Fantasy Hockey Playoff ONE: The LA Sweep?



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 Saturday.

It is Wednesday already and time for Game 4 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 LA found a way to dominate in Game 3 as they cruised to a 4-0 win after a tense first period where New Jersey again had quite a few scoring chances but just kept missing.

The Los Angeles Kings found a way to win Games 1 and 2 in overtime as Anze Kopitar scored on a mid-ice breakway 8:13 into the extra session then Jeff Carter scored on a scramble late in OT of Game 2. The 2-1 win was not exactly a fantasy boon for those who still have players in the Final. However, New Jersey fell apart in Game 3 after a questionable first goal by Los Angeles. From there, the floodgates opened and you could kind of figure out what was going to happen next.

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. All the sims seemed to point to this being a formality of sorts but let’s look at tonight’s X Factors.


FANTASY X Factors:

Dustin Penner, LW, Los Angeles Kings

Penner has been killed all year and been made fun of the whole “pancake injury”. If he is motivated, Dustin Penner is the perfect power forward to have in the playoffs. Clearly this King is engaged in the action and he is a huge reason why the Kings are in the Finals. Think about this for a second, Penner is big, fast, and skilled. This will spell problems for the Devils defense and how they play guys like Penner and then Dustin Brown will likely determine their fate. It will be interesting to see when Devils’ Coach Peter DeBoer uses all of his cards and when. Penner is a game changer and deck shuffler at the very least. Even in Game 4, Penner is still a considerable X factor. Something tells us that Penner will do something to clinch in the clutch.

Zach Parise, W, New Jersey Devils

At some point Parise has to get going period! In the previous three rounds, Parise has done barely anything of note early on before coming alive. Parise has done little other than pile up his shot total a bit in this series and seemingly prevents goals for New Jersey as opposed to scoring them. The frustration level has boiled over and its not a secret that LA figured out a way to play Parise. Hit him early and often and eventually he will succumb. Whether that is fair or not does not matter as the physical game of Parise has vanished into the LA night.



Wednesday, June 6, 2012

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


Well this is absolute win territory for the New Jersey Devils. This actually may be a must win for LA also. Why? Los Angeles may feel a little pressure if they cannot close out New Jersey tonight and New Jersey is very adept at playing away from the Prudential Canter. They always have been. Most think Game 3 was more of an aberration but who knows. One thing is for sure, New Jersey is not going to lay down tonight, one way or the other. They cannot afford to, particularly their core leadership. This is because they will be absolutely skewered if they quit again like they did in Game 3.

Intangibles will play a big role in Game 4 and the rest issue will likely be mentioned enough times to make anyone sick of it.

Anyway here is our sim for tonight……


NHL 12 Sim — Kings @ Devils Game 4

What are we going to do?  Simply, we are going to run the NHL 12 sims for Game 4. 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 4
1st Period
No scoring
2nd Period
LAK – Anze Kopitar (14:23, PP, Brown and Doughty)
3rd Period
NJD – Ilya Kovalchuk (5:34, Parise and Zajac)
LAK – Dustin Penner (14:44, Doughty)
LAK – Slava Voynov (19:05, EN, unassisted)

Team Stats:
LAK- 26, NJD- 24
Power Plays
LAK- 1/3, NJD- 0/3

Final: Kings 3  Devils 1
3 Stars:
1. Jonathan Quick 2. Dustin Penner 3. Anze Kopitar

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? Time will tell but 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 not deviate at all in Game 4 as all seven of them picked LA by an average of two goals. The Fantasy Conn Smythe will be Jonathan Quick and that is not a surprise. Give him credit, he has played outstanding. New Jersey has had their chances so will they buck the sim trend 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!