It’s not totally correct to say that Electronic Arts’ upcoming NHL ’12 title won’t have any competition. After all, there are many other distractions (such as movies and actual hockey games on TV) and plenty of different video games to choose from. That being said, the software giant won’t have to deal with the most direct type of competition in the form of another major NHL simulation.
2K Sports admitted that they won’t release NHL 2K12 on any console. If you may remember, the company “took a year off” from releasing a title for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 consoles but did release a game for the Wii and less traditional platforms such as iPads and iPhones. The Wii version received middling reviews and didn’t exactly break video game sales records, either.
The NHL2K series reached its critical heights during the Xbox/Playstation 2 era, but 2K Sports didn’t really have an answer once video games jumped to the “next generation.” EA revamped its NHL series with a well-received “skill stick” and regained its traditional title as a critical darling. (By all accounts, EA’s games out-sold the NHL2K series even when many felt that their titles were inferior, but the gap grew wider on new consoles.)
It’s true that the NHL2K series was running on fumes, but it’s still saddening to see the title disappear altogether. Now EA Sports will enter the market without major competition for the 2011-12 season. It is unclear if the company will release a sequel to it’s Wii-only title “NHL Slapshot” at this time. The game doubled NHL 2K12’s sales but it is unclear if that matches their goals for the title.
We’ll keep you up to date regarding the biggest announcements about hockey video games, which will be limited to EA Sports’ titles next season.
Tonight is a big game for the Arizona Coyotes, as they host Vancouver, one of the teams they’re jockeying with for the final wild-card spot in the West.
If the Coyotes can beat the Canucks in regulation, they’ll move to within two points of Colorado for that final wild-card spot, with three games in hand on the Avs. Not only that, Vancouver’s playoff hopes would be dealt a significant blow.
Of course, that’s a pretty sizable “if” the way the Coyotes have been playing. The Desert Dogs are winless in their last four, with 21 total goals surrendered.
“We have to shore up some things and our goaltending has to be better,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett told reporters, while confirming that Louis Domingue would get the start versus the Canucks.
Domingue, the NHL’s rookie of the month in January, has struggled of late, allowing five goals in each of his last three starts. In the Coyotes’ last game, they turned to Anders Lindback, only for Lindback to surrender five goals himself in a 5-2 loss to Anaheim.
For the Canucks, Ryan Miller is expected to start, after Jacob Markstrom got the win last night in Denver.
— Henrik Lundqvist for the Rangers in Pittsburgh, where Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to start for the Penguins.
— Craig Anderson for the Senators in Detroit, where Petr Mrazek will make his third straight start for the Red Wings.
The Buffalo Sabres have recalled forward Justin Bailey from AHL Rochester.
It’s the first time Bailey, a second-round pick in 2013, has ever been called up to the NHL. The 20-year-old joins the big club after piling up 11 points (5G, 6A) in his last eight games for the Americans.
Most Sabres fans will know that Bailey is from Buffalo (technically, Williamsville), the son of former Bills linebacker Carlton Bailey. (To learn more, click on this Buffalo News story from July.)
The Sabres play Thursday in Philadelphia, where Bailey will reportedly make his NHL debut.
To make room for Bailey on Buffalo’s roster, Zemgus Girgensons (lower body) was placed on injured reserve.
Thing have gone from bad to weird in Minnesota, where embattled Wild coach Mike Yeo was “disappointed” to see Zenon Konopka’s rabbit holding a sign that read, “YEO MUST GO.”
Hey, we told you things had gotten weird.
Konopka, a former Wild player, took to Twitter last night after Minnesota’s latest loss.
Here’s what Konopka tweeted:
And what did Yeo think about that?
“I really don’t care what he says,” he told the Star Tribune, apparently adding with a laugh, “I will say I was very disappointed to see Hoppy holding that sign.”
Now, according to the newspaper’s Michael Russo, “Konopka and Yeo had a lot of issues behind the scenes and that’s why [Konopka] ended up on waivers two Januarys ago.”
Still, that doesn’t change the fact that a lot of Wild fans agree with Hoppy, er, Konopka, and it doesn’t change the fact that the Wild could really, really use a win tomorrow at home to Washington.
Nice work from Artem Anisimov and Matt Niskanen this week, but Connor McDavid‘s tally is on a different level.
You can pretty much bank on McDavid being in Goals of the Year, too. Just saying.