With the coronavirus outbreak, if you want to watch sports right now your options are pretty much limited to old games or video games.
Some NHL teams have begun broadcasting NHL 20 video game versions of their scheduled games online. The Devils have been one of those teams, and they've gone all-in. They live tweet the games as if they were real, and they actually have players do fake postgame interviews from their homes. It's great:
“There’s games where you gotta give a lot of credit to your teammates, tonight probably wasn’t one of them with 98 saves. Think we know where that stands”
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) March 20, 2020
“I feel really good about it. I feel like our line has been playing well. It’s been a good few games here, hopefully we can keep it up.”
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) March 22, 2020
I've been mostly playing as my custom team, the Maryland Crabs, but I wanted to simulate a game between two teams without my involvement and see what would happen. The worst team in the game is the Senators (82 offense, 82 defense, 74 goaltending), so I wanted to see how they'd match up against the Nailers (54 offense, 55 defense, 63 goaltending).
I guess in this universe, the Senators have managed to get themselves relegated twice. So, they found themselves at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling. The Senators went with Anders Nilsson in net, the Nailers started Alex D'Orio:
The game was scoreless through the first period, but the Nailers were outmatched, being outshot 8-0. The game remained scoreless until late in the second period, when the Nailers went on the power play. The Senators had an offensive zone turnover to defenseman Craig Skudalski, who fed the puck to Cam Brown. Brown fed the puck to Nick Saracino in the slot, who scored blocker side:
D'Orio made a couple of big saves to hang on to the one-goal lead in the third period:
Five minutes into the final frame, Saracino extended the lead to 2-0 by banking the puck in off Nilsson from a tough angle:
With just under seven minutes remaining in the third period, Artem Anisimov ended D'Orio's shutout bid by putting the puck between the post and his blocker:
D'Orio stood tall in net for the remainder of the period, and the Nailers pulled out a 2-1 win:
Saracino earned No. 1 star honors for his two-goal performance, and D'Orio was named the second star for stopping 23 of the Senators' 24 shots.
If you want to see any other goofy NHL 20 simulations, leave your ideas in the comments! The game has a few "legends" teams with guys like Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, Bryan Trottier, and Paul Coffey, so we could mix those players into the games too.
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