If you've signed up for a league or the Medallion, click "Schedule" to play your games from there.
Ways to play games as the home team:
1. Auto-Simming: Go to "Settings" (right navigation) and turn on Auto-Sim. By doing this, your home games will automatically be simulated around 2 A.M. server time.
2. Quick-Simming: On the day of your game, sometime before 11 P.M. server time, click "QuickSim." This will put your game in a queue to be simulated within about 10 minutes.
3. Playing round-by-round: On the day of your game, sometime before 11 P.M. server time, click "Play." This will allow you to choose your lines and a style of play for each round.
Any home games that aren't played by one of the above three methods are emergency auto-simmed at 11 P.M. Non-donators get 10 emergency auto-sims, after that they either play their games by one of the above three methods or have Auto-Sim automatically turned on for them. Donators get unlimited emergency auto-sims (auto-simming at 2 AM is never automatically turned on for them, instead all unplayed games get simulated at 11 PM server time). Note the difference between regular auto-sims (at 2 A.M.) and emergency auto-sims (at 11 P.M.).
Non-donators only get fan and credit increases from Quick-Simming and playing round-by-round. Donators get fan and credit increases no matter how their games are played.
If you wish to shinny a team (play an exhibition game) either to experiment with your lineup or as part of a player-run tournament, go to "View Teams" to find the team you want to shinny and the click "Shinny" on the team's profile page. Shinny games are played round-by-round.
All unfinished games are simulated at 11 P.M. server time and will not count as an emergency auto-sim.
Once you hire a head coach, you can select one of three coaching strategies: The Trap, Free Flow, and High Pressure. The coaching strategies affect how many shots you and your opponent get per game.
Some teams might perform the same under all three styles, while other teams play much better under a certain style. For example, if your goalie has a very high save percentage, high pressure would be your best bet.
A team's coaching strategy can also be determined based on your goals. If you're trying to get one of your players to receive an offensive award like the Fire Ring trophy, it is a good idea to play high pressure. If you want one of your players to receive the Golden Hammer, playing the trap would be most effective.
Teams might be persuaded to choose a style this way because once a player wins an award, they will be inducted into the Hall of Fame when they retire, meaning their stats are forever preserved and they can be hired as a coach.
A Coach's Impact
The Head Coach and his assistants influence the game through their rating. Head coaches influence both forwards and defensemen while offensive and defensive coaches only influence forwards and defensemen, respectively. The higher your coaches' ratings are the better. Keep in mind, the higher a coach's rating, the higher the salary they will want. In order to be able to pay for high staff salaries, you will have to have a bigger budget.
Staff budgets correlate to arena level. For example, a level 1 arena gives a budget of $1M, whereas a level 5 arena gives a budget of $5M.
Although coaches' ratings will increase by a point every season due to experience, the easiest way to get a high-rated coach is to hire one of your Hall-of-Famers. Any retired player who has won a player award while playing on your team is eligible to be hired by you.
Staff In General
Each staff member you can hire plays an important role on the team. Coaches are the only staff members who come with their own ratings and variable salaries. The other staff members perform specific roles and have static salaries.
It is up to you to decide when a staff member is not doing a good enough job and should be fired. Staff members that don't have ratings are capable of screwing up and sometimes need to be replaced, especially if there is a recurring problem. All staff members retire at the age of 65.
Influencing The Game
The biggest factor that you can control in determining your team's success is roster management. Wise tactics like signing players long-term just before they reach the next minimum salary bracket (for example signing a 79-rated player to a $1.5M/season salary), prying a free agent with a higher original rating and then training them with your strength and coordinating conditioner, and varying player contract lengths are not to be underestimated.
But once your roster is set, you can still do fine-tuning by finding the most effective lineup for your team, assigning your players a coaching instruction, and coming up with a strategy for playing home games round-by-round.
Generally, weaker defenses take more penalties. So if your team lacks strong defensive-minded players, it would be a good idea to try setting all your players to +2 Defense (a coaching instruction that can be assigned on a player's profile).
While playing games round-by-round, you can select from different styles of play. The more offensive the style, the greater the chance you have of scoring, but your chances of taking a penalty also increase. It is usually a good idea to play a more offensive style, such as "All-Out-Attack" during a power play, and a defensive style, like "Shutdown" during a penalty kill.
Whenever you play a game, you should have at least a general idea about the kinds of players on each of your lines. Are your lines balanced? Do you have a checking line, or a line with noticably stronger or weaker players? Knowing these answers is important to knowing which lines to send out during different times in a game. It is also important to give your better lines and pairings (if you have a better line or pairing) more ice time. Ice time can be distributed in "Settings" (right navgiation).
While playing a home game, if there are less than three rounds left, you will have the option of pulling your goalie. If you are only down by a goal pulling your goalie is recommended, as you have a better chance of tying the game up with the extra skater. But if you are down by more than one goal it likely isn't worth it if it's a league game, as an empty net goal for the other team would hurt your goal differential.
Every time a player receives a big hit, their rating is reduced by 5 points for the rest of the game. A team can only make a max of one big hit per period. For games that you are not playing round by round, hitting frequency can be controlled under your head coach's style (My Team >> Staff >> Coaching Style).
When you order a big hit during home games, your team will try to make a big hit in the next three rounds. Power forwards, checkers, and stay-at-home defensemen are the best big hitters.
Fights can only be ordered by home teams playing round by round. The team that has won the most fights at any point during a game has a momentum boost. So if the home team has won 2 fights and the road team has won one fight, the home team would have the momentum boost.
Both fighters are given 5 minute majors for fighting. If the home team's fighter is rated 5 points or more lower than the road team's fighter, there is a high chance the home team will get an instigator minor penalty.
The better a fighter's win-to-loss ratio is, the better the fighter he is. Power forwards, checkers, and stay-at-home defensemen like to fight. The other styles do not.
Home teams get a slight boost if the game is played manually or through QuickSim.
The boost is pretty small, but it's there.
The big advantage from home games is if you play them round-by-round and use all-out-attack on a power play and shutdown on a penalty kill. Combine that with winning a fight and laying out big hits against the other team's top line, and you get a pretty decent home-ice advantage.