While it’s far from official, there are some well-founded rumors that Jonathan Toews will be the cover star for EA Sports’ upcoming NHL ’11 video game. Puck Daddy and various other outlets caught wind of the software giant briefly putting up a page with a mockup of the game cover on its Web site, although it was quickly taken down.
On some level it’s a brilliant choice. After all, Toews won a gold medal, Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe all in the same calendar year (let alone season). Really, if there’s a “player of 2010” so far, there’s little doubt that Captain Serious is the No. 1 choice. Naturally, EA will also benefit from the wild popularity of the Chicago Blackhawks as well.
It’s also a curious decision, though. For one thing, it’s odd that the company chose two different players from the same team in consecutive years (Patrick Kane was on the cover of NHL ’10). That’s kind of like Kobe Bryant being on the cover of NBA Live one year and Shaq following him up, although I’m fairly certain that Toews and Kane don’t despise each other (and neither one will ask for clarification on the flavor of their … nevermind).
Some also point out that Ryan Miller would have been a good choice. He wouldn’t be the first goalie cover star either, as Marty Turco and John Vanbiesbrouck are among the netminders who appeared on the front of hockey video game cases in the past. Miller became close to a household name with his impressive Olympic run for Team USA.
I’m curious as to why Sidney Crosby hasn’t been on a video game cover yet, especially since Alex Ovechkin was the cover star for both major hockey video game titles. Is he too expensive? Do game companies think that he’d be polarizing? Does he hate video games? We need answers to these questions.
One interesting idea for the future: maybe EA should consider going with “localized” cover stars. Maybe at some point EA will try to take advantage of collector culture and come out with “special editions.” Perhaps one star per division or a Canadian/American/European version?
Anyway, allow me to hand out a hasty congratulations to (unofficial) cover star Jonathan Toews. It’s just another in a long line of honors for the young center.
It’s said that variety is the spice of life, yet it seems to be the spite of the Minnesota Wild.
As head coach Mike Yeo said, this struggling team appears to find a new way to lose virtually every night. That couldn’t have happened once again on Saturday, when they fell 4-1 to the St. Louis Blues, could it?
If you ask Jarret Stoll, the latest problem was the penalty kill.
Honestly, Stoll may have been too specific, likely trying to throw his own unit under the bus. Instead, it might be more accurate to say that Minnesota’s special teams let them down.
Indeed, the Wild struggled to limit the Blues’ power play, which went an unsettling 3-for-6. That said, Minnesota had a chance to trade blows with St. Louis. Instead, the Wild managed one power-play goal on seven opportunities.
The silver lining is that the Wild believe that they showed more fight than this fragile bunch had been generating before.
On the other hand, with Jonas Brodin on IR and Jared Spurgeon apparently hurt, that silver lining may not be so easy to see.
Worry (if you’re pulling for the Stars) or gloat (if you’re a Blackhawks fan) all you want, but the bottom line is that the Central Division’s No.1 spot is clearly in Chicago’s control after Saturday night.
The Blackhawks earned a decisive 5-1 win against the Dallas Stars, giving them a five-point standings lead over Dallas for the Central Division lead.
You may feel like that’s more of the same, but consider this: things would look a lot closer if Dallas won or gained points, as they hold three games in hand on the ‘Hawks.
At least one Blackhawks player admits this game means a little more than your average W.
Indeed, while Antti Niemi was pulled from the game and Kari Lehtonen faced his own struggles in Dallas’ net, Corey Crawford ranked as one of the big reasons why the score was so lopsided.
(Artem Anisimov had a big say in that, too.)
As a wise coach with 1,000+ games of experience would do, Joel Quenneville didn’t go overboard in assessing the victory.
Was this a statement game? Who knows, but a certain statement is that the Blackhawks now have a five-point standings lead.
Looking at the standings, beating the Buffalo Sabres was pretty important for the Boston Bruins. The Atlantic Division’s run for spots appears particularly congested out East.
Of all the Bruins to get a chance to win it all, the team might have wanted Brad Marchand to have that opportunity. He’s on pace to destroy his previous career-highs for scoring, and Marchand’s been particularly hot lately.
Either way, Marchand came up big indeed, scoring the rare overtime game-winner on a penalty shot. Check out the drama below:
That can be a big extra point and ROW (regulation/overtime win) when the regular season is finished.
Note: Many believe that Marchand should not have received a penalty shot on the play.
For quite some time, it looked like the Florida Panthers would keep the Pittsburgh Penguins under wraps.
Florida nursed a 1-0 lead into a 2-0 margin almost halfway through the third period, looking to win its sixth consecutive game. That looked great … and then Sidney Crosby + Kris Letang happened.
Let’s put it this way: this GIF of Crosby being frustrated is amusing, yet it doesn’t exactly tell the story of Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win for the Penguins:
Instead, Crosby grabbed his 900th point assisting on a Letang goal, and finished the night with 902 by collecting the game-tying goal and grabbing a helper on Letang’s overtime game-winner.
Crosby crossing that barrier is indeed special, even if it prompts “What if?” questions about No. 87’s health.
The resurgence of Crosby and Letang already played a big role in the Penguins going from disjointed and frustrating to sneaky and scary, so it shouldn’t be that surprising to see them play so well. Doing so in such brisk order is a little bewildering, however.