EA Sports NHL 22: Stanley Cup Playoffs Simulation

For the first time since 2019, the Stanley Cup Playoffs are completely back to normal. The format returns with divisional matchups and wild card teams, with some of the most elite talents in the league getting to showcase that talent. This should be a show for the ages, as the NHL has a number of top contenders with only one team that can raise the Cup at the end.

Related: EA Sports NHL 21: Stanley Cup Playoffs Simulation

Last year’s simulation was not accurate in any way, shape, or form. But hopefully, it can be redeemed with this season’s simulation and provide more accuracy in what will be a crazy two-month stretch of playoff hockey.

Steven Stamkos Tampa Bay Lightning 2021 Stanley Cup
Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning, 2021 Stanley Cup (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

Let’s see how EA Sports’ NHL 22 has everything playing out in this simulation. I utilized the active rosters by EA and did not change any player attributes for ultra-realism.

Eastern Conference — First Round

Florida Panthers (58-18-6, 122 points) vs. Washington Capitals (44-26-12, 100 points)

Series Results: WSH, 4-0

A completely stunning result as the Capitals get out of the first round with a sweep of the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Panthers. This simulation seems to have created maximum chaos again, and it’ll be interesting to see how this continues to play out.

Toronto Maple Leafs (54-21-7, 115 points) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (51-23-8, 110 points)

Series Results: TBL, 4-1

The back-to-back defending champions take care of business in another season-ending in complete heartbreak for the Maple Leafs. The Lightning were able to hold the league’s best goal scorer of this season, Auston Matthews, to just one goal in five games. They also got elite goaltending out of the 2021 Conn Smythe winner Andrei Vasilevskiy, who had a save percentage (SV%) of .954.

Carolina Hurricanes (54-20-8, 116 points) vs. Boston Bruins (51-26-5, 107 points)

Series Results: BOS, 4-1

Another surprising result for the Hurricanes, as it would be one of the very few first-round exits in franchise history. The Bruins’ top-line carried the load for them, as David Pastrnak had four goals and Brad Marchand tallied six goals in five games.

David Pastrnak
David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

It was a rough postseason performance with his new team for Frederik Andersen, who sported an .883 SV% in five games. The Bruins’ defensive unit held the Hurricanes’ best players in check, as Sebastian Aho had just one point and Andrei Svechnikov had one goal.

New York Rangers (52-24-6, 110 points) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (46-25-11, 103 points)

Series Results: NYR, 4-0

The second sweep in the conference as the Rangers take care of business against the Penguins. This could mark the end of an era for the Penguins with their fourth straight first-round exit. Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin was dominant with a SV% of .925, and they had five players with multiple goals.

Western Conference — First Round

Colorado Avalanche (56-19-7, 119 points) vs. Nashville Predators (45-30-7, 97 points)

Series Results: COL, 4-0

Unsurprisingly, the Avalanche take care of business with a 4-0 sweep of the Predators. Avalanche forward Andre Burakovsky had six points in four games, though the Avs’ top players had some struggles. The depth scoring rose to the occasion to lead them to a second straight first-round sweep.

Minnesota Wild (53-22-7, 113 points) vs. St. Louis Blues (49-22-11, 109 points)

Series Results: MIN, 4-2

In what was an electrifying series, the Wild take the Blues down in six games. It was a breakout series for their 2019 first-round pick Matthew Boldy, who had seven points in six games. They also got major contributions from goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who had a SV% of .926 over six games started.

Calgary Flames (50-21-11, 111 points) vs. Dallas Stars (46-30-6, 98 points)

Series Results: CGY, 4-2

The offense was off the charts for the Flames, with depth to boot, as they beat the Stars in six games; they tallied 21 goals in those six games while allowing 14. They got six goals from Blake Coleman and four apiece for Johnny Gaudreau and Calle Jarnkrok.

Johnny Gaudreau Calgary Flames
Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

It was a breakout series for forward Dillon Dube, who led the Flames with 10 points, including eight assists. The other key stats that allowed them to win this series was holding Jason Robertson to one goal, and they held Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, and Alexander Radulov to a goal each as well.

Edmonton Oilers (49-27-6, 104) vs. Los Angeles Kings (44-27-11, 99 points)

Series Results: EDM, 4-2

This series will be viewed as a major plus for the Kings to get to this point, but it’s impressive how well they played. They held the league’s leading scorer Connor McDavid to just three assists in six games. The Oilers were able to win because of Leon Draisaitl’s eight points and huge goals from Kailer Yamamoto and Zach Hyman.

Stat Leaders After First Round


  • Dillon Dube (CGY) – 2 goals, 8 assists, 10 points
  • Calle Jarnkrok (CGY) – 4 goals, 5 assists, 9 points
  • Blake Coleman (CGY) – 6 goals, 2 assists, 8 points
  • David Pastrnak (BOS) – 4 goals, 4 assists, 8 points
  • Leon Draisaitl (EDM) – 3 goals, 5 assists, 8 points
  • Patrice Bergeron (BOS) – 0 goals, 8 assists, 8 points


  • Victor Hedman (TBL) – 2 goals, 4 assists, 6 points
  • Torey Krug (STL) – 2 goals, 3 assists, 5 points
  • John Carlson (WSH) – 1 goal, 4 assists, 5 points
  • Evan Bouchard (EDM) – 1 goal, 4 assists, 5 points
  • Chris Tanev (CGY) – 0 goals, 5 assists, 5 points


  • Andrei Vasilevskiy (TBL) – 4-0-1 record, .954 SV%
  • Vitek Vanecek (WSH) – 4-0-0 record, .939 SV%
  • Jacob Markstrom (CGY) – 4-2-0 record, .927 SV%

Eastern Conference — Second Round

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Washington Capitals

Series Results: TBL, 4-2

The Lightning make it to their third straight Conference Semifinal, as it was another dominant series for Vasilevskiy. They are now 8-0-3 in this playoff run, showing their dominance in their hope for a third straight Cup. Their biggest trade acquisition of the season, Brandon Hagel, has been incredible with five goals and five assists during this run.

New York Rangers vs. Boston Bruins

Series Results: BOS, 4-1

The Bruins take care of the Rangers in five, getting to their second Conference Semifinal in four seasons. Their top line continues to roll, as Marchand has eight goals, Pastrnak has 10 points, and Bergeron has 12 points. They have also gotten quality goaltending with Jeremy Swayman, who has a .925 SV% in 10 games.

Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins
Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Another big factor for Boston has been getting multiple goals from Taylor Hall, Jake DeBrusk, Craig Smith, Curtis Lazar, and Hampus Lindholm. Everything has been working for the Bruins, and they are set up for an incredible matchup with the Lightning.

Western Conference — Second Round

Colorado Avalanche vs. Minnesota Wild

Series Results: COL, 4-1

The Avalanche take care of the Wild in five games, and they are doing everything that they were expected to do, which is dominating their opponents. Cale Makar took it up a notch for the Avs in this series and now has 10 points in nine games, while superstar Nathan MacKinnon has three goals and six assists for nine points.

Edmonton Oilers vs. Calgary Flames

Series Results: EDM, 4-1

A rivalry series for Alberta between the Oilers and Flames results in four games to one victory for the Oilers. McDavid found his game in this series, getting four goals and three assists. It was a big-time performance for goaltender Mike Smith, who now has a .922 SV% in 11 games started.

Connor McDavid Edmonton Oilers
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The Oilers have an incredible 41 goals in 11 games, outscoring their opponent at an amazing rate. They were able to score goals against Markstrom, who looked untouchable in their series against the Stars. The Oilers seem to be dangerous as McDavid and MacKinnon go head to head in the Western Conference Final.

Stat Leaders After Second Round


  • Brad Marchand (BOS) – 8 goals, 5 assists, 13 points
  • Dillon Dube (CGY) – 3 goals, 10 assists, 13 points
  • Calle Jarnkrok (CGY) – 6 goals, 6 assists, 12 points
  • Patrice Bergeron (BOS) – 2 goals, 10 assists, 12 points
  • Leon Draisaitl (EDM) – 5 goals, 6 assists, 11 points


  • Victor Hedman (TBL) – 2 goals, 9 assists, 11 points
  • Cale Makar (COL) – 1 goal, 9 assists, 10 points
  • Adam Fox (NYR) – 1 goal, 8 assists, 9 points
  • Duncan Keith (EDM) – 4 goals, 2 assists, 6 points
  • Charlie McAvoy (BOS) – 1 goal, 5 assists, 6 points


  • Andrei Vasilevskiy (TBL) – 8-0-3 record, .930 SV%
  • Jeremy Swayman (BOS) – 8-2-0 record, .925 SV%
  • Mike Smith (EDM) – 8-1-2 record, .922 SV%
  • Darcy Kuemper (COL) – 8-1-0 record, .921 SV%

Eastern Conference Final

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins

Series Results: TBL, 4-3

The Lightning return to the Cup Final for the third straight time, as they take the Bruins down in a thrilling seven-game series. The Bruins nearly game back when they were down 3-1, but the Lightning prevailed with a 5-2 victory in Game 7.

Nikita Kucherov Tampa Bay Lightning
Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Nikita Kucherov has emerged as the leading scorer in the playoffs, with 25 points. The Bruins were able to score on Vasilevskiy, but it wasn’t enough as the Lightning’s offense was off the charts in the series. The Lightning now look to become the first team to win three straight Cups since the New York Islanders in the 1980s, in the video game world at least.

Western Conference Final

Colorado Avalanche vs. Edmonton Oilers

Series Results: COL, 4-1

The Avalanche’s quest for a first Cup with this group continues to roll with a dominant takedown of the Oilers in five games. Mikko Rantanen scored four goals in this series, as MacKinnon and Makar continued to dominate against an Oilers team that struggled to defend.

Cale Makar Colorado Avalanche
Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

What a run this has been for Kuemper, who now has a record of 12-2-0 with a SV% of .923. This season would be considered a success for the Oilers, who have their longest playoff run since 2005-06, when they lost in the Cup Final. This sets up an electrifying Cup Final matchup between the Avalanche and Lightning, who have been two of the best teams in the league for at least the last three seasons.

Stat Leaders After Conference Finals


  • Nikita Kucherov (TBL) – 7 goals, 18 assists, 25 points
  • Brad Marchand (BOS) – 12 goals, 11 assists, 23 points
  • Leon Draisaitl (EDM) – 10 goals, 11 assists, 21 points


  • Victor Hedman (TBL) – 4 goals, 15 assists, 19 points
  • Cale Makar (COL) – 2 goals, 16 assists, 18 points
  • Matt Grzelcyk (BOS) – 3 goals, 11 assists, 14 points


  • Darcy Kuemper (COL) – 12-2-0 record, .923 SV%
  • Andrei Vasilevskiy (TBL) – 12-2-4 record, .919 SV%

Stanley Cup Final

Colorado Avalanche vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Game 1

Score: TBL 6, COL 3

The Lightning jumped out to a 3-2 lead in the first period and never looked back. It was a two-goal night for Stamkos, who continues to lead the way for the Lightning. Hedman continues his bid for a second Conn Smythe Trophy, as he had two points and played nearly 27 minutes.

Game 2

Score: COL 3, TBL 2 (OT)

A thrilling Game 2 led to an overtime victory for the Avalanche, as their captain Gabriel Landeskog won it with under 10 minutes to go. The Lightning waste an effort from Vasilevskiy, who saved 45 shots in a duel with Kuemper, who had 35 saves.

Game 3

Score: TBL 5, COL 4 (OT)

This series is becoming a classic, as another game ends in overtime. This time, it was Brayden Point who won it for Tampa. The Avalanche had a 3-0 lead in the second period and allowed four straight goals after having that lead. I should also note that Hedman had another monstrous game, with a goal and two assists.

Game 4

Score: TBL 4, COL 1

The Lightning are starting to assert their dominance as they outworked the Avalanche from start to finish. Vasilevskiy saved 29 of 30 shots, and Point had a goal and two assists.

Game 5

Score: COL 7, TBL 2

The Avalanche stayed alive with a dominant effort to make it a 3-2 series, as they carried a 7-0 lead heading into the third period. It was a two-point night for Makar, a three-assist night for Burakovsky, and a dominant effort from Kuemper, who had 30 saves.

Game 6

Score: COL 1, TBL 0

This is a tough effort from the Lightning, who had just 21 shots on goal in a 1-0 loss. The heroes of Game 6 for the Avalanche were Kuemper with a shutout and a lone goal from Devon Toews from the back end.

Game 7

Score: TBL 4, COL 1

It was a 1-1 game up until the middle of the third period, but Hedman breaks the ice with the goal, and the Lightning took care of business from there. It was a dominant effort from Vasilevskiy, saving 32 of 33 shots and cementing himself as one of the best goaltenders of all time.

Andrei Vasilevskiy Tampa Bay Lightning
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The Lightning avoid blowing a 3-1 lead to become the first team since the 1980s Islanders to win three straight Cups. This series lived up to the hype, and a real-life, seven-game series between these two teams would be incredible.

Stanley Cup Champs: Tampa Bay Lightning

Conn Smythe Winner: Victor Hedman

Overall Scoring Leaders


  • Nikita Kucherov (TBL) – 11 goals, 23 assists, 34 points
  • Steven Stamkos (TBL) – 12 goals, 16 assists, 28 points
  • Brayden Point (TBL) – 11 goals, 13 assists, 24 points


  • Victor Hedman (TBL) – 8 goals, 22 assists, 30 points
  • Cale Makar (COL) – 5 goals, 18 assists, 23 points
  • Devon Toews (COL) – 5 goals, 10 assists, 15 points


  • Andrei Vasilevskiy (TBL) – 16-4-5 record, .918 SV%
  • Darcy Kuemper (COL) – 15-5-1 record, .913 SV%

Wrapping up the Simulation

This may end up being the most realistic simulation of the three that I have done on here. Even though it’ll be difficult for the Lightning to win it again, the stimulation believes that they will get it done.

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