Jets lose on a stinker of a goal on Ondrej Pavelec – which is why it’s Michael Hutchinson or bust for them

Adam Proteau
Ondrej Pavelec (Photo by Lance Thomson/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Winnipeg Jets had stormed back Tuesday from a 4-1 second period deficit to the St. Louis Blues to tie the game with less than six minutes left in regulation, but with 1:03 to go, Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec allowed a brutal game-winner on a Barret Jackman shot just inside center ice. Read more

Los Angeles Kings guess their video game ratings, Alec Martinez is way off

Jared Clinton
L.A. Kings Jarret Stoll and Alec Martinez

There is nothing in sports video games as hotly contested as player ratings. Whether a person thinks players are rated too high or too low, there’s very few gamers who think each rating is right in the sweet spot. Take Kings defenseman Alec Martinez, for example.

Martinez had the best year of his career last season, posting 11 goals and 22 points in 61 games with the Kings, adding another five goals and 10 points in 26 playoff games. He scored the game-winning overtime goal in game seven of the Western Conference Final and followed that up with the Stanley Cup winning goal in double overtime against the New York Rangers.

All that is to say you couldn’t argue if Martinez were to guess his player rating was somewhere in the mid-80s. What did Martinez estimate? Let’s just say it’s way less than 80. Watch as Martinez and teammates try to gauge how they stack up in EA Sports’ NHL 15. Read more

White-hot Stars rookie John Klingberg scores a long-distance goal

Adam Proteau
John Klingberg (Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

Dallas Stars rookie defenseman John Klingberg is just 22 years old, but he may never score a goal further away from the net than the one he did Tuesday night against the Oilers.

The Swedish blueliner, who was selected 131st overall by Dallas in 2010, grabbed the puck between center ice and Edmonton’s blueline and fired a slapshot from there – well, something that started out as a slapshot, anyway – at Oilers goalie Viktor Fasth, who had a clear look at it, but whiffed on it completely:
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Remember the NHL 2K video game? It’s back – and so is cover boy Ryan Kesler

Matt Larkin
After a four-year hiatus, the NHL 2K video game series returns, and it brings back Ryan Kesler as the face of the product. (Getty Images)

The video game stars have aligned this fall. The EA Sports juggernaut has enjoyed a monopoly on the NHL license for several seasons, but it picked a questionable time to release a flawed game. NHL 15 possesses amazing feel and physics, but gamers have marched their virtual torches to EA’s door, angry about a serious lack of game modes.

Quite a time, then, for the NHL 2K series to return after a four-year hiatus. The game drops any day now on iOS and Android, meaning it’s playable on virtually all phones and tablets.

Also making a comeback: 2K cover athlete Ryan Kesler. By my account, he’s the first video game athlete to grace a cover again after a four-year hiatus. He laughs when I point that out, and he seems genuinely honored to be named the face of 2K again.

“It was pretty cool, obviously,” Kesler said. “I developed a relationship over the years with 2K, working with them even before I was on the cover of 2K11. That was a dream come true. When they came to me again and gave me this opportunity, it’s something you don’t turn down.”

And NHL 2K aims to deliver something a little different than the competition, targeting the more casual gamer, maybe the type who finds hardcore simulation games like EA Sports’ NHL and Madden series, SCE’s MLB: The Show and even NBA 2K too daunting. It offers a three-season My Career Mode and has live roster updates, but its bread and butter will be a fast-paced, 3-on-3 mini rink game. It projects to have more of an arcadey feel to it.

Here’s a shot of the regular gameplay:

 

Courtesy 2K Sports

Courtesy 2K Sports

 

Kesler, 30, is grew up in the video game generation, so he knows what he wants in a game. He laments how hard sports games are to control on tablets, but he says NHL 2K breaks that mold. He’s pumped about the mini rink games. Most of all, though, he loves the shootout mode.

“Definitely something that’s going to be a competition on the planes,” Kesler said. “We’re going to be playing each other in shootouts, and it’s going to get pretty heated on the planes during road trips.”

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Bruins beat Flyers in second round – does EA stand for ‘Errors Abound’?

(Image courtesy EA Sports.)

No need to play the 2014-15 season, National Hockey League. Yes, that may cut into the $4 billion in revenues you’re expected to generate, but think of the cost savings for teams that lose money.

Really, why actually play a season when a simulated NHL season has already been played, the Stanley Cup has been awarded and all the awards winners have already been determined? That’s what EA Sports, creators of the NHL 15 video game, have done. And they’ve determined that the Los Angeles Kings will become the first back-to-back Stanley Cup champions since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and ’98. Read more

Players try to guess their rating in NHL 15, Alex Ovechkin steals the show

Alex Ovechkin

So, we’re not going to recommend that you buy EA Sports’ NHL 15 this year because there are too many modes missing, but this video that shows players trying to guess their overall rating in the game is pretty neat.

Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Travis Zajac and more try and guess what their overall player rating is in this year’s NHL video game and some of them come pretty close.

The best answers out of the bunch come from Ovechkin. Oh Ovie – don’t ever leave for the KHL. Read more

NHL 15 review: Gameplay is good, but way too much is missing

NHL 15 P.K. Subban

The following is a review for EA Sports’ NHL 15 on Playstation 4 and Xbox One.

NHL 15 arrived on the next generation consoles Playstation 4 and Xbox One last week to great anticipation. The player and fan graphics took a step up, NBC’s commentary crew was added to enhance the gaming experience, and the physics engine was also upgraded.

But how you grade the game depends on how you like to play it. If you’re a casual gamer who only pops on from time to time for a 1-on-1 game online, if you’re a big fan of HUT, or if you play offline against a friend on the couch, then you’ll get what you want out of it. The look of the game has taken a big jump forward and the feel of it has moderately changed as well. The fan animations and gameplay provide a rich experience. As one user who gave a positive review on metacritic said: “I couldn’t care less about the superfluous crap that’s been jammed into these games the past few years. Focus on the game play. That’s what matters, that’s why people loved these games throughout the ’90s.”

The problem is, the ’90s have been over for a decade and a half and sports games have evolved since then. Most users have gotten used to a more comprehensive package, filled with an in-depth GM mode, an RPG-like career mode, an online “GM Connected” where you manage a team against other players from around the globe or in your neighborhood – and more. It’s here that NHL 15 takes a dive. Read more