For the second consecutive year, a Philadelphia Flyer spurned Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malin in a popularity contest. In 2012 it was Claude Giroux, a mild upset at best. This time around it was Wayne Simmonds knocking off the two-time Art Ross Trophy winner.
Simmonds was pitted head-to-head with Malkin in EA Sports’ annual cover contest for its NHL video game series. Hockey fans from all across North America voted for Simmer – a player with no major awards or accomplishments in his professional career – over the four-time All Star, last season’s league MVP, and a member of the Penguins no less.
Simmonds moves on the quarterfinals to take on New York Islander and Hart Trophy finalist John Tavares. So far the Wayne Train has rolled past teammate and Flyers MVP Jakub Voracek, then survived a round of 32 before his knockout on Malkin.
As you can see, Giroux won the whole thing last year, beating out Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne in the finals.
Obviously these cover contests are completely irrelevant, but you’ve got to love hockey fans sticking it to the Penguins when they are given the opportunity. Simmonds’ run might come to an end this week against the immensely talented Tavares, but he already made it farther than we thought he would.
If you have a moment, you can vote for Simmonds here. Oh, and if you need any extra incentive, voting enters you into another contest: fans can win a trip to this year’s Stanley Cup Finals. The Flyers won’t be there, but that could be fun.
>> NHL 14 Cover Vote [EA Sports]