About The Games That Weren't

Around the time that the NHL cancelled the first batch of 2012 preseason games, I saw a lot of Tweets from hockey bloggers talking about what they'd be covering in the event of lost games. More than one said they'd just make stuff up in the absence of real news.

At the time, I'd taken to Tweeting results of games from the DetroitHockey.Net Fantasy Hockey League as if they were real. It took me far too long to put those two ideas together and realize, "Hey, I've got the ability to provide stats for the fake news to be based on, why not run with it?"

On September 30, with less than two weeks before the scheduled start of the season, I started putting TGTW together. The web site is a highly-stripped-down version of the DFHL site, running a custom-built system I call FHLSite.

Games are simmed using a program called FHLSim. I've been using FHLSim to run various fantasy hockey leagues since 1998. Despite its flaws, I think it's the best simmer available for how I use it. Other simmers may be more accurate but don't allow for as much data extraction / manipulation.

On the topic of flaws, there are some big ones that make it so TGTW won't be a perfect simulation. The version of FHLSim we started the season with didn't support shootouts, for example, so we had some ties early in the season (which leads to the awkward W-L-T-OTL standings format). Similarly, in so many years of using the program I've seen some really strange things, like goals scored one second into the game (by a defenseman, unassisted). Without a human running the day-to-day operations of the team, no lineup changes will ever happen (which also means the backup goalies won't get starts). Trades won't happen, nor will call-ups from the farm team.

We're just going to have to accept that the results of TGTW won't be perfect, hopefully they're at least fun to talk about.

Anyone who wants to talk about how this works or the outcomes we come up with can do so at the TGTW Facebook page or via @GamesThatWerent on Twitter. You can also contact me directly via email.

Clark Rasmussen
Owner / Developer / Etc. - The Games That Weren't
Publisher / Editor - DetroitHockey.Net


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