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Battle States 2018, presented by Northland Hockey Group

07/20/2018, 7:00pm CDT
By Dave Druk

Who would win if NHL teams were organized with players representing their home state/region? We are in the midst of a PS4 simulation to find out.

The dog days of summer have begun. But hockey is still on my mind. Last September, Let’s Play Hockey’s Kevin Kurtt wondered what would happen if you created a 3-on-3 league with NHL players representing their home state, province or country. I decided to see if it would be possible to create a similar league – in a 5-on-5 format – in the PS4 video game NHL 18. After a lot of work organizing the teams and adding them one by one, I was able to make an impressive nine teams of American-born players. Is Minnesota really the “State of Hockey?” 

The rules are easy. Put the teams against each other and then let the PS4 take over and play the games. The games are simulated on the screen and stats are kept. Every team will play each other twice for an 18-game season. The top six will make the playoffs with the top two teams getting a bye. There also will be an All-Star Game.  

The nine teams competing in Northland Hockey Group’s “Battle States”:

• Illisouri – This team is made up primarily of players born in Illinois, but has four from Missouri as well. Young gun Clayton Keller leads the way for this squad.

• Massachusetts – One of the great states that begin with the letter M. Jack Eichel is the key to this team,

• Michigan – All teams need a good goalie and this state has one of the best in Connor Hellebuyck.

• Minnesota – The squad has many NHL captains and former captains on it including David Backes, Ryan McDonagh, Zach Parise and Blake Wheeler. 

• New York – A very solid lineup led by the great Patrick Kane

• Northeast USA – This team has all northeast states other than Massachusetts and New York. Shattenkirk leads the team defensively, while Bobby Ryan and Johnny Gaudreau lead the offense. With a two-time Stanley Cup Champion in goal in Jonathan Quick, this team could win it all.

• Southeast USA – This team has players from the Southeast and also Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania. It will be led by its great defensive players in Seth Jones, Shayne Gotisbehere and Jack Johnson.  

• West USA – Auston Matthews from California leads the way for the West. Other threats are two players born in Washington in T.J. Oshie and Tyler Johnson.

• Wisconsin – Wisconsin was the only team that didn’t have a goalie from its state in the NHL. With a little help from the Red and White, former Badger Brian Elliott joined the squad to go with the AHL’s Troy Grosenick. Also, former Badger Luke Kunin is on the squad at defense. This team has some explosive power in Joe Pavelski and Phil Kessel and also one of the best defensemen in the league in Ryan Suter.

The first two weeks are completed in Battle States 2018. Most of the games have been competitive. In the early going, the only two undefeated teams are Michigan and Team West. Every team has won at least one game. There have been four overtime games out of the 18 played with two going to a shootout. Illisouri was in both of the shootouts, going 1-1 in. Michigan won a game in overtime and in a shootout. The wildest game so far saw Minnesota trailing Massachusetts 6-0 in the first period. Minnesota scored six unanswered goals and was able to tie it up with the goalie pulled in the final minute. However, Massachusetts ruined the day by scoring a goal with 10 seconds left to win it 7-6. There has only been one shutout so far – Michigan beating the South 2-0 with Hellebuyck recording the shutout. Brandan Saad from Southeast USA has the only hat trick in the league so far.

Battle States 2018 Rosters

Team Illisouri
G    Craig Anderson    Ottawa    
G    Al Montoya    Edmonton    
D    Connor Carrick    Toronto    
D    Josh Manson    Anaheim    
D    Scott Mayfield    N.Y. Islanders    
D    Dakota Mermis    Arizona    
D    John Moore    New Jersey    
D    Mike Reilly    Montreal    
D    Chris Wideman    Ottawa    
F    J.T. Compher    Colorado    
F    Christian Dvorak    Arizona    
F    Ryan Dzingel    Ottawa    
F    Christian Fischer    Arizona    
F    John Hayden    Chicago    
F    Vince Hinostroza    Chicago    
F    Clayton Keller    Arizona    
F    Nick Lappin    New Jersey    
F    Adam Lowry    Winnipeg    
F    Patrick Maroon    New Jersey    
F    Stefan Matteau    Vegas    
F    Tommy Wingels    Boston    

Team Massachusetts
G    Mike Condon    Ottawa
G    Cory Schneider    New Jersey    
D    John Carlson    Washington    
D    Matt Grzelcyk    Boston    
D    Noah Hanifin    Carolina     
D    David Warsofsky    Colorado    
D    Keith Yandle    Florida    
F    Brian Boyle    New Jersey    
F    Connor Brickley    Florida    
F    Paul Carey    N.Y. Rangers
F    Charlie Coyle    Minnesota    
F    Jack Eichel    Buffalo    
F    Brian Gibbons    New Jersey    
F    Jimmy Hayes    New Jersey    
F    Kevin Hayes    N.Y. Rangers    
F    Chris Kreider    N.Y. Rangers
F    Kevin Rooney    New Jersey    
F    Conor Sheary    Pittsburgh    
F    Frank Vatrano    Florida    
F    Jimmy Vesey    N.Y. Rangers
F    Chris Wagner    N.Y. Islanders
F    Colin White    Ottawa    

Team Michigan
G    Connor Hellebuyck    Winnipeg    
G    Ryan Miller    Anaheim    
D    Ian Cole    Columbus    
D    Andy Greene    New Jersey    
D    Torey Krug    Boston    
D    Alec Martinez    Los Angeles    
D    Jordan Oesterle    Chicago     
D    Jeff Petry    Montreal    
D    Jacob Trouba    Winnipeg    
D    Zachary Werenski    Columbus    
F    Justin Abdelkader    Detroit    
F    David Booth    Detroit    
F    Kyle Connor    Winnipeg    
F    Andrew Copp    Winnipeg    
F    Austin Czarnik    Boston    
F    Alex DeBrincat    Chicago     
F    Luke Glendening    Detroit    
F    Ryan Kesler    Anaheim    
F    Dylan Larkin    Detroit    
F    Tyler Motte    Vancouver    
F    Bryan Rust    Pittsburgh    
F    Austin Watson    Nashville

Team Minnesota
G    Charlie Lindgren    Montreal    
G    Alex Stalock    Minnesota   
D    Dustin Byfuglien    Winnipeg    
D    Justin Faulk    Carolina    
D    Jake Gardiner    Toronto    
D    Alex Goligoski    Arizona    
D    Erik Johnson    Colorado    
D    Nick Leddy    N.Y. Islanders    
D    Ryan McDonagh    N.Y Rangers    
D    Matt Niskanen    Washington    
F    David Backes    Boston    
F    Nick Bjugstad    Florida    
F    Brock Boeser    Vancouver    
F    J.T. Brown    Anaheim    
F    Jake Guentzel    Pittsburgh    
F    Anders Lee    N.Y. Islanders    
F    Brock Nelson    N.Y. Islanders    
F    Kyle Okposo    Buffalo   
F    Zach Parise    Minnesota    
F    Tyler Pitlick    Dallas    
F    Derek Stepan    Arizona    
F    Blake Wheeler    Winnipeg    

Team New York
G    Jim Howard    Detroit    
G    Keith Kinkaid    New Jersey    
D    Zach Bogosian    Buffalo    
D    Adam Clendening    Arizona    
D    Charlie McAvoy    Boston    
D    Brett Pesce    Carolina    
D    Steve Santini    New Jersey    
F    Dustin Brown    Los Angeles    
F    Ryan Callahan    Tampa Bay    
F    Marcus Foligno    Minnesota    
F    Nick Foligno    Columbus    
F    Alex Iafallo    Los Angeles    
F    Patrick Kane    Chicago    
F    Kevin Labanc    San Jose    
F    Kyle Palmieri    New Jersey    
F    Shane Prince    N.Y. Islanders    
F    Lee Stempniak    Carolina    
F    Brandon Sutter    Vancouver    
F    Alex Tuch    Vegas    
F    Miles Wood    New Jersey

Team Northeast 
G    Casey DeSmith    Pittsburgh    
G    Jonathan Quick    Los Angeles   
D    Anthony Deangelo    N.Y. Rangers   
D    Brian Dumoulin    Pittsburgh    
D    Ron Hainsey    Toronto    
D    Ben Lovejoy    New Jersey    
D    Joakim Ryan    San Jose   
D    Kevin Shattenkirk    N.Y. Rangers   
D    Trevor van Riemsdyk    Carolina   
F    Noel Acciari    Boston    
F    Kenny Agostino    Boston    
F    Cam Atkinson    Columbus   
F    Nick Bonino    Nashville   
F    Kyle Criscuolo    Buffalo   
F    Adam Erne    Tampa   
F    Johnny Gaudreau    Calgary    
F    Max Pacioretty    Montreal   
F    Bobby Ryan    Ottawa    
F    Tim Schaller    Boston    
F    James van Riemsdyk    Toronto    
F    Colin Wilson    Colorado    

Team Southeast
G    Scott Darling    Carolina    
G    John Gibson    Anaheim    
D    Jakob Chychrun    Arizona    
D    Shayne Gostisbehere    Philadelphia    
D    Stephen Johns    Dallas    
D    Jack Johnson    Columbus    
D    Seth Jones    Columbus    
D    Jaycob Megna    Anaheim    
D    Jon Merrill    Vegas    
D    Connor Murphy    Chicago    
D    Tyler Myers    Winnipeg    
F    Jared Boll    Anaheim    
F    Blake Coleman    New Jersey    
F    Nic Dowd    Vancouver    
F    Ryan Hartman    Nashville    
F    Garnet Hathaway    Calgary    
F    Seab Kuraly    Boston    
F    J.T. Miller    New York     
F    Stefan Noesen    New Jersey    
F    Jack Roslovic    Winnipeg    
F    Brandon Saad    Chicago    
F    Vincent Trocheck    Florida    

Team West
G    Ben Bishop    Dallas    
G    Jean-Philippe Lamoureux     Austria   
D    Brandon Carlo    Boston    
D    Paul LaDue    Los Angeles    
D    Ian McCoshen    Florida    
D    Kevan Miller    Boston    
D    Brooks Orpik    Washington    
D    Jaccob Slavin    Carolina    
F    Sean Couturier    Philadelphia    
F    Brandon Dubinsky    Columbus    
F    Rocco Grimaldi    Colorado    
F    Tyler Johnson    Tampa Bay    
F    Trevor Lewis    Los Angeles    
F    Auston Matthews    Toronto    
F    Matthew Nieto    Colorado    
F    T.J. Oshie    Washington    
F    Chad Ruhwedel    Pittsburgh    
F    Derek Ryan    Carolina    
F    Nick Shore    Calgary     
F    Nate Thompson    Los Angeles    
F    Matthew Tkachuk    Calgary     
F    Jason Zucker    Minnesota    

Team Wisconsin
G    Brian Elliott    Philadelphia    
G    Troy Grosenick    AHL    
D    Will Butcher    New Jersey    
D    Michael Kapla    AHL    
D     Luke Kunin    Minnesota    
D    Jake McCabe    Buffalo    
D    Jordan Schmaltz    St. Louis    
D    Ryan Suter    Minnesota    
F    Anders Bjork    Boston     
F    Hudson Fasching    Buffalo    
F    Alex Galchenyuk    Montreal    
F    Nicolas Kerdiles    Anaheim    
F    Phil Kessel    Pittsburgh    
F    Max McCormick    Ottawa    
F    Joe Pavelski    San Jose    
F    Nick Schmaltz    Chicago    
F    Mike Sislo    Arizona    
F    Jack Skille    KHL    
F    Craig Smith    Nashville    
F    Drew Stafford    New Jersey    

Battle States 2018 Results

Week 1
Illisouri 4, Massachusetts 3
Michigan 3, Minnesota 2
New England 2, New York 1
West 4, Southeast 2
Wisconsin 4, Illisouri 3 (SO)

Week 2
Michigan 3, Massachusetts 1
Minnesota 4, New York 1
Southeast 3, New England 2
West 4, Wisconsin 3 (OT)

Week 3
Massachusetts 7, Minnesota 6
Michigan 4, Illisouri 3 (SO)
New York 8, Southeast 5
West 6, Northeast 5
Wisconsin 6, Massachusetts 4

Week 4
Minnesota 3, Illisouri 1
Michigan 4, New England 3 (OT)
West 2, New York 1
Southeast 6, Wisconsin 1

Battle States 2018 Standings

Michigan 4 0 0 8 15 9
West 4 0 0 6 16 11
Wisconsin 2 1 1 5 14 17
Minnesota 2 2 0 4 14 12
Southeast 2 2 0 4 16 15
Illisouri 1 1 2 4 11 14
Northeast 1 2 1 3 12 14
New York 1 3 0 2 11 13
Massachusetts 1 3 0 2 15 21

Battle States 2018 Leaders

Brandon Saad Southeast 4
Justin Abdelkader Michigan 3
Tyler Johnson West 3
Max Pacioretty Northeast 3
Zach Parise Minnesota 3
Nick Schmaltz Wisconsin 3
Vincent Trocheck Southeast 5
Dustin Byfuglien Minnesota 4
Connor Carrick Illisouri 4
Nic Kerdiles Wisconsin 4
Tyler Myers Southeast 4
Jaccob Slavin West 4
Zach Werenski Michigan 4
Blake Wheeler Minnesota 4
Zach Parise Minnesota 6
Vincent Trocheck Southeast 6
Dustin Byfuglien Minnesota 5
Connor Carrick Illisouri 5
Christian Dvorak Illisouri 5
Ryan Kesler Michigan 5
Max Pacioretty Max Pacioretty 5
Brandon Saad Southeast 5
Connor Hellebuyck Michigan 2.16
Ben Bishop West 2.69
Alex Stalock Minnesota 3.00
Connor Hellebuyck Michigan .924
Ben Bishop West .901
Craig Anderson Illisouri .895

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