"Sports games are really the best RPGs," writes reader ACES11, who inserted into the NHL a Finnish Elite League team that hasn't won squat in 45 years, drafted smartly and played well, and made it to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals against Montreal.

Playing NHL 11's dynasty mode, ACES11 took Saiman Pallo, of the Finnish SM-liga, and brought them over to the North American pro league, intending to completely rebuild the team in the process. SaiPa's best season came in 1965-1966 when it placed third, says Wikipedia. So these aren't the New York Yankees of the Finnish Elite League.

It took a four-year rebuilding effort, says ACES11, but in 2015 the team made the Stanley Cup Finals against the Montreal Canadiens. Facing elimination at home, SaiPa won a 7-6, three overtime game, clinched when ACES11's second-round draft pick from 2012 slotted home the winner.

Tied at 3 in game seven, SaiPa gets the Cup clincher from another homegrown star, a winger ACES11 picked in 2013.

"I laugh how two guys who really might not have been selected by me at all come up huge for me. It was the right combination of stats that powered those pucks past [the goalie]," ACES11 writes. "That goal was assisted from my 4th round pick in 2011 and my 3rd round pick in 2012. ... Had he been a slower or faster skater, whether his shot was harder or softer. It was the perfect combination of skills at the perfect time.


"For those that think it's silly, clearly they have yet to play a dynasty in a video game," he says.

I'll vouch for that. They're deeply captivating game modes, underrated among games at large. Congrats to the champions, and here's the box score:


Remember, all you have to do to get yourself featured in Box Scores' Game of the Week is take a picture of whatever you've been playing - crappy cell picture will do - write up a couple sentences about why it was so compelling, and email it to me, owenATkotakuDOTcom, with "Box Scores" in the subject header. I will star all submitters, regardless of whether they are published. So be sure to include include your commenter handle, or your commenter page URL if it is different from your handle.

Now the Kotaku Sports open thread commences with the sports TV highlights for today and tomorrow. All times are U.S. Eastern.

  • Motorsports
    NASCAR's Daytona 500 runs at noon tomorrow on Fox. The stock car series' most famous race kicks off the 2011 season.
  • NBA
    The NBA All-Star Game's Dunk Contest and Three-Point Shootout are part of tonight's skills competitions, at 8 p.m. on TNT. The All-Star Game itself tips at 8:30 p.m. tomorrow, also on TNT.
  • College Basketball
    Tomorrow, No. 2 Ohio State is at No. 11 Purdue at 1 p.m. on CBS, the weekend's only matchup of ranked teams. Other games of note include No. 4 Pittsburgh at St. John's, tipping off now on ESPN, Colorado at No. 1 Kansas on ESPN at 2, and Boston College at No. 19 North Carolina on ESPN at 4.
  • NHL
    The league's Heritage Classic features Montreal at Calgary, playing outdoors, at 6 p.m. tomorrow. It's on Versus and the CBC. NBC's games tomorrow are either Washington at Buffalo, Philadelphia at New York, or Detroit at Minnesota at 12:30, followed by Pittsburgh at Philadelphia at 3:30.


Remember, you may send Game of the Week nominations to owenATkotakuDOTcom, and flag it "Box Scores" in the subject header. Please include your commenter handle for proper credit.