One of the newest features to EA Sports NHL 17 is the ability to play the World Cup of Hockey that will be getting underway September 17.
All eight teams, including Europe and North America, are available to play in Play Now or in tournament mode. The World Cup of Hockey mode brings in new presentation music which makes it feel different. All teams also have their official jerseys which is a nice addition as well.
We went to simulate a tournament to see what would happen. A roster update updated the players who pulled out due to injury, however, they kept all the injured players on the roster. Some may have made an appearance as I wasn’t going to manually change every roster after an injury.
The rosters are locked so you cannot make any changes to the rosters. That means no Alex Galchenyuk for Team North America or Brendan Gallagher for Canada. I imagine this is because some teams have KHL players (like Vadim Shipachyov) and the game itself does not have a KHL licence so they can’t have them in other parts of the game.
Onto the simulation, and keep in mind the computer decided who will play and start, although the original lineups looked pretty comparable to the exhibition games we’ve had so far. It is also a short tournament, so small sample sizes and all that.
The two group winners were Canada and Finland with perfect 3-0 records. Russia and Team USA were both 2-1 in round robin play and finished in second spot. In the other game, Team Europe (1-2) beat the Czech Republic (0-3) and Team North America (1-2) beat Sweden (0-3) who had an awful tournament. The Swedes were outscored 16-7 in their three games.
The semi-finals were Canada vs Russia and Finland vs USA. Canada beat Russia easily 4-1, while Team USA got a shutout from Jonathan Quick to beat Finland 3-0 setting up an all-North American best-of-three final.
Team USA got out to an early lead in game one, but in the third period, Quick got hurt and had to be replaced by Cory Schneider. Canada capitalized and scored to tie the game, and Jake Muzzin scored the winner with only 20 seconds left in the third period.
In game two, Quick was out and Schneider got the start. This game was not as close as the first one, and Canada swept the final and went a perfect 6-0-0 in the tournament.
The tournament’s best goaltenders obviously were the teams that did the best, with Carey Price leading Canada to a 6-0 record. Quick had a great tournament until he got hurt, while it was a tournament to forget for Henrik Lundqvist.
Sidney Crosby led the tournament in scoring, and his line with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron performed very well. Mats Zuccarello, despite playing only three games was among the best as well.
Patrik Laine, Finland: 4 GP, 1 G, 0 A
Connor McDavid, North America: 3 GP, 0 G, 3 A
Vadim Shipachyov, Russia: 4 GP, 0 G, 3 A
Max Pacioretty, USA: 6 GP, 0 G, 1 A
Shea Weber, Canada: 6 GP, 0 G, 2 A
Auston Matthews, North America: 0 GP (13th forward/healthy scratch)
We will have a full review of the game tomorrow.