We’ve given plenty of play to EA Sports’ upcoming “NHL 11” video game title and for good reason: it’s the industry leader. That doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten all about 2K Sports and their Wii-exclusive hockey entry, though. Here’s the company’s official trailer for “NHL 2K11.”
If the company’s self-imposed X-Box 360/Playstation 3 hiatus didn’t put a lot of pressure on the company to knock the Nintendo-only title out of the park, EA will do its part. The software giant will release its first-ever Wii hockey title (“NHL Slap Shot”) this fall, complete with an intriguing mini-hockey stick controller and some obscure dude named Wayne Gretzky on the cover. (Intrigued? Check out more details about the title here.)
As far as “NHL 2K11” goes, it seems that they’re working to improve the last title’s putrid graphics. Much like EA, they’ve also decided to integrate broken sticks into play. I’m on record of saying that this sounds like an dangerous “realism vs. fun” proposition, but let’s reserve final judgment until the games see the light of day.
One other noticeable change is the trick moves added to the title. As you can see from the embedded video, players apparently can hold a puck on their stick mid-air and try to score in that way. I wonder how often that will happen in actual gameplay being that such a thing happens very rarely in hockey competition. It could certainly be a cool little trick, though.
Expect plenty of video game related fun as more previews and trailers come through the grapevine. Games typically come out in early-to-mid September, so this is just the beginning of the information overload from the competing game companies.
Stars end Capitals’ winning streak, pass Blackhawks for West lead
For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”
They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:
Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.
Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).
Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.
The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.
(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)
Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)
You can see that moment in the video above, while My Regular Face’s GIF also captures that troubling moment:
It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.
The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).
One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.