How close was NHL 14’s simulation of the Texas Stars season?

Back in September I went and simulated the Texas Stars 2013-14 season using the video game NHL 14.

In that simulation Texas went 46-26-8 — the video game combined shootout and OT wins in the standings — good for 92 points and the West Division title.

Through 57 games this season the Stars are 33-16-3-5 with 74 points, in order to match the simulation they would have to go 13-10 over the final 26 games. That’s possible, and frankly it’s what happened in the simulation.

Texas was 33-19-5 at this point in the simulation with 71 points, three points off from actual events.

What about the West Division Standings, how close was the simulation to actual team standings?

It was a bit off:

Texas 42-26-8, 92
Oklahoma City 43-28-4, 90
Abbotsford 36-28-12,84
Charlotte 37-30-8, 82
San Antonio 31-34-11, 73

Here are the current standings, as you can see the Oklahoma City Barons were better in the virtual world than reality:

1 Texas Stars 33-16-3-5, 74 points
2 Abbotsford Heat 33-17-4-1, 71 points
3 San Antonio Rampage 24-23-3-5, 56 points
4 Oklahoma City Barons 23-24-1-6, 53 points
5 Charlotte Checkers 24-26-1-2, 51 points

Now, lets take a look at how close the simulation came on individual statistics:

Travis Morin: 20 goals, 44 assists, 64 points (actual through 57 games: 72 points)
Colton Sceviour: 21 goals, 38 assists, 59 points (61 points)
Curtis McKenzie: 32 goals, 22 assists 54 points (53 points)
Toby Petersen: 19 goals, 27 assists, 46 points (10 points)
Scott Glennie: 17 goals, 26 assists 43 points (18 points)
Mike Hedden: 16 goals, 27 assists, 43 points (42 points)
Kevin Connauton: 11 goals, 31 assists, 42 points (not in AHL)
Brett Ritchie: 18 goals, 17 assists, 35 points (32 points)
Chris Mueller: 14 goals, 16 assists, 30 points (51 points)
Justin Dowling: 10 goals, 18 assists, 28 points (29 points)
Cameron Guance, 4 goals, 24 assists, 28 points (13 points)

The simulation was pretty spot on about the Stars top line leading the team in scoring, and it better predicted Curtis McKenzie’s scoring output than any human prediction before the start of the season.

It did miss by a wide mark on Chris Mueller and Toby Petersen.

Now lets look at the goalie stats from the simulation:

Jack Campbell: 34 GP, 2.51 GAA, 14-17-3, .912 SV, 4 shutouts, 2 assists
Cristopher Nilstorp: 49 GP, 2.17 GAA, 29-13-5, .924 SV, 5 shutouts

Campbell’s numbers are obviously off by a long shot since he’s only played five games this year. Nilstorp’s numbers are a bit closer to real life.

Currently the Swedish goalie has 2.57 goals against average, .915 save percentage, two shutouts and 20 wins.

Overall, this was a fun exercise. And lets not forgot I – through the power of a video game simulation – predicted Curtis McKenzie’s outbreak season.

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