Nate, you should UP the cpu teams for the playoffs! You want that cup, fight hard for it against the cpu. ;-)
Well, it's not like anybody is going to be facing the CPU all the way to the finals. And if we did up the difficulty...it's possible a CPU team could win the cup, thus making all of our invested time pointless. It's something to consider for next season, but I don't think it's a good idea now.
Speaking of settings changes, I just looked, and yeah...I'm not seeing an option for injuries. I'm hoping maybe the full settings options will open back up between seasons, but if not...I feel like we gotta try something to discourage thuggish play. Even when it's the AI's fault, it still bothers me. One option we do have is turning penalty scaling off...meaning that penalties last in real time, not in game time. At least this would increase the severity of a penalty when they are actually called, which MAYBE would make people think twice before going for those big hits or spamming their stick checks.
And of course, there's still the option of going with the "hardcore" playstyle. I know it's supposed to negatively affect passing, but I think we should still look at it. Maybe play some test games with it, and see if it makes any difference. It even has me wondering what raising the playstyle to "hardcore", but lowering the difficulty to "rookie" would accomplish. I've never really understood how the two work separately to alter gameplay, as you'd think they'd be changing the same things. Ultimately, I feel like another season of what we just had isn't going to be tolerable for as long. I'm all up for radical changes.