading this type of series would be what happened on ESPN SportsNation with 49 of 50 states picking Los Angeles to win the silver chalice when all is said and done in the next couple weeks or less. Polls are often very inaccurate and reflect public sentiment as opposed to talent. This is why we take it to the next level with simulations. Clearly New Jersey found a way to do it again as Bryce Salvador pinballed a puck off Slava Voynov to give the Devils a 2-1 win and an improbable chance of extending this series to a potential Game 7.

The Los Angeles Kings are 10-1 in these playoffs on the road. Everyone knows the history that they are on the doorsteps of. However, something does seem different here. Whether this translates into something different of the expected remains to be seen. However, New Jersey did find something Wednesday Night and again Saturday Night that may put more of a scare into LA than any other team has. Think about it, New Jersey has played LA pretty even in this series except for the second half of Game 3. At home, New Jersey did lose Game 1 and Game 2 in overtime but they did have plenty of chances. Will Game 5’s ending rub off on Game 6? Los Angeles has not been quite as dominant at home. That is the biggest question!

The Kings now stand one game from winning the Stanley Cup and honestly there seems to really be nothing that can stop them other than maybe themselves. Most of the sims seemed to point to this not being a formality anymore but let’s look at tonight’s X Factors.

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FANTASY X Factors:

Kings fourth line

The fourth line has found a way to do things in this series that no one really expected them to but they were quite neutalized in Games 4 and 5. Some will say it was the pressure of closing a team out but New Jersey definitely played different and it was noticeable to Los Angeles. Can Jordan Nolan, Derek King, and company find a way to get the mojo back? It does set the rest of the wheels in motion and this line was key in establishing early advantages in Game 1 and 2. They have to be more of a difference maker tonight. Add in the fact that Dustin Brown may be hurt and the fourth line may see a little more in the way of ice time. They have to hit like they did in Game 5 but it has to result in a goal this time or else.

Zach Parise, W, New Jersey Devils

Parise is still the X Factor for New Jersey because he has to keep playing. If Brown is not 100%, that spells hope for Parise and his fantasy owners obviously. For Devils fans, Parise will be able to skate a bit more freely and get in those high scoring chance areas. Yes, the forward is still missing opportunities at an alarming rate. However, as we saw in Game 5, all it takes is one conversion to make people forget (especially on the man advantage).

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SCHEDULE TIME:

Monday, June 11, 2012

Teams Notes
New Jersey at Los Angeles 8:00 PM | Gameday

Well this is absolute win territory for the New Jersey Devils again. New Jersey still has nothing to lose while Los Angeles clearly has to be feeling the pressure. After all, they have not won the Holy Grail in their 45 year existence. There iis something to be said about “seeds of doubt” and now New Jersey’s best players are starting to make timely appearances. Los Angeles has to close it out tonight. It is more of a must win for them honestly. LA does not want to see this go seven.

Intangibles will play a big role in Game 6 and the extra day’s rest will likely be mentioned enough times to make anyone sick of it.

Anyway here is our sim for tonight……

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NHL 12 Sim — Kings @ Devils Game 6

What are we going to do?  Simply, we are going to run the NHL 12 sims for Game 6. The Kings and Devils are fairly even in theory. It is all the intangibles that will play out throughout the rest of this series that will ultimately determine it. It is time.

The Sims are back sort of....

It comes down to the Battle Of The Coasts, this simulation just had to come as these always have fantasy purposes along with fun prognostication. We played a total of seven games and this is what we came up with for our prediction. Again keep in mind, this may not happen obviously. Simply the rivalry deserves the utmost of respect in how the sims are run. Here were our results.

Devils-Kings Game 6
1st Period
No scoring
2nd Period
LAK – Jordan Nolan (2:35, Doughty)
3rd Period
NJD – Zach Parise (1:33, Kovalchuk and Greene)
LAK – Slava Voynov (9:34, Williams and Kopitar)

Team Stats:
Shots
LAK- 26, NJD- 23
Power Plays
LAK- 0/3, NJD- 0/2

Final: Kings 2  Devils 1
3 Stars:
1. Jonathan Quick 2. Slava Voynov 3. Martin Brodeur

The game is just hours away and if it approaches anything like the sims, it will be an awfully good one. We literally had some more consensus on this one so who knows what that will ultimately mean. Can New Jersey play its style or will Los Angeles impose more of its will? Also will New Jersey keep on hitting? That physical aspect is paying dividends and me the sims seemed to dictate more of the same tonight. Let’s see what happens and again thanks for reading.

For the oh by the way…..the sims did deviate in Game 6 as they were pretty well split down the middle with two goal spreads and one goal spreads (three each). Oddly enough the one deviation had New Jersey winning by at least three. That sounds odd but not really. The Fantasy Conn Smythe will be Jonathan Quick and that is not a surprise. Give him credit, he has played outstanding but Quick did show a little vulnerability in Games 4 and Game 5. New Jersey has had their chances so will they even the series tonight? Needless to say, stay tuned!

About Chris Wassel

Simply I am a hockey writer who is a jack of all trades. Whether it is draft, fantasy, NHL, KHL, AHL, etc...I probably can write about it. The challenge in hockey is to be able to step out of your comfort zone and write like you are still there. Hopefully you enjoy the humor in the writing on the site and tell your friends. Thanks for reading!

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