|05-03-2023, 08:40 AM||#101|
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Herndon, VA
It's been a while. The game had a couple of crashes so I put it aside for while and went away and played Rimworld instead. My Rimworld colony died last night (never take in Rimworld refugees, they betrayed my guys, got a bit stabby and then set everything on fire. Don't think I've ever had refugees who didn't rebel) so I'm back to see if I can make it to the end of the season now. I've cleaned up the save files, deleted a lot of old backups (the save folder was very cluttered) and there's been a patch released too, so fingers crossed the crashes are in the past. The game saved successfully last time I tried so that's hopeful.
Last update was after a rerun because of a crash, and so is this attempt. When I left off Anchorage had just swept San Jose Sharks and were moving onto the Conference finals to face the Vancouver Canucks. In that run Anchorage beat Vancouver and moved onto a Stanley Cup final against the Boston Bruins. The in-game Boston Bruins team were the exact opposite of the real life Boston Bruins team: in-game had a terrible regular season (sneaked in from a weak division with a losing record) but had totally over-performed in the playoffs to reach the Stanley Cup finals. I checked their lines out and they were playing with 1 enforcer and 4 agitators, I'd never seen a team with an enforcer or with more than 1 agitator, so looks like they over-performed by gooning up, they played like they were in the Slap Shot movie.
We were tied 1-1 with the Bruins when the game collapsed to desktop and it was time to go back to the back-up files.
The good news is that I saved the day after Anchorage finished the San Jose sweep so that's not changed. The bad news is that the save was before the Vancouver v St Louis series had finished, that series was tied at 2-2 when we were 4-0. This time through it's St Louis that won so next up is the Western Conference Final, Anchorage Huskies v St Louis Blues.
Unfortunately in this rerun the Goon-ish Bruins are just as out as the real-life Bruins so we wont be seeing them again this year. Which is a pity because we were going to beat them.
2039/40 Western Conference Finals - Anchorage Huskies v St Louis Blues
It's a first playoff meeting with the St Louis Blues, they've been a very "in one year, out the next" kind of team, scraping into the playoffs or missing out. They do have one championship in the dynasty, they won the Stanley Cup in 2032, the year before Anchorage won. That's the only time they've reached the finals though.
Looking at their team they've got three top players, young Russian defenseman Dmitry Partasov (drafted 1st overall in 2034 ahead of once-in-a-generation talent Jerry Megna at 2, a controversial pick), veteran Swedish goaltender Elias Holm (600 games for St Louis, the only remaining member of their 2032 championship team) and Center Greg McKeamish (89 points in 73 games this year, he's a trouble maker, egotistical and money driven). They come into the series pretty beaten up, half their top players (including Partasov) are carrying injuries, whereas Anchorage have no injuries and are rested with a week off waiting for the other series to end.
Game 1 - St Louis Blues 3 Anchorage Huskies 4
St Louis has the best of the play in the first period, but it's Anchorage who take their chances, Enzo Landrey makes it 1-0 at 10:57 then scores again 1t 12.07. Greg McKeamish pulls one back for St Louis late on and it's 2-1 Anchorage after the first. Greg McKeamish ties it up at 3:35, a power play goal after an August Pettersson crosscheck. Jeff Martin scores for Anchorage at 12:17 and we're going into the third with a 3-2 lead. It doesn't last long, St Louis score at 2:42 from Petr Pluhar and it's all square. Three minutes later Anchorage take the lead, Enzo Landrey finishing off his hat-trick at 4:53 and that's the end of the scoring, Anchorage 1-0 up.
Game 2 - St Louis Blues 1 Anchorage Huskies 6
This one is a bit more one-sided, despite St Louis leading 1-0 after the first period, Eetu Siponen giving them the lead. Anchorage storm back with three in the second period (1:24 Jonas Lambert, 7:15 Jordan Gavin, 13:36 David Prudek), then three more in the third (9:01 Henry Mews, 17:29 Enzo Landrey, 17:49 Mark Dollack) and Anchorage have a 2-0 series lead.
Game 3 - Anchorage Huskies 5 St Louis Blues 4 Overtime
Still no injuries so the same lines rolling out, the biggest issue at the moment is that some of our defensemen are in the more mature phase of their careers and cant cope will a run of games, we might need to rotate Reece Gaunt and Henry Mews out of the lineup soon if we cant win quickly and get a rest between series. Like the last game St Louis score first and lead 1-0 after the first (Evan Barrick at 4:59), but Anchorage storm back with three unanswered in the second (1:46 Henry Mews, 3:19 Anssi Ridanpaa, 8:17 August Pettersson). This time St Louis don't crumble though, they storm back with two in the second period and a power play goal at 13:52 in the third to take a 4-3 lead. Anchorage get a late power play goal from Enzo Landrey and it's off to overtime. Michael Jackson ends a thriller with an OT goal, and we're one game away from the Stanley Cup. My Michael Jackson song pun game is weakened by the fact Thriller and Bad are the only two I remember. And the one about a rat.
Game 4 - Anchorage Huskies 2 St Louis Blues 1
And just like that the series is over and we're off to another Stanley Cup Final. Jordan Gavin puts Anchorage ahead at 1:15 in the first, we kill four power plays through the first and second (surprisingly David Prudek and Jeff Martin were not responsible for any of them) and go into the third period with a 1-0 lead. Ken Wallace scores at 6:45 in the third to tie it up, but at 13:08 Jordan Gavin scores his second of the night, a close in rebound, and we've got the sweep and onto the Stanley Cup.
With the crashes this is the third time Anchorage have made the Stanley Cup final, made it every time. I think with the over-powered initial rookie drafts aging we're starting to see a drop in general player standards, fewer top-top players. I havent had the "yeah, they're loaded, they're better than us" feeling when I look at an opponent for a couple of years, teams with 4 x 5.0 rated players are a thing of the past, Anchorage are down to only one (G Lucas Wall, long time star Jordan Gavin has started the slide and is now 4.0). Anchorage aren't getting better, it's just everybody else is getting a little worse.
So onto the Stanley Cup Final where we'll play the Carolina Hurricanes. They beat Quebec Nordiques in the Eastern Conference final.
Still no crashes.
Last edited by Critch : 05-03-2023 at 08:57 AM.
|05-03-2023, 12:12 PM||#102|
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Herndon, VA
2039/40 Stanley Cup Finals - Anchorage Huskies v Carolina Hurricanes
So this is Anchorage Huskies 4th Stanley Cup Finals in 8 years, a win over Columbus in 2033, a loss to New York Rangers in 2034 and a loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2036. We've got time for one more win before the Jordan Gavin/Henry Mews era comes to an end hopefully.
Carolina Hurricanes have also had an above-average time through the sim, they've won a pair of championships (2023 and 2031) but they've got an aging core too. They won the Metropolitan division this year and the President's Trophy too with 121 points, 2 more than Anchorage. No President's Trophy curse for them. It's a bounceback season after a few rebuilding years stocking up on prospects, they've missed the playoffs the last three years, finished 8th in their division once and dead last twice. Despite the recent rebuild they still have an aging roster though, five 33 year olds, a 32 year old, three 31 year olds and three 30 year olds. Aging core or a good mix of young players and experience I guess, depends how you look at it.
Their star players are a pair of 30 year olds, all-star defenseman Stanislav Rakhvalov and top goalie Filip Urban, but they also have a bunch of younger players that'll keep them competitive for years. Until this year they'd missed the playoffs 4 of the last 5 years so they've had the draft picks to rebuild. They've got 4.5 star rated defensive left wing Brodie Felker (27 years old), 4.0 star winger Matthew O'Hara (21 years old), 4.0 star Center Jani Jauhiainen (24 years old) and their backup goalie is one of the best young goalies in the league, 5.0 star potential Emilio Jeffery.
Carolina will have home advantage through the series. It's a rare Top Team in the East v Top Team in the West match-up, normally at least one of the top seeds has gone by now.
Game 1 - Anchorage Huskies 0 Carolina Hurricanes 4
Still no injuries for Anchorage, we go in with the first choice lines, but get blitzed early. Carolina score early and often and we're 3-0 down at the end of the first period. Tobias Tomik gives them the lead at 12:08, Lawrence Fruge makes it two at 15:54 and Brodie Felker adds a third at 19:15. They add another in the second and it's game over, their goalie Filip Urban stopping all 21 shots he faced.
Game 2 - Anchorage Huskies 5 Carolina Hurricanes 0
Second line center Enzo Landrey is out, he's day to day with a swollen ear. I guess it's so big he cant get his helmet on. We've got defensive center Jeff Smith waiting to take his place, he's been a bit of a flop since signing as a free agent last summer and had dropped out the team, it's his chance to shine. The first two periods are settled by special teams, they get two power plays and Anchorage kills them both, Anchorage get two power plays and score on both. Henry Mews at 5:21 in the first, Anssi Ridanpaa at 5:41 in the second and we have a 2-0 lead going into the third. David Prudek scores at 4:55 to make it 3-0 and settle nerves, Jordan Gavin at 9:10 and it's 4-0, and Aleksandr Unichenko adds a final second goal to pad it to 5-0. A solid win, we outshot them 35-18.
Game 3 - Carolina Hurricanes 2 Anchorage Huskies 3 Overtime
Enzo Landrey could play if needed but we did ok without him so he'll not be risked, Jeff Smith stays in the lineup. Carolina go 1-0 up in the first with a goal from Matthew O'Hara, Anchorage tie it up in the second with a goal from Aleksandr Unichenko and it's onto the third tied 1-1. Vladislav Uzhentsev puts Carolina ahead at 4:56 in the third, but then it's power play time again. Anchorage score theirs, Jordan Gavin at 5:55, then kill a Carolina power play and we're going to overtime tied at 2-2. Anchorage score with their first shot of overtime, Borje Svensson with the game winner. He's quietly become the star of the Huskies, three goals and ten assists in the playoffs this year.
Game 4 - Carolina Hurricanes 0 Anchorage Huskies 2
Enzo Landrey is back, he's 100% and Jeff Smith has been mediocre at best as his replacement so it's an easy decision. It's a Lucas Wall masterclass, he saves all 29 shots he faces to shut out Carolina. Carolina keep it close though, it's 0-0 heading into the third but Jeff Martin gets the breakthrough for Anchorage 38 seconds into the third, the returning Enzo Landrey adds another at 18:01 and we're 3-1 up in the series and just one game from a Stanley Cup win.
Game 5 - Anchorage Huskies 1 Carolina Hurricanes 3
Johan Dahlberg is out for this game, a strained muscle. We bring in 5'10 rookie defenseman Martin Pospisil to replace the 6'6'' 246lbs Dahlberg, that doesn't sound like a good swap. Carolina are also missing a couple of players, former Huskie defenseman Carter Murphy (18 games in the 2029/30 season, traded to NY Rangers for the pick that became G Lucas Wall) is day to day and their star Brodie Felker is done for the series too. Missing a star doesnt slow them down, they're 2-0 up after the first, Matthew O'Hara and Stanislav Rakhvalov scoring for them. August Pettersson gets one back for Anchorage in the second, but O'Hara scores again early in the third and the series is back to 3-2.
Game 6 - Carolina Hurricanes 4 Anchorage Huskies 2
Johan Dahlberg is still out, Martin Pospisil is still the replacement. He actually played quite well in the last game despite the defeat. The game itself is a chance thrown away. We're 1-0 up after the first, Hunter Aura with the goal but Carolina tie it up with a short handed goal in the second. Into the third and Borje Svensson gives Anchorage the lead, we get to seven minutes from having our hands on the cup then collapse, three goals allowed in the last seven minutes. Geno Carcone (who's been somebody Anchorage have nearly signed multiple times over the years) ties it up at 13.01, Tobias Tomik adds a power play goal at 14:53 and Carolina add a late empty net goal and we're all off to Carolina for game seven.
Game 7 - Anchorage Huskies 1 Carolina Hurricanes 3
Well balls to that. 3-1 up in the series and we throw it away. Should have won this game too, outshot them 34-24, 6 high danger chances to 4, but lost. Their goalie Filip Urban made the difference. There's no scoring in the first, Jani Jauhiainen puts Carolina ahead in the second. TJ Liboiron makes it 2-0 early in the third, Enzo Landrey pulls one back at 13:23 but that's as close as we got, Carolina added a late empty net goal from Matthew O'Hara (he'll win playoff MVP) and that's the season over.
So Carolina become joint top Championship winners for the run of this dynasty (does anything before 2023 really count?) with their third championship, tied with Dallas. New York Rangers and Toronto have two, the only other teams with more than one championship.
If nothing else painfully losing the Stanley Cup final will remove any suspicion that I was save-scumming til I won. And at least there have been no more crashes.
|05-03-2023, 03:55 PM||#103|
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Herndon, VA
2039/40 Season Wrap Up
Anchorage's top points getter for the playoffs was David Prudek (7 goals, 14 assists, 21 points) followed by Anssi Ridanpaa and Michael Jackson with 18 points, top scorer was Jordan Gavin with 11 goals, Michael Jackson lead +/- with +18 and Henry Mews led time on ice with 22:22, the old guy can still churn out the minutes.
A special mention for 3.5mil per year free agent center flop Jeff Smith who managed 0 points in 7 games and a team low game rating of 58 (below 60 is bad). You suck, Mr Smith.
And finally, in the last post I predicted that Carolina's Matthew O'Hara would win playoff MVP. That was wrong, the Conn Smythe award actually went to their goaltender Filip Urban. He had a .936 sv%, well deserved award, he was the difference in the final.
2040/41 Rookie Draft
It's the same as usual. Anchorage have a low pick, number 39 in the first round, and get a player who may or may not one day be NHL standard. This year he's a 6'3'' 17 year old Slovakian winger called Jan Strba. LW Lukas Lanik, LD Elias Karjalainen, RD Benjamin Borg, RD Kalevi Siirtola, C Scott West, G Daniel Tvrdik, RW Denis Sabursky. That's the full list of this year's lottery tickets.
At the top of the draft, the top three picks are all 5.0 potential players, number 1 RW Jan Kacerik goes to Nashville, number 2 LD Jan Neckar goes to Colorado, and number 3 G Emerson Bouverie goes to California. A good draft for people called Jan.
2040/41 Free Agency
A handful of depth players out, D Reece Gault, D Hunter Aura, LW Jonas Lambert all off to free agency. Also gone is former Huskies great 33 year old Lucas Karmiris, 14 seasons with Anchorage, 877 games, 167 goals, 425 assists, 592 points but he's been past his best for a few years.
The salary space saved by letting the free agents leave was all used to sign extensions for existing players, Jeff Martin, Anssi Ridanpaa, Mark Dollack, Alexander Broda, Aleksandr Unichenko all tied up for 3+ more years.
A few rookies have been signed to two way contracts and there's still enough to pick up a depth defenseman on waivers before the season start, but that'll be the only incoming unless somebody goes out.
Really if there was a time to tear the team down and go into rebuild mode it would be now, 11 of the 23 players on the roster are on contract years. I could trade them all away for picks and start Anchorage Phase II.
|05-09-2023, 12:21 PM||#104|
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Herndon, VA
2040/41 Regular Season
A quick look at the roster:
There's a worrying number of players going into the final year of their contracts, one of my house rules is "no negotiating on salary screen, players get what they ask for" so I've not been trying to stagger the ending years of contracts so we're stuck with this. It's really not ideal. (Incidentally it seems like the "no negotiating" houserule isnt really necessary, a players idea of negotiating is dropping their demands by 100k then sticking to it as final and not budging on number of years at all.)
At the end of this season we'll have about 33mil salary space free, but 13 free agents who almost all seem to be asking for between 5 and 8 mil with G Lucas Wall asking for 14mil too. So next off-season going to need some roster reworking, this may be the end of the road for this team before a rebuild. There's nothing in the prospect pool to fill the gaps if overpriced players leave too, no letting a 3.0 player wanting 5mil walk to replace them with a 19 year old on an entry level contract, the farm is bare.
I half-thought of trading everybody away and going full rebuild before the season started, I got as far as shopping all the upcoming free agents to see what kind of haul I could expect, looks like the return would be around 2 1st round picks and a huge bucket of 3rd, 4th and 5th round picks. So the decision has been punted until the trade deadline, if we're out the running by then it'll be clear out time. I dont think it's very likely that we'll be out of the playoff race by trade deadline though, this is pretty much the same team that got 119 points last year.
There's a definite fall off in the number of top players in the league by 2040, there was a time where the top teams would be rocking 4 or more 5.0 star "top players", now most teams are 1x5.0 or a couple of 4.5's and a strong supporting cast. I've seen complaints on reddit about how drafts are too weak long term, but I'm going in the other direction. It's not that the later drafts are too weak, it's that the early drafts are too strong. The game seeds the first few years drafts with lots of real-life prospects and it makes the first 4 or so years draft pools too strong, there are top players all through the draft. A bottom of round 1 player wont be far off a top of round 1 player, even round 2 players are pretty much sure-fire future NHL players. Now that we're about 15 seasons past those strong early drafts, those early prospects have aged and retired or regressed and I'm going this is how the game is supposed to be. It seems more balanced, teams dont have multiple superstars and the free agent market doesnt have multiple top players sitting unsigned for months. This year by opening night the unsigned free agents were all replacement level players. It's making 3.0 and even 2.5 star players more important. If I was starting again, I'd search the options to see if there's one to turn off the real prospects. There are options for everything in setup, maybe that too.
So onto the season, the first game of the regular season is a throwback to the good old days, a Jordan Gavin hattrick and a goal from Henry Mews. Jordan Gavin is still a top player, he's fallen from 5.0 to 4.0 over the last couple of seasons but still leads the team, but going by ratings alone Henry Mews should now be our 7th defender, he's rated 2.0. He'll be staying top line, you dont turn a team legend into a backup. Not til next year anyway.
We start slowly, looking more like a wild card/just missed the playoffs-type team than a contendor, mainly down to our star goalie Lucas Wall. He's less than effective, nearing the halfway point he's got a negative "goals saved above average" rating, not what you expect from a 5.0 goalie. It's his contract year, maybe he can't stand the pressure. By the holiday period he's sitting on the bench and Janiszewski is starting and out performing him. At the midway point we're 4th/5th in the division and just about holding onto a wild card spot.
Normally the All-Star game whizzes past without me noticing, and with limited or no Anchorage involvement (Jordan Gavin and Henry Mews have been our best players for years, but Gavin has 3 all-star appearances and Mews only 1), but this year there's Anchorage involvement, Borje Svensson scores a hattrick for the Western Conference. The Western Conference still lose though, but an all-star hattrick. Probably just means he'll want to be paid more.
The second half everything clicks, Lucas Wall wins his starter goalie spot back and is closer to his best, Jordan Gavin has rolled back the years and is having his best season for years as a 34 year old. Anchorage end the season with a 14-2-0 run and win the Pacific division on the last day. We have the second best record in the conference behind Arizona, they're led by the league's best player Jerry Megna. He ends the season with 112 points (53 goals, 59 assists) in 67 games, he'd have been record breaking if he hadn't separated his shoulder and missed 15 games.
One downside of Jordan Gavin's bounceback season (48 goals, 35 assists in 81 games, only his second season at over a point per game) is his salary demand. He's on the last year of 12mil per year and at the start of the year he realized he was on a slide and asked for 8mil per year. Now he's had one good year he's now asking for 16mil per year. Not bloody likely.
So Anchorage Huskies win the Pacific with 110 points, Vancouver are in 2nd also with 110, Vegas with 101 (they're 15 points ahead at Xmas but collapse from then on), Edmonton with 99 and San Jose with 93 (both wild cards are from the Pacific).
In the Central division it's Arizona with 121 points, Nashville with 104 and St Louis with 103. In the Eastern conference Toronto win the Atlantic division and the President's Trophy with 124 points. Reigning Stanley Cup champs Carolina win the Metropolitan division with 122 points.
Onto the playoffs, we'll play the top Wild Card team Edmonton in round one.
Last edited by Critch : 05-09-2023 at 12:30 PM.
|05-09-2023, 05:27 PM||#105|
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Herndon, VA
2040/41 Playoffs Round 1 - Anchorage Huskies v Edmonton Oilers
It's a first playoff meeting with the Edmonton Oilers, mainly because they've not been very good. This is their first time back-to-back in the playoffs in almost 20 seasons, they haven't won a series in the playoffs since Draisaitl and McDavid retired 10 years ago, and even when they had those two they still were inconsistent. So we haven't played them in the playoffs because they rarely make it and don't hang around when they do. Hopefully this isn't their year to change that.
They seem to have a number of good young players (high draft picks every year will do that), but they've been signing older top free agents to pad it out, 30yo LW Ashley Muzzin from Washington and 32yo Center Frans Karjalahti from Atlanta, alongside their own draft picks RD Charlie Tearall and LW Elvin Washington. Both Tearall and Washington come in carrying injuries, the AI seems to be a lot more into delaying treatment and leaving players playing injured than I am, Washington's injury seems quite severe to play through, an elbow injury that'll take 2 months to recover from when he starts resting.
Edmonton finished 4th in the Pacific Division, 11 points behind the Huskies. They scored one more goal than Anchorage in the regular season (289v288), but conceded 53 more (252v199). Anchorage have always been pretty conservative and defensive, they do play a lot of not very attacking forwards.
Game 1 - Edmonton Oilers 2 Anchorage Huskies 6
Anchorage will be missing winger Jeff Martin, he's been out since February and probably wont be back til the start of next season. He' injury prone and we pay him over 7mil per season. Michael Jackson puts Anchorage ahead at 4:47, but the strangely named Edmonton center Jeffrey Coonishish gets them back to 1-1 at the end of the first. Anchorage get into a good lead in the second, three goals without reply. Joni-Jukka Timonen, August Pettersson and Enzo Landrey make it 4-1 by the end of the first. All four of the Anchorage scorers so far are free agents in the summer. Into the third Coonishish gets one back, but Mark Dollack and Alexander Broda score and game one is safely won. Edmonton actually outshot Anchorage, but Anchorage scored 6 goals on 29 shots. The Edmonton goalie, Tommy McLean, isnt very good.
Game 2 - Edmonton Oilers 3 Anchorage Huskies 4 Overtime
Bad news for Anchorage on the injury front, David Prudek is out short term. Worse news for Edmonton is that they're top center and assist man Frans Karjalahti is done for the season. Edmonton lead 1-0 after the first with a goal from Jackson Smith. In the second Joni-Jukka Timonen scores his second goal of the playoffs, after managing 4 in 70 regular season games, but Edmonton score again to lead 2-1 after the second period, Harrison Smith scores for them. It doesnt say if Harrison Smith is Jackson Smith's brother, but Jackson and Harrison sound like they've been named by the same parents. Into the third and it's 3-1 Edmonton but not another Smith brother, this time it's Ryan Huss. He is from the same town as the Smith boys so maybe a cousin (all three have Calgary AB listed as their hometown). It's 3-1 Edmonton going into the last 5 minutes but Anssi Ridanpaa scores to make it 3-2, Mark Dollack ties it up with a power play goal at 18:42, and we're off to overtime. It doesn't last long, 25 seconds in Borje Svensson scores and Anchorage take a 2-0 series lead.
Game 3 - Anchorage Huskies 0 Edmonton Oilers 3
Edmonton might be beat up, but they're not out yet. They score a 5-on-3 power play goal in the first, they have a 5-on-3 advantage for 1 minute 20 before scoring, then add another power play goal in the second. An even strength goal in the third and it's all over, Edmonton's previously discounted goalie Tommy McLean saving all 32 shots he faced. When I was a kid one of my favorite soccer players was called Tommy McLean. Probably not a relation.
Game 4 - Anchorage Huskies 5 Edmonton Oilers 3
It's time to shake up the defensive lines, top liner Matt Leader (the man who covers while Henry Mews dodders around the ice like Mr Magoo) picks up an injury and will be out short term. Our Russian rookie Dennis Molotov is in to set the game alight like something explosive. Another young defenseman, 23 year old Czech Martin Pospisil makes it 1-0 to Anchorage, Edmonton equalize with yet another power play goal, but a Russian rookie gives us the lead. It's 21 year old LW Yegor Grebenkov (in because Martin and Prudek are out so we're short of Left Wingers). Into the second period and Edmonton race back into it, Harrison Smith scores (and assist from his "brother") to tie it up, they score again at 9:01 and it's 3-2 Edmonton. It doesn't last long, Jordan Gavin scores his first of the playoffs (with an assist from Henry Mews, his first of the playoffs) within 2 mins, and August Pettersson scores a go ahead goal for Anchorage before the end of the second. A late empty net goal from Borje Svensson and Anchorage are 3-1 up in the series. Just like we were 3-1 up in last season's Stanley Cup final. Grumble.
Game 5 - Edmonton Oilers 3 Anchorage Huskies 4
Joni-Jukka Timonen is out now, we're 2 defensemen down since Leader is still out. In comes long time Anchorage backup John Fireman, he's just back from injury and not 100% himself. The first period passes scoreless, but Anchorage race out into a lead in the second period, Henry Mews at 4:05, Enzo Landrey at 4:36 and Michael Jackson at 12:29. Past the halfway point and we're 3-0 up in the game and 3-1 up in the series. It's almost all over, even when Bryce Collins scores for Edmonton late in the second. Midway through the third and it's game-on, another power play goal for Edmonton, Bryce Collins again. Five minuted later it's all tied up, another power play goal for Edmonton and it's Bryce Collins completing his hattrick. We're heading towards overtime when Anchorage get their first power play of the game, Henry Mews scores and, after holding on for 2 more minutes, the series is over.
We'll now have a few days off to recover, hopefully get Prudek, Timonen and Leader back fit, and work on the penalty kill. We've conceded 5 goals in the last 7 Edmonton power plays.
Next up it'll be Vancouver, they get by Vegas in seven games. Anchorage will have had a full seven days off allowing injuries to heal before the first game of that series, it's good to win quickly.
|05-09-2023, 08:04 PM||#106|
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Herndon, VA
2040/41 Playoffs Round 2 - Anchorage Huskies v Vancouver Canucks
It's Vancouver again, they beat us a couple of years ago in the Conference final. Back then it was supposedly Connor Bedard's last chance to finally win a Stanley Cup (which he did), but they're back again this year and he's still there. He's 35 years old, the years of 100pts a season are long gone ("only" 62 points this year) but he's still center on their top line and he's still earning 12mil per year so he's not quite done.
They still have all-star defenseman Louis-Joseph Boutin, a top young RW in Oskar Gronberg, former number 1 pick Sam Dickinson (a long time ago, he's played 1275 games for Vancouver) and goalie Nick Milley. So they're still a top team even if Bedard is finally fading.
Anchorage won the Pacific division with 110 points, but Vancouver were second also with 110 points. So it'll be close.
Game 1 - Vancouver Canucks 0 Anchorage Huskies 3
David Prudek is back, Matt Leader is back, a week between series has been kind to the Huskies and getting players back from knocks. There's no scoring in the first, but we do kill a penalty so that's a good start. Aleksandr Unichenko (10:43) and Matt Leader (17:44) and it's 2-0 Anchorage after the second period. August Pettersson adds another in the third and we're 1-0 up in the series. After selling Nick Milley as a top goalie, they've apparently dropped him, he's the backup now. Their new starter Phil Padgett did ok, stopped 36 of 39 shots, but Anchorage cruised game one.
Game 2 - Vancouver Canucks 3 Anchorage Huskies 1
Anchorage lose a game they shouldnt have lost. Vancouver go 1-0 up in the first with a goal from Marcus Mezon, they go 2-0 up in the second with a short handed goal from Luke Moroz. Enzo Landrey drags Anchorage within 1 with 5 minutes to go, before an Anchorage power play to end the game. Vancouver add another short handed goal, this one empty net, and the series is tied at 1-1.
Game 3 - Anchorage Huskies 5 Vancouver Canucks 2
The theme of the first period is aging star centers scoring: Connor Bedard puts Vancouver ahead, Jordan Gavin makes it 1-1. The theme of the second period is goals from defensemen: Matt Leader scores for Anchorage, Sam Dickinson brings Vancouver level (another power play goal, 5-on-3), Matt Leader scores again. Going into the the third it's 3-2 Anchorage and happily the theme of the third is Anchorage scoring. Borje Svensson makes it 4-2, Mark Dollack adds a powerplay goal and it's a 5-2 win for Anchorage.
Game 4 - Anchorage Huskies 3 Vancouver Canucks 0
Joni-Jukka Timonen is back from injury, but he's not 100% fit and Denis Molotov has been doing well in his absense so Molotov flames on. And it's a good decision too, Molotov scores in the first period and it's not even the first goal, Jordan Gavin scored Anchorage's first. So 2-0 after the first period, still 2-0 after the second period, still 2-0 when Vancouver go empty net late on, and thats when August Pettersson scores an empty net goal and it's 3-0. Not so good new for August Pettersson is he shows up on the development report with a negative number, if he's a regressing 28 year old he's not getting the 8mil per year he thinks he's worth.
Game 5 - Vancouver Canucks 2 Anchorage Huskies 5
It's a chance for Anchorage to tie up the series, and they dont mess it up and piss away the series this time. David Prudek makes it 1-0 Anchorage in the first, Alexander Broda makes it 2-0 in the second, but Vancouver score twice in a minute and it's 2-2 after two periods. The scoring in the third is all one way, Alexander Broda makes it 3-2 at 1:18, Aleksandr Unichenko makes it 4-2 at 9:35, Aleksandr Unichenko scores again and makes it 5-2 at 12:47 and the series is over, 4-1 to Anchorage and we're off to the Conference final again. It's not all good news though, Jordan Gavin is injured. A minor injury, a thigh strain, but who knows how long that'll last.
So it's the conference final against San Jose Sharks. I'm not sure how they're here, they're not very good. In the Eastern Conference it's Quebec Nordiques against reigning Stanley Cup champions Carolina Hurricanes.
|05-09-2023, 09:09 PM||#107|
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Herndon, VA
2040/41 Western Conference Finals - Anchorage Huskies v San Jose Sharks
It's the hated San Jose, our number one rival apparently. If I check the teams rivals page Anchorage lists San Jose Sharks as the main rival, San Jose's page doesnt mention Anchorage at all. We hate them and they dont care.
Normally when you look at a playoff team they have a few 5.0 or 4.5 rated players, a supporting cast of 6 or so 4.0 or 3.5 star players then a bunch of 3.0 and 2.5 role players. San Jose are like that but without the stars. They're all supporting cast. They finished 5th in the Pacific division but sneaked into the playoffs as the second wild card team, upset the number one seed Arizona 4-2 then swept St Louis. They may well be the worst team we've faced in the playoffs.
Their star player is RW Jeremy Skolrood, he only played 25 games this season after all kinds of elbow issues. He's a 4.0 player, the only player they have over 3.5. Other than that they have former Huskie Rick Claybomb (51 games in the 2033/34 season), 34 year old recurring all-star Macklin Celebrini, they're not very good and they're not even young.
We should be winning this.
Game 1 - San Jose Sharks 5 Anchorage Huskies 1
The knock Jordan Gavin got in the last series wasnt serious, the few days rest between series was enough and he wont be missing any games. We're just terrible all game, only manage 19 shots and are out of it quickly. It's 3-0 Sharks after the first, 4-0 after the second, Borje Svenson pulls one back in a penalty ridden third period but it's too late and Macklin Celebrini adds a 5th late on. Lucas Wall stinks with a .773 save percentage.
Game 2 - San Jose Sharks 0 Anchorage Huskies 2
Game 2 is totally different. Anchorage outshoot them 43-16 and, despite the scoreline, it's a walkover. Anchorage score a power play goal in the second (Michael Jackson at 14:30) and a late powerplay goal in the third (Borje Svensson at 19:33, empty net) and the series is tied.
Game 3 - Anchorage Huskies 4 San Jose Sharks 2
Another game Anchorage dominate. Anchorage lead quickly, Jordan Gavin makes it 1-0 after 58 seconds. San Jose get back on level terms in the second, Tyler Whaley after 8:11 and it's 1-1 going to the third period. Midway through the third period Anchorage score a pair of power play goals, Micael Jackson at 10:33 and Alexander Broda at 13:17 and the game is won. San Jose get back close at 14:11 from Antoine Denis, but Mark Dollack adds another for Anchorage and it's game over.
Game 4 - Anchorage Huskies 4 San Jose Sharks 1
An injury for Anchorage, but it's a strange one that probably makes us stronger. Henry Mews is really in the team for nostalgia, he's out now with an injury. Two Anchorage goals in the first (Enzo Landrey at 9:46, Anssi Ridanpaa at 16:29. Ridanpaa has "umlauts" over both the final a's. Not umlauts, Finnish doesnt have umlauts. But that's what they look like). Two more goals in the second (Joni-Jukka Timonen (3:56) and Mark Dollack (7:36), Joni-Jukka Timonen is Finnish too but doesnt have any not-umlauts at all). It's game over, even though Jeremy Skolrood scores a late consolation for San Jose.
Game 5 - San Jose Sharks 2 Anchorage Huskies 3 Overtime
We need one win to clinch the series, but the injuries are starting to kick in. Henry Mews is still out and he's joined by LW David Prudek (probably out for the playoffs) and Aleksandr Unichenko (day to day, should be back soon). In better news Jeff Martin has been back training and we could risk him tonight if needed. He wont be risked. In the first period Macklin Celebrini gives San Jose the lead, but Anssi Ridanpaa and then Enzo Landrey score to give Anchorage a 2-1 lead after the first period. The second period goes by scoreless despite a 5 minute boarding major for Denis Molotov, we kill the five minute power play but that'll be a suspension. Into the third clinging onto a lead, but Will Kesselman scores for San Jose and we're heading to overtime. San Jose have the best of the overtime, but it's Jordan Gavin who scores the sudden death goal and we're off to the Stanley Cup finals again. We dont play well, allow a lot of shots and outshot (37-28), but goalie Lucas Wall saves the day.
Last year it was Anchorage v Carolina in the Stanley Cup Finals, this year it's Anchorage v Carolina too. The win the Eastern Conference finals 4-2 over Quebec.
It would be only fair if it's out turn to win.
|05-09-2023, 10:48 PM||#108|
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Herndon, VA
2040/41 Stanley Cup Finals - Anchorage Huskies v Carolina Hurricanes
What would be a more fitting end to the dynasty than winning a Stanley Cup right now? The original stars are fading away to retirement and the rest of the team is about to be ravaged by free agency, I could win the Stanley Cup, declare the dynasty a resounding success and move onto Football Manager without having to go through an Anchorage rebuild that could dent my feeling of having beaten FHM. It's all set up.
Last year we held a 3-1 lead over Carolina in the Stanley Cup final and threw it away, we crumbled and let them come back into it and win. We snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. There's no doubt Carolina are a good team, so it's not going to be easy. All the stars they had last year are back, all-star defenseman Stanislav Rakhvalov and top goalie Filip Urban, defensive winger Brodie Felker, 22 year old winger Matthew O'Hara is back and seems to have improved, 4.0 star Center Jani Jauhiainen, top goalie prospect Emilio Jeffrey (although he's not played a minute in the playoffs this year, it's been all Urban), but they've also added 19 year old rookie RW Philippe Lachapelle, 57 points in his first season and odds on favorite for rookie of the year.
They also have home advantage. It's going to be tough.
Game 1 - Anchorage Huskies 6 Carolina Hurricanes 1
The bad news is David Prudek is still out, Aleksandr Unichenko is still out, and now LW Magnus Larsen is out too. The good news is Denis Molotov dodged a suspension for his boarding major after a review, and Jeff Martin is back for the first time since February (it's now May 24th). I'm not sure if the last bit of news is good news or bad news, so I'll just call it news: Henry Mews is back too. Jeff Martin announces his return from injury with a goal at 2:25, Brodie Felker scores for Carolina and it's 1-1 after the first. Into the second period and it's Anchorage Centers go Wild, Enzo Landrey scores 2 (1:41 and 9:39), Michael Jackson adds another at 16:18 and we're 4-1 up after two periods. Carolina get an early power play in the third, but Alexander Broda crushes their hopes of a comeback with a short handed goal, Enzo Landrey adds another at 19:35 to finish his hattrick and game one is in the bag.
Game 2 - Anchorage Huskies 6 Carolina Hurricanes 1
I haven't just cut and pasted and forgot to change the score, it really is 6-1 again. We're 3-0 up after the first period, an Enzo Landrey power play goal (9:05), Jordan Gavin a little over a minute later (10:09) and 4th line center (in place of the injured Aleksandr Unichenko) B.J. Zentner at 12:43 and we're flying. Jeff Martin scores at 9:35 of the second and it's 4-0. Into the third, Noel Jolanki pulls one back for Carolina at 7:07, but Jeff Martin scores again (his third goal in two games since returning from injury) at 10:25 and the comeback is dead. Michael Jackson adds a sixth at 19:57 and we've won both legs on the road, back to Anchorage 2-0 up.
Game 3 - Carolina Hurricanes 4 Anchorage Huskies 3 Overtime
Still no returns from injury, Prudek, Unichenko and Larsen still all out, but no new injuries either. It's 1-1 after the first (Jauhlainen for them, Borje Svensson makes it 1-1), it's 2-2 after the second (Kale Gretzky for them, Borje Svensson equalizes again for us), 3-3 after the third (B.J. Zentner makes it 3-2 Anchorage, but they tie it up at 14:33) and we're off to overtime. There's no scoring in OT1, but in OT2 Kale Gretzky wins it for Carolina, his second goal of both this game and the playoffs, he's spent the regular season bouncing between AHL and Carolina, tonight is The Mediocre Ones time to shine.
Game 4 - Carolina Hurricanes 3 Anchorage Huskies 4 Overtime
No changes to the lineup, Unichenko could play but B.J. Zentner has been doing ok centering the 4th line so no reason to rush Unichenko when he's not 100%. Anssi Ridanpaa makes it 1-0 Anchorage in the first with a power play goal but Carolina storm back in the second, two goals from Matthew O'Hara both assisted by 19 year old superstar Philippe Lachapelle and they go into the third leading 2-1. How does a perpetual challenger like Carolina manage to draft a 19 year old superstar? I want one like that. Jeff Martin scores at the beginning of the third (his 4th in 4 games) and it's all square until Matthew O'Hara finishes his hat-trick and it's 3-2 Carolina. Johan Dahlberg scores at 10:31 and we're off to over time. Last game went to double overtime, this game doesn't even make it 2 minutes, Jordan Gavin scores the winner at 1:25. We're 3-1 up and only one game away from winning the Stanley Cup final. Same as we were last year.
Game 5 - Anchorage Huskies 5 Carolina Hurricanes 2
B.J. Zentner keeps his place in the 4th line, no changes. If we win tonight we'll have won the series without David Prudek, Magnus Larsen and Aleksandr Unichenko, three important players. I shouldn't be this tense pressing a "sim game" button, I'm a grown man and it's just a game, but here we are. Borje Svensson makes it 1-0 Anchorage in the first, the 4th line make it 2-0 at 2:30 of the second, Devan Vandenberg scores with assists from Jordan Mynarski and B.J. Zentner. Now I think about it I should have dropped Jordan Mynarski and played Unichenko on the left wing, he can play there. Sorry Aleksandr. Kale Gretzky pulls one back for Carolina but another no-name restores our two goal lead, 21 year old Russian rookie Yegor Grebenkov. Carolina score again late in the second period and we're 3-2 up and 20 minutes away from the Stanley Cup. At 3:53 we're 4-2 up when Michael Jackson scores, at 12:09 Enzo Landrey adds a power play goal to make it 5-2 and the Stanley Cup is won. We were outshot 43-28 (although Anchorage had more high danger chances 13-10), Anchorage goalie Lucas Wall made the difference stopping 41 of 43 shots.
Seventeen seasons for Anchorage, thirteen playoff appearances, a current streak of eleven playoff appearances in a row, seven Western Conference finals (all in the last nine years), five Stanley Cup finals, two Stanley Cup wins. It's not been a bad run.
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