A simulation using EA Sports' “NHL 12” video game has the Pittsburgh Penguins winning the Stanley Cup, aided by Sidney Crosby's comeback.
The made-in-Canada video game sees Crosby returning after 17 games and leading the Pens to second place in the East.
Pittsburgh defeats Chicago four games to two in the Cup final with Crosby earning the Conn Smythe Trophy.
Sports Illustrated is also predicting a Pittsburgh win over Chicago in the Stanley Cup final.
According to the video game, Vancouver wins the Presidents' Trophy again, with 114 points, but loses the Western Conference final to Chicago in seven games.
“Normally the EA Sports guys are pretty good,” Canucks forward Alex Burrows, a keen gamer, said after practice Wednesday. “They do a good job. Obviously I don't agree with this one.
“I do like the game. I do like the new technology, all the different leagues and players. When you hit a guy, when the guy is bigger than you, he doesn't go down. All those little details I think makes the game great.”
EA noted its simulation correctly picked the Chicago Blackhawks as 2010 Stanley Cup champions, the Canucks as 2011 Presidents' Trophy winner, and the 2011 Stanley Cup final matchup between Boston and Vancouver.
Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa simply snorted when told about the game's prediction for this season.
“Who cares,” he said.
According to the game, second-seeded Pittsburgh disposes of the Rangers, Flyers and Lightning in the East en route to the Cup final. Chicago, No. 2 in the West, dispatches the Predators, Sharks and Canucks en route to the final.
The simulation is good news for Maple Leafs fans, since Toronto finishes eighth in the East to make the playoffs. But it also has the Leafs losing to Washington in seven games in the first round.
The Canadiens just miss out, placing ninth, while Winnipeg is 11th and Ottawa 14th in the East. Edmonton finishes 13th in the West, just ahead of Calgary.
The simulation sees the defending champion Bruins losing to Philadelphia in the first round in five games.
The game is developed in Burnaby, B.C.
SI predicts that Montreal will make the playoffs with a sixth-place finish in the East, while Toronto places 11th, Ottawa 14th and Winnipeg 15th.
The magazine has the Canucks second in the West behind Chicago, with Calgary 12th and Edmonton 14th.
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