Sunday, April 9, 2017

Farewell to the Joe

Editor's Note: I actually went to Pittsburgh a week before, but want to get in on the Joe Louis Arena thinkpieces before the train on that runs out. So I'll talk about Pittsburgh's new boring building soon enough.

Let's get this out of the way first. Detroit has and always will suck. This is an undeniable fact of life. The only certainties in this world are death, taxes, and Detroit's suckitude.

However, my first, last, and only trip to Joe Louis Arena was like an old Western movie. Good, bad, and ugly.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Summer posting: Blackhawks A-Z

It’s summer, and, even though I didn’t really make any posts during the season (focused too much on video games and stuff), it’s time for my yearly tradition of ripping off stuff other sites do but for the Blackhawks and doing my own thing, because I’m too lazy to come up with ideas.
This time it’s Puck Daddy’s A to Z series, with something starting (or related to, or something) with each letter in the alphabet from the team. It should be obvious which team I’m doing, but some of the letters are just plain hard. So I’ll put in honorable mentions as necessary.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Who's the scariest seed in the NHL?

So this NHL season is winding down to a close, and the playoffs are coming for 16 special teams. Each of the top 3 teams in the divisions are seeded 1-3, with 2 playing 3 and 1 playing one of the two Wild Cards from the conference (the leader with the most points plays the worse WC team and vice versa). Of course, there's a difference between an 82 game marathon and a 7 game sprint, so let's take a look at which teams in each seed look most dangerous right now.

All data is accurate before games played March 19, 2015. All photos are from unless stated otherwise

Saturday, March 7, 2015


Recently in February I took a trip to Toledo Ohio, for various reasons (including the city’s gaming convention, BASHCon, which I’ll cover on my gaming related channel).  I also had the opportunity to take in a Toledo Walleye game, which was my first ECHL game, meaning all I need now is a SPHL game and I’m set for American hockey leagues, other than the really minor junior ones.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015

Advanced Metrics Explained, or, Fancystats 101

Lately throughout the NHL people have been using “advanced statistics”, or as I like to call them, fancystats, to better quantify a player’s quality, or a team’s quality.  Some “old school” blowhards like to disregard them because they feel people who swear by them “don’t watch the game” (seriously you’ll see a variant of that phrase in countless message boards and said countless times by former players and the like).  I personally feel that they’re usually a pretty good predictor of a team’s chances to win, and they only enhance my viewing of a game. Unfortunately, some of the phrases can be pretty daunting, so here I made a glossary of various advanced statistics that you might see come up in a discussion, with simpler explanations than I usually see for them. Enjoy.

Monday, September 1, 2014

EA Sports NHL 15 Demo Review

I know I'm late to the party, but having given the demo a run through, I figured I'd share my thoughts on it.

(Note: I played the Xbox One version of the demo, though I don't think there are any large differences between it and the Playstation 4 version.  Neither the Xbox 360 nor the Playstation 3 have demos as of now).

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the greatest hockey video game ever made.  That's right, NHL 95 (I can, in fact, count).

Still the best.
So not only is it an anniversary year, but this is the first version on new, eighth generation hardware, so this is a big game for EA Canada.  So to get people excited, EA released a demo.  This is a review of the demo.

To start out, this is a very small demo.  In previous games, there's been a stripped down Hockey Ultimate Team (HUT) demo, a game, and maybe a shootout, practice, or Battle for the Cup mode.  This demo comes with nothing but a single game (with only the Rangers and Kings, as is usual) and practice, where you go one on the goalie, and nothing else.  There's enjoyment to be had, but with no online play, you'd better have friends and controllers handy.

That said, the presentation is excellent.  The intro to the game has the legitimate feel of an NBCSN broadcast, with Mike Emrick talking about where Madison Square Garden is (if the Rangers are the home team).  Then the scene shifts to a very well rendered shot of the interior of the arena, and then...

Actual video of Doc and Eddie Olczyk discussing the game in a manner which doesn't name names (so they can use that video for other games) greenscreened on the rendering of the arena behind them (it looks realistic, but it's not a video, it is actually rendered).

Even when the game is playing, it looks better than NHL 14 did on the PS3, by a lot.  The skating has been improved dramatically since NHL 13 (NHL 13 introduced "realistic" skating and acceleration, which made all the players seem like they were in molasses).  The controls are I believe identical to the most recent installments in the series, and that's not a bad thing.  The fighting has been tweaked, again, but I think it has the same controls too (instead of a first person mode for fighting (based off the Fight Night engine) it uses the same view from the game with all the other players around).  Other than that, the gameplay feels similar to NHL 14, and that's good.

Despite the shortness of the demo, the game itself looks to be very promising, even if it removes features from the previous entry in the series.  It you have an eighth-gen system, you should certainly spend the time and gigabytes downloading the demo for NHL 15.