With the Capitals down 4-1 to the Blackhawks late in the second period, Alex Ovechkin carried the puck solo into the Blackhawks’ zone. With three defending players marking him, Ovechkin didn’t wait for his teammates; he did it Rambo-style. The Russian machine dipped his shoulder, slid the puck between his skates, and walked around one of the NHL’s best defensemen, Duncan Keith. He finished the sequence by putting the puck over Corey Crawford’s left pad to score.
Participants included, in original order, Craig Custance, Tristan Cockcroft, Tim Kavanagh, John Buccigross, Pierre Becquey, Michael Hume, Victoria Matiash, Neil Greenberg, Sean Allen and Scott Cullen. Categories include goals, assists, power-play points, plus/minus, penalty minutes, shots on goal and average time on ice for skaters and wins, save percentage and goals-against average for goaltenders. Slots to fill include nine forwards, five defensemen, one “utility” skater, two goaltenders and a five-man bench.
My philosophy was simple: grab young, healthy, talented players with upside. Let others worry if Patrick Kane would be healthy or if Sergei Kostitsyn can once again score 20 goals on less than 100 shots.
I had the eight pick. With my editor Mike Hume drafting before me (he knows which players I fancy) and Cullen having back-to-back picks behind me I knew I had to make strategic decisions.
So NHL 11, the new hockey game by EA Sports, has been officially released to the world as of … right… now. If you’re like me, you either pre-ordered it weeks ago (like last year) or are planning to pick it up today at Best Buy immediately after work. Over the past decade, I’ve bought the game religiously on the first day of its release. And at first play every year, I’ll pick up the controller, sit through the opening credits, love the new gameplay and then get childishly furious at one of the minor details that are off. You know, like the rosters will be wrong (i.e.- Nicklas Backstrom‘s on Brynäs IF of the Swedish Elite League but not on Washington), Green Day will be on the soundtrack (ugh), or the PA Announcer repeatedly mispronounces Alexander Semin‘s name (the really, really wrong way).
Anyways, if you share in my excitement, let’s try something fun this year, shall we? If you’re going into the store and buying the game today, I encourage all of you to take pictures and tell us all about your first experience with the game in the comments below or on the hashtag #RMNBNHL11. And please, please complain about any minor thing that’s off. Like we’re a bunch of pedantic beta testers.
Let’s see how this goes, but try and make me proud. I’ll even give a free t-shirt to somebody if they come up with something truly epic. Like submitting a photo of yourself doing the hot stick celebration with the game box or checking the GameStop employee over the counter. Game on!
A few months ago, while Capitals fans and myself eagerly awaited the announcement of the Canadian Olympic Team, we only wanted General Manager Steve Yzerman to say one name. We heard Crosby. We groaned. We heard Brodeur. We nodded. We saw baby pictures. We vomited.
We heard Dan Boyle and Drew Doughty. Then Duncan Keith and Scott Niedermayer. Next was Chris Pronger and Brent Seabrook. And then… the 7th and final defenseman… Shea Weber?
After all the days that have passed since, we here at RMNB have still struggled to understand how Canada’s Best Defenseman, Mike Green, was left off the roster. Even as recently as Friday Night during the Olympic Opening Ceremonies, I professed to Daniel that Mike Green’s Defensive Acumen was at worst an 8 out of 10 – but more realistically a 9. And I said “EASILY” too. This prompted Daniel to investigate my claims as he was quite suspicious. Below are Daniel’s findings. How has Mike Green stacked up against his fellow countrymen and the rest of the NHL this year? See for yourself below the jump. You might be surprised.