A simulation run by NHL 12 predicts that Sidney Crosby, despite missing almost 17 games during the regular season, will lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a second place finish in the Eastern Conference standings (100 points) and their fourth Stanley Cup Championship. Crosby will be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Penguins take home the Stanley Cup in a decisive 4-2 series win against a resurgent Chicago Blackhawks team. The Vancouver Canucks will capture the Presidents’ Trophy in back-to-back years with 114 points during the regular season. The EA SPORTS NHL franchise has a history of successful simulation predictions, accurately selecting: the Chicago Blackhawks as the 2010 Stanley Cup champions; the Vancouver Canucks as the 2011 Presidents’ Trophy winner; and the 2011 Stanley Cup Final matchup of the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks.
According to the simulation, last year’s Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins will be unable to claim back-to-back glory as the new-look Philadelphia Flyers will eliminate the former champions during the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in five games. The Vancouver Canucks will lose in the Western Conference Final to the Chicago Blackhawks in seven games, adding fuel to the rivalry that has gripped the two cities in recent years.
Other notable team storylines the simulation predicted for the 2011-2012 NHL season are as follows:
- The Toronto Maple Leafs will squeak out an eighth place finish in the Eastern Conference, making the Playoffs for the first time in seven seasons
- The Minnesota Wild will finish eighth in the Western Conference and will make the Playoffs for the first time since 2008
- The Tampa Bay Lightning will once again miss out on the Stanley Cup Final; eliminated by the Penguins in a seven game Eastern Conference Final
Several individual players also stood out in the NHL 12 simulation. Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin will once again lead the League offensively, posting 110 points and will take home several pieces of hardware, winning the Art Ross, Ted Lindsay and the Hart Memorial trophies. NHL12 Cover Athlete Steven Stamkos will capture the Rocket Richard Trophy with 53 goals. The Nashville Predators’ Shea Weber will capture the James Norris Memorial Trophy and Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews will take home the Frank J. Selke Trophy. Brayden Schenn will thrive with the Philadelphia Flyers in his rookie season and will be awarded the Calder Memorial Trophy. Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers will take home his first ever Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goalie, leading all netminders with 41 wins and nine shutouts.
A simulation is conducted by artificial intelligence or logic of the videogame that uses real-life data from each player. Results are extrapolated by the videogame when two teams match up based on player ratings, line combinations, and include variances such as injuries and hot streaks to give a realistic outcome of a game or series.
In the revamped Be a Pro mode, experience the pursuit of greatness and legendary moments in your playing career, shatter historic records and cement yourself in NHL history. Additionally, the better you play, the more ice time you'll get where you can simulate to your next shift with the EA SPORTS Action Tracker so you're always on the ice as you play out your entire career in pursuit of the Stanley Cup.
The NHL 12 Full Contact Physics Engine puts you in the rink with everything now live on the ice, from players to the environment - everything is interactive and in play. Experience the skill and aggression of hockey from shattered glass to flying helmets to knocking players over the boards and into the bench; crash the crease too hard and you'll knock the net off and send the goalie flying. Size and physicality will be emphasized as bigger players will be able to throw their weight around as they screen the goalie and battle in front of the net.
This year marks the first time players will face dynamic goalies in the game. Players can knock the net off and make contact with goalies, knocking them down or out of position, as they crash the crease. Watch as goalies battle through screens to make awe-inspiring saves. Additionally, we're reigniting the beloved fighting engine that first appeared in NHL 10 with all-new goalie battles. When the action gets heated, send a message by leaving the net, dropping the gloves, and trading punches with rivals during fights.
All new gameplay presentation creates an authentic, fresh new look and feel throughout NHL 12 with presentation graphics that mimic real life hockey broadcasts. For the first time ever lace up outdoors under the lights in one of the biggest hockey events of the season, the 2011 NHL Winter Classic at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, within seconds of putting in the disc. Inspired by the NHL GameCenter Ice Tracker, the all-new EA SPORTS Action Tracker presents game highlights and key moments so you never miss a beat.
This is just a sneak peek of what's to come in EA SPORTS NHL 12. Stay tuned in the coming months for more news on the franchise as well as the EA SPORTS Hockey League and Hockey Ultimate Team.
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