Stephane Veilleux is excited. Are you? (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hello Wilderness! Due to popular demand, I'm reviving this lost series that I made last season. Why did it die? Basically, I couldn't keep up with the daily updates and working two jobs. After I skipped a few days, it kind of... vanished. Kind of weird, and I apologize to the followers of the Yelnats Cup. I know there are a lot of newcomers here, so let me explain:
The Yelnats Cup Playoffs (Yelnats = Stanley in reverse) are a ''second chance'' for the teams that weren't invited to the real Playoffs. What I do is I take all the teams that didn't make the playoffs and pit them against each other in Playoff Mode of the most recent NHL video game (In this case, NHL12 for PS3). Last year, I just simulated all the games and invented recaps for each one. That proved to be a TON of work. What I've decided to do this year is have one game per night be a ''featured game'', meaning I will watch that game CPU vs. CPU and recap that game. For the other games that night, I'll just show the boxscores.
Just like I did last year, since there are 14 non-playoff teams, the 9th seed from each Conference will get a bye in the first round. Since there's no way to make a bye in-game, I just play the games against a random team on easy to make sure they pass (just like last year, I'll beat on the Canadiens and the Canucks just for kicks).
I download the most recent rosters available, but I don't control which players the CPU will use. Sometimes, if a player is injured in real life, he'll end up scratched in the game. Too bad for them. Stupid CPUs.
There will also be a bracket challenge for the Yelnats Cup. I haven't decided on the due date for the brackets, but I'll let you know. If you want to participate, just use the bracket model and rules from the HW Bracket Challenge and send them to me, not Bryan. My email address is on the bottom of the page.
After the jump, the seeding for the challenge and (FINALLY) the conclusion of last year's challenge.
The playoff tree for the 2012 Yelnats Cup is as follows:
#9 Buffalo Sabres vs. BYE
#10 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. #15 Montreal Canadiens
#11 Winnipeg Jets vs. #14 New York Islanders
#12 Carolina Hurricanes vs. #13 Toronto Maple Leafs
#9 Calgary Flames vs. BYE
#10 Dallas Stars vs #15 Columbus Blue Jackets
#11 Colorado Avalanche vs. #14 Edmonton Oilers
#12 Minnesota Wild vs. #13 Anaheim Ducks
So that's what it looks like. Before the start of the Yelnats Cup Playoffs, I will preview each matchup on HW.
As for last year's challenge, here's a refresher of what had happened.
#9 Carolina Hurricanes vs. BYE
#10 Toronto Maple Leafs 4 vs. #15 Florida Panthers 2
#11 New Jersey Devils 4 vs. #14 New York Islanders 3
#12 Atlanta Thrashers 0 vs. #13 Ottawa Senators 4
#9 Dallas Stars vs. BYE
#10 Calgary Flames 4 vs. #15 Edmonton Oilers 0
#11 St. Louis Blues 2 vs. #14 Colorado Avalanche 4
#12 Minnesota Wild 4 vs. #13 Columbus Blue Jackets 1
So the second round looked like this:
#9 Carolina Hurricanes vs. #13 Ottawa Senators
#10 Toronto Maple Leafs vs. #11 New Jersey Devils
#9 Dallas Stars vs. #14 Colorado Avalanche
#10 Calgary Flames vs. #12 Minnesota Wild
And that's where I stopped updating the Yelnats Cup, sadly. Let's see what unfolded when I simulated the rest of the Yelnats Cup Playoffs:
#9 Carolina Hurricanes 3 vs. #13 Ottawa Senators 4
#10 Toronto Maple Leafs 4 vs. #11 New Jersey Devils 3
#9 Dallas Stars 3 vs. #14 Colorado Avalanche 4
#10 Calgary Flames 0 vs. #12 Minnesota Wild 4
Wow. Did not expect a Wild sweep! Also, Ottawa came back from a 3-0 series and New Jersey's elimination pretty much destroyed everyone's bracket.
The Conference Final was as follows:
#10 Toronto Maple Leafs vs. #13 Ottawa Senators (Battle of Ontario!)
#12 Minnesota Wild vs #14 Colorado Avalanche (Another fun rivalry)
Here are the results:
#10 Toronto Maple Leafs 1 vs. #13 Ottawa Senators 4
#12 Minnesota Wild 3 vs #14 Colorado Avalanche 4
Frowny face :( My cousin and I were hoping for a Minnesota - Toronto final. Minnesota lost 1-0 in OT in game 7 too.
Yelnats Cup Final Results:
Ottawa Senators 1 vs. Colorado Avalanche 4
2011 YELNATS CUP CHAMPIONS: COLORADO AVALANCHE.
And there you have it folks: The conclusion to year 1 of the Yelnats Cup Playoffs. What else were you waiting for? Well the results of the bracket challenge, of course! Here they are:
Total amount of series: 13 Total amount of games: 73
1. Jolonco Correct series: 7 Games: 73 Difference: 0
2. ADN Correct series: 6 Games: 75 Difference: +2
3. Jonogo Correct series: 6 Games: 76 Difference: +3
4. JS Correct series: 6 Games: 79 Difference: +6
5. ThatGuy22 Correct series: 5 Games: 72 Difference: -1
6. RedHeadZeb Correct series: 4 Games: 77 Difference: +4
7. JMarushin Correct series: 4 Games: 80 Difference: +7
A very belated congratulations to Jolonco for winning the first Yelnats Cup Bracket Challenge!
Here's the Master bracket, with everyone's bracket: 2011 Yelnats Bracket MASTER
Don't forget to include the number of games each series will last and reseed the matchups appropriately. The highest seed will always play against the lowest seed available.
Last year's slogan was: History will be simulated (A play on ''History will be made'')... This wouldn't work that well with ''Because it's the Cup'', so, I'm open to suggestions for this year's Yelnats Cup Playoffs' slogan.