EA Sports NHL 22: St. Louis Blues Season Simulation

You know it’s almost hockey season when EA Sports releases their NHL video game, and it has arrived. The St. Louis Blues rate as a contending team in the game, within the top half of the league with their player ratings.

Related: Blues Need Perunovich on Their Roster

From my experience, the Blues are always worse in the game than in real life. With the new game for this season, it could right all of the past wrongs and make the Blues simulate in a realistic way.

Blues Player Ratings

Before I list the player ratings for the Blues, I should explain what they are and how they are determined. There is a 0 to 99 scale for each skill and player. The average NHL player on the game is going to be a 77 or above for most teams. Some of the skills that play into the player overall include various categories.

The categories all have in-depth ratings for them with specific stats such as wrist shot accuracy and power. Those categories are puck skills, senses, shooting, defense, skating, and physical. Let’s look at the Blues ratings for the 2021-22 season.

Ryan O'Reilly St. Louis Blues
Ryan O’Reilly, St. Louis Blues (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Forwards

  • Ryan O’Reilly (89)
  • Vladimir Tarasenko (87)
  • David Perron (86)
  • Brayden Schenn (86)
  • Pavel Buchnevich (86)
  • Jordan Kyrou (83)
  • Brandon Saad (82)
  • Robert Thomas (82)
  • Tyler Bozak (80)
  • Ivan Barbashev (80)
  • Oskar Sundqvist (80)
  • Kyle Clifford (78)
  • Logan Brown (77)
  • Klim Kostin (77)

Defenseman

  • Torey Krug (86)
  • Colton Parayko (85)
  • Justin Faulk (84)
  • Marco Scandella (80)
  • Robert Bortuzzo (78)
  • Niko Mikkola (75)

Goaltenders

  • Jordan Binnington (85)
  • Ville Husso (80)

How the Season Simulation Played Out

  • Record: 45-28-9 (99 points) (3rd place in Central)

The simulation has the Blues dealing with a lot of injuries on the blueline, but the forwards stayed healthy enough for the team to finish strong. They finished behind only the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild in the Central Division.

Torey Krug St. Louis Blues
Torey Krug, St. Louis Blues (Photo by Joe Puetz/NHLI via Getty Images)

Another notable stat is their power play percentage, which was 17.3, ranked 11th in the league. Their penalty kill was fifth in the NHL at 87.1, a huge improvement.

Skater Stat Leaders:

  • Points: O’Reilly – 73
  • Goals: Tarasenko – 32
  • Assists: O’Reilly – 50

Five different Blues finished with 50 points or better, including O’Reilly, Perron, Tarasenko, Buchnevich, and Schenn. The other big acquisition scored 45 points, that being Saad, who played the season on a line with Thomas and Tarasenko. We also saw disappointing seasons from Thomas and Kyrou, who both scored less than 40 points.

On the blueline, Krug led the way with 14 goals and 46 points, while Faulk scored 34 points. Parayko and Scandella both struggled to score with 22 and 14 points. Unfortunately, the official EA Sports roster doesn’t have Scott Perunovich yet, or else he would’ve played on the simulation team.

Goaltending Stats:

  • Binnington’s record: 34-25-8
  • Save percentage (SV%): .917
  • Shutouts: 5

The Blues’ first-round matchup was against the Wild, who obviously finished second in the division. The Blues dominated in all phases with a 4-1 series victory, with Perron being the leader with three goals and five points. Other multi-goal players in the series were Thomas and Buchnevich.

David Perron St. Louis Blues
David Perron, St. Louis Blues (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

In the second round, they took on the Calgary Flames, an interesting and unexpected matchup. The Blues buried themselves quickly with a three-game deficit in the series. They managed to win in overtime in Game 4 but lost Game 5 to end their season. The simulation Stanley Cup winner ended up being the Toronto Maple Leafs, who beat the Vancouver Canucks in six games, an all-Canadian final.

While the simulation’s finale during the playoffs won’t be a popular pick in real life, it was a seemingly realistic experience for most of it. I could certainly see the Blues being third in the division with a second-round exit, that seems realistic.

Final Takeaways

As I mentioned, this simulation from the Blues’ perspective was surprisingly realistic. It lined up well with my bold predictions piece from earlier this week.

One minor detail is the fact that Perunovich isn’t in the game and Jake Neighbours didn’t make the roster, which could happen in real life. With the line chemistry feature, the Blues’ forward lines matched up well. The line chemistry is based on the styles of the players, how they match up and it is a plus-five to minus-five scale, the Blues had three lines in the plus category.

Overall, my experience with the NHL 22 simulation in franchise mode was great. Usually, it’s hard to create a realistic experience with the default roster on the game, but I thought this was realistic and worked out well for the Blues.


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