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A Penguins/Flyers playoff simulation was terrifying, yet electric

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What a statistical simulation of Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia might have looked like....Quite the roller coaster!

Pittsburgh Penguins v Philadelphia Flyers - Game Six Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

Over at The Athletic (and I think they have a free 90 day preview which you should take advantage of if you’re not a subscriber, but as a sports fan I really don’t see why you wouldn’t be a subscriber) they’re going through potential NHL playoff matchups. The latest came up between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers in what coulda, shoulda (and probably woulda) been a first round matchup if we had made it there in a normal world.

And, boy was it a roller coaster.

The whole thing is worth a read, and they create a whole narrative and fictional storyline behind what the simulator pops out. It’s fun and something to sink your teeth into with nothing else going on. And, wow, this one didn’t disappoint. Again, get the preview or find a way to read it, but here’s how it shook out.

Some thoughts:

  • Would have HATED to see the comment section here once the Pens lost the first two games by a combined score of 12-3. (They had Matt Murray starting, but not finishing both games, by the way).
  • Would it be worth going down 0-3 in the series for a 12-4 outburst of an ass kicking? That’s very much shades of 2012 where Pittsburgh fell down 0-3 to Philly and cathartically won a 10-3 Game 4 to emphatically stave off elimination.
  • Perhaps via a good story, they had the 1-0 Game 5 coming off a four OT game. How would we have survived that? But if we all made it through that night, at least it exorcises the demons of Keith Primeau.
  • Flyers blowing a 3-0 lead against the Pens would be one of the funniest endings of a series ever. Just not that first week of the series where many would figuratively jump off the bridge.

In this fictional “World 2”, the Pens move on to face Washington in the second round of the playoffs. The Caps quite easily disposed of Columbus in their first round matchup. Can the Pens keep going on their run? After this first round, it’ll be a very interesting thing to keep up with and see what Dom and the crew ends up giving us.

With no other hockey, it’s probably the best we have at this point. And hey, all is well that ends with any visualization of the Penguins shattering the dreams of the Flyers yet again, in real life or a virtual one.