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Old 01-11-2020, 02:03 PM   #1
sajm0n
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Join Date: Jul 2014
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New York Islanders - from 2019 onwards

Hello,
im Simon and it will be my first ever Dynasty Report and first ever FHM career, so bear with me. Ive never even played FHM before, just EHM few years ago. Im not really a hockey fan, but maybe im slowly becoming one, i even started watching NHL games!
I have ~10.000 hours spent in OOTP though (mostly in online leagues), so at least its not my first sim game

Introduction:

Why Islanders? Im from Poland and first hockey player in NHL from this country was Mariusz Czerkawski, who had his best years in New York (470 games, 295 points), so if there's any team i have any feelings towards is them.
(btw the only other player from Poland in NHL was Krzysztof Oliwa, but he spent more time in penalty box than on ice )

Ok i lied, its not my first career, but actually second. First one i quit after around 20 games, because i just couldnt win any games. I was getting outshot almost every game, the games i did win felt like i was getting lucky or my goalie had great game. Before the season I spent quite a lot of time setting everything up, lines, unit tactics etc. I thought what i did made sense, but clearly it wasnt working and so it was (very) frustrating. Also theres no 2D view, im not a hockey specialist, so i didnt even know what exactly was failing me.

The next step i decided to take was to start over, but this time in GM-only mode and see what AI would do ....and results were quite surprising..... AI sucked too, maybe even more than i did
Well ugh..., that didnt help at all, did it.

So...what now? I googled every tactic option in the game and learned how it works in real life, and then tried to figure out what would work best for Islanders in-game. Also i read somewhere on the forums, that if you dont produce enough shots, maybe you should: move shooting slider (obvious), lower passing (less obvious), change (lower in my case) the tempo (sounded counter-intuitive to me). That got me into thinking though, and plan was in motion.

We will play slow, conservative, defensive hockey. Sounds exciting, right?
It actually was, because real Islanders also play defense first and if i can emulate real life style of their play in-game and be successful with it, thats awesome.

Disclaimer:
When i started, i didnt know i would be writing any reports, so i dont have many screenshots of season 19/20 and at the moment im right after last game of season 20/21, so i will be writing from memory and what i can find in game's history
At least when it comes to first season, 20/21 should be better already and the following ones would feature 2 weeks or 1 month updates, we'll see.


Season 2019-2020

I started in september and didnt try to make any trades or sign free agents.

Optimal Lines looked like this:

1st: Lee (Garbage collector), Barzal (playmaker), Eberle (sniper/2-way/counter - i couldnt decide)
2nd: Beauvillier (sniper), Nelson (screener), Bailey (setup)
3rd: Komarov (grinder), Cizikas (agressive forecheck), Clutterback (grinder)
4th: Martin (grinder), Brassard (agressive forecheck), Kuhnackl (grinder)

Defencemen:
Leddy (mobile) - Pullock (2-way)
Toews (2-way) - Dobson (mobile)
Pelech (2-way) - Mayfield/Boychuk (shutdown)

Powerplay
GM-only mode wasnt a total waste of time. I learned there, that i can actually put 4 forwards and 1 defender in 5 on 4 powerplays, instead of just 3+2. That improved my PP% by quite a bit.

PK
Cizikas + Clutterback / Pelech - Mayfield/Boychuk
Komarov + Martin / Toews - Pullock
Brassard/Nelson + Kuhnackl / Leddy - Dobson

Leddy-Dobson have only 10/100 ice time on pk.


Tactics:

Global looks like this and everyone is using it, except for 5 on 5 line 1st and 3rd.
Gyazo link

1st line tactics:
Gyazo link
Its the most recent version, just slightly more offensive than global. I tried few different settings, but this seems to be working best for now.

3rd line tactics:
Gyazo link
Yeah these guys dont score many goals
But neither do opponent's 1st line.. (in theory)

----------------------------------

Start of the season went pretty well, after 24 games we were 15-6-3 and it looked like new approach works. Despite more defensive and slower tactics we were getting regularly more shots than opponents.

Around that time i made first trade. It was Kuznetsov from Washington for Eberle, two decent prospects (2.5 stars defenders) and 2nd round pick. Kuznetsov was actually on trade block for some reason and at first i didnt know how would getting him make sense for me. I already had Barzal, Nelson, Cizikas and Wahlstrom was coming next year, i didnt really need another center.
But what if one of them could play on the wing? Yeah thats Barzal, brilliant move by brilliant GM

(a week or 2 before this trade i was thinking of trading for Evander Kane - also on the block, but Eberle used no trade clause there, so nothing happened and probably for the better)
Yup, not a huge Eberle fan here.

So my new 1st line looked like this:
Lee - Kuznetsov (playmaker) - Barzal (counter)
Since then Barzal started scoring more goals and Kuznetsov took care of assists. We didnt magically start winning even more games, but it did feel like first line became more alive.

After 40 games i was leading metropolitan division, but also my team was leading in...injury days - halfway through the season i already cumulated 414 of those. That included Brassard out for 6 months and Lee for 3 months day to day injury (sic). Sometime later Cizikas was out as well.
It was getting annoying, especially since i had this trainer signed who was suppose to prevent this sh1t:


Luckily for me everyone was projecting to be back for playoffs and somehow injuries didnt slow us back at all, just needed a little of shuffling bodies around. Also Ladd was promoted and then i saw his salary - immediate move on the trade block

I dont remember much about the rest of the season, we kept 1st place until the end and final standings looked like this:


As you can see we have nobody on the left, not even close. We have someone on the right, and thats Greiss. Yeah i didnt write anything about goalies until now, so lets fix it. At the beginning i thought Varlamov will be a starting goalie, but around the middle of the season Greiss became hot and starting goalie, though Varlamov still was playing fair amount. At the end of the year their stats looked like this:


Greiss also won Jennings Trophy award, the only player (or GM ) even nominated to any, while Varlamov was probably best backup goalie in the league (just like in real life, except its Greiss whos backup atm)

Here are skaters stats sorted by points, if you're interested.
Gyazo link
The only two players any close to 1:1 points per game ratio were Barzal and Kuznetsov (75 points in 78 games)
The other player who stood out was Toews with 184 blocked shots and 40 takeaways, most on the team.
The only player who played in all 82 games was Nelson (25 goals, 26 assists)

Interesting team stats:
- we were the only team with allowed goals below 200 (197); St. Louis were second with 200,
- top of the league in injury days (ended up with around 530),
- PK% 84.3 - tied for 3rd,
- PP% 20.4 -12th; New Jersey had 8.7%
- Goals per game 2.8 (20th), Goals allowed per game 2.4 (1st)
- not a single all star on the team

So on to the playoffs.

Its only fair we met Capitals in the 1st round, so we can check who made a better deal a couple months ago. Sadly i dont remember much of that series, just that it was quite easy 4-1 victory. Eberle scored once and had 2 assists, Ovechkin had 3 goals.

Next up: Pittsburgh. Best offence in NHL with 301 scored goals (we scored 229 btw) and 2nd best powerplay unit, met arguably best defence. Who would be victorius, offence or defence. Team with Sidney Crosby, generational player with most points on the season or team with bunch of no names, not even worth considering voting to all star game.
Well... easy 4-1 win for New York
In game 5 we demolished them 7-0.

Moving along: Boston. We're all smiles at this point, but just before start of the series, grave news arrived: Barzal gets 7 days injury. Just great, looks like this is as far as we can go. Hes our best player and one of the few players who can actually score goals.
Somehow we managed to get 4-3 victory though at the end, mainly because of once again Greiss' great performance.

So we are in the finals, against Nashville (Edmonton were 3-1 up in the series, but somehow they managed to lose it 3-4). Barzal came back at this point, so hopes are up.

Game 1: close 2-0 victory. We were outshot something like 20 to 40. It was Greiss' last game for Islanders, injury in the first period. Varlamov took over and went 31/31 in a combined shutout!
Game 2: similar game, 2-1 victory, but again Nashville was having more chances.
Game 3, 4 and 5 - quite easy wins for Nashville, just like two previous games "should" have been. Reverse sweep is upon us. My mood is down.
Game 6: very close game and a victory for Islanders. Maybe we can do it?
game 7: 6-1 demolish and New York Islanders are Stanley Cup Champions!!!


Here's a preview of whats going to happen in real life:


Greiss playoffs stats:

Varlamov playoffs stats:


Kuznetsov 24 games 20 points
Lee 24 games 19 points
Barzal 22 games 18 points

If i was to choose playoffs MVP, that would be Greiss and then Varlamov for saving the finals

Championship on a first try, i wasnt expecting that.
The only regret i have about this season is that we couldnt beat Toronto in playoffs, but they've beaten themselves before we could - just like they always do

Last edited by sajm0n; 01-12-2020 at 03:45 PM.
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