That Damn Hockey Blog

That Damn Hockey Blog: Does This Mean Hockey’s Back?

It feels a little weird to be honest. This time last year, every hockey fan knew that there wasn’t going to be any hockey, because we knew that there was going to be a lockout, and we knew it was going to last awhile, so a proper season start seems like heaven. I know there’s an Olympic break in the middle and that’ll make things interesting in terms of how one plays in an attempt to make the Olympic rosters, and with a proper pre-season, the start of the season will see the best players at full stride, as opposed to taking the first month of last season to find their rhythm.

So enjoy pre-season action, cheer your team on. Hockey’s back, and that’s always a good thing.

Hockey Media

NHL 14 Demo – Thoughts and Points

For those who havent played it/downloaded it, the NHL 14 playable demo was released recently, and in it, contained three game modes. Play Now, which consisted of playing the third period (and overtime/shootout if needed), between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks. NHL ’94 Anniversary mode, which contains the third period between the Bruins/Blackhawks, and Hockey Ultimate Team, which contains you receiving a random pack, and facing off in a tournament against the Halifax Mooseheads, Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks and Team Canada respectively.

A quick analysis on each, possibly detailing what the retail version of NHL 14 could be all about.

NHL ’94 Anniversary mode should be available to play online multiplayer. It is only there as a replacement for the Winter Classic, which wasn’t played due to the lockout. This mode would be more fun being able to play online, as I feel the mode just wont be enough purely as offline single player/multiplayer. NHL ’94 mode is more than fun, and even the beginner would be able to do well in this mode, as opposed to needing to do tricks and dekes in order to be successful in other modes.

Ultimate Team from what I saw, seems to be fairly similar to the NHL ’13 model, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it would be a lot better if they re-introduced permanent training to your players.

Play Now was just a normal game, giving you the chance to show off the new fighting mechanic, the new dekes, and everything else you can think of. The fighting mechanic is 1000% better than previous editions, although they seem to happen a lot more regularly than even a real-life NHL game, which can be bothersome, and just like Madden and FIFA, the game’s looks are tweaked to look better, but the overall feel is pretty much the same as last year’s edition.

PUCK YOU!, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals

Nate Thompson Makes a Convincing Argument For Visors

During the tilt between the Tampa Bay Lightning and The Washington Capitals, a Mike Green slap shot shattered Nate Thompson’s visor into pieces. While it cut him open “hardway”, with minor lacerations, One can only imagine how worse this would have been had he not have been wearing a visor. Looking at the proximaty of the shot, and the force behind it, Nate Thompson is a lucky man. Without said visor, he might have lost an eye and/or suffered an concussion.

It’s reasons like this that the “visor issue” is a hot topic in the NHL. I understand that the athletes want to appear tough. But if I was an owner, I’d want my GM to protect my investment by enforcing necessary safety regulations on players. I hate likening the players to cattle, since the the recent lockout is still a very sore topic to allude to… but… a rancher builds a fence and invests in a shot gun to prevent the herd being lost to predators. Why on Earth would an owner not want to prevent paying out massive contracts to I.R. players that take unnecessary risks? Seems dumb to me. But I’m just a fan, so what the hell do I know?

Washington would go on to win the game 6 – 5 in OT.


The NHL Buys Full Page Newspaper Ads To “Apologize” To Fans.

You read that right. “Like you, we’ve missed NHL hockey.” At least the advertisement says.

Do you forgive them? I certainly do not. Yes, I am quite happy that my favorite sport to watch is back, and I can enjoy it from the comfort of home. I still can’t afford to expand my cable package to watch games not offered at a basic cable level. I certainly cannot afford tickets to live games, either.

This ad claims the NHL is “committed to earning back your trust and support” with “hard work and unwavering dedication.”

Really? After playing the media, and subsequently the fans for months and bickering over money… THIS is how you choose to make good with the fans? By spending money on newspaper ads in every team’s market and a number of national papers in Canada and the United States?

I call bullshit on the NHL’s apology. After the 2005-6 lockout, the commissioner promised to give back to the fans with reduced ticket prices. That didn’t happen. The told us they wanted to re-earn out trust then as well to prevent another lockout. That obviously was sincere.

I don’t know about you, but I cannot spend any money on this league this year. Yes, granted in part to a limited income. I suppose I could make some financial sacrifices to invest in going to watch a game live. I could. But that’s not going to happen either. I refuse to spend any money on this league this season. I will watch and use the game for my own enjoyment. I will record games so I can skip through all advertising purchased.

The NHL could have not wasted their money on these newspaper ads and supplemented arenas by providing free tickets to home games through a lottery system for fans. They could offer the cable packages for fans for free. That would have been a sincere gesture. Maybe actually GIVE back to the fans they used to further their own monetary agenda? Don’t expect any money from this guy. Not a penny.

Flashback Friday, PUCK YOU!

PUCK YOU! Season 3, Episode 2, Part 2 (repost)


While the 2012 NHL Lockout is underway, every Friday will be known as “Flashback Friday.” On this day of the week, a classic installment of PUCK YOU! will be released for your enjoyment.

This was originally published on Dec 30, 2011

Hello hockey fans! PUCK YOU! has returned to wrap up the second half this our second installment of the season. The only way we could be more efficient, is to pull off an “Ilya Kovalchuk” and somehow find a way to give Carolina Hurricane goalie Cam Ward a free statistical goal…
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Flashback Friday, PUCK YOU!

PUCK YOU! Season 3, Episode 2, Part 1 (repost)


While the 2012 NHL Lockout is underway, every Friday will be known as “Flashback Friday.” On this day of the week, a classic installment of PUCK YOU! will be released for your enjoyment.

This was originally published on Dec 28, 2011

Hello hockey fans! PUCK YOU! has returned for another installment! We are about 1/3 of the way into the 2011 – 2012 NHL season, and it is time to address what hockey fans think about a number of issues and events that have occurred. It’s going to be controversial, as always, and as exciting as watching a bunch of 9 year old kids from Kazakhstan brawl!
Click below for part one of this installment of PUCK YOU!. Part 2 will be online on Friday, December 30, 2011.
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Pacioretty vs Marek vs Wyshynski

After a mere three weeks in the Swiss League playing for Ambri Piotta, Max Pacioretty is headed home with a flu and an inflamed elbow. With the lockout still pending a decision, it’s hard to keep sane as a hockey fan in North America. Thank goodness for Jeff Marek and Greg “Puck Daddy” Wyshynski keeping their Marek VS Wyshynski podcast going and entertaining it’s fans with satire and hockey news. You can check that show out here. In honor of the entertainment it’s given me, it inspired me to make a meme based on a reoccurring gag on that show.


Arkham Arena?

This Saturday night, the fate of the 2012 – 2013 NHL season will be determined… at least the start of it. Call me a Joker for not posting this on Cat(woman)urday, but let’s Two-Face it… even though it’s Friday, we all know the Bane of this weekend will be whether the Riddle(r)’s solution will become apparent during the 11th hour. Have a good weekend! Let’s hope my bad punditry is outweighed by the animated gif below.

(Special thanks to resident BHF contributor, Stove Coleman, for inspiring this. When reached for comment, Coleman noted, “Funny how he rigged the draft for the Penguin. Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. […] Both the NHL/PA Robin’ us of a season! I’ve got more, but they’re getting worse.”).