Rob Halford, singer, songwriter and musi

Judas Priest, Billy Idol and Bush headline NHL 12’s soundtrack

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If you’re anything like me, you end up playing your own “custom soundtracks” during sports games once the commentary tracks repeat themselves and the more grating choices wear you down. (Besides, nothing fits hockey quite like the experimental sounds of Can … right?) Of course, my music choices tend to backfire when I’m stickhandling well beyond the final whistle, but that’s the price you pay to avoid Nickelback.

Anyway, the vast majority of people who play these games will probably find themselves exposed to a steady stream of whatever NHL 12 puts on its soundtrack. Musical taste obviously varies – many people probably didn’t appreciate my Nickelback comment, for instance – but for better or worse, NHL 11 featured a surprising run of recognizable arena tracks. (In a way, it’s shocking that every sports game doesn’t have Europe’s “The Final Countdown” on their soundtracks, even if it’s just for the inherent ironic humor.)

With its predecessor’s Jock Jams-friendly mix in mind, NHL 12 has a tough act to follow. Would they pull out all the stops and include Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone” in the mix? Perhaps they’ll throw us all a curveball by throwing in a classy Michael Bolton number or make Phil Collins a little richer? Let’s take a look at the soundtrack via EA Sports’ NHL 12 blog.

Here’s the full list of tracks that will be on NHL®12 in alphabetical order by artist (album in brackets):

Against! Me – Occult Enemies (Russian Spies/Occult Enemies)

Anthrax – I’m Alive (Worship Music)

Beady Eye – Standing on the Edge of the Noise (Different Gear, Still Speeding)

Billy Idol – Mony Mony (The Very Best of Billy Idol)

Black Tide – That Fire (Post Mortem)

Blackguard – Farewell (Firefight)

Bush – Sound of Winter (The Sea of Memories)

Death Letters – I Wish I could Steal a Sunset (Post-Historic)

Dropkick Murphys – Hang ‘em High (Going out in Style)

ELO – Don’t Bring Me Down (Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of ELO)

Judas Priest – You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’ (Screaming for Vengeance)

Manchester Orchestra – April Fool (Simple Math)

Middle Class Rut – Busy Being Born (No Name No Color)

Murderdolls – Whatever you got, I’m Against It (Women and Children Last)

Well, the Judas Priest selection ranks as essential arena rock, but I must say I’m a bit lukewarm on the list overall. For direct comparison’s sake, here’s the NHL 11 soundtrack list via Kotaku.

    In NHL 11
• In Whispers – Here I Stand
• Airbourne – Bottom Of The Well – No Guts. No Glory.
• Bullet For My Valentine – Your Betrayal – Fever
• Megadeth – Dialectic Chaos – Endgame
• Pantera – Walk – Vulgar Display Of Power

In NHL 11 and NHL Slapshot
• Danko Jones – Full of Regret – Below The Belt
• 2 Unlimited – Twilight Zone – Get Ready!
• Black Box – Strike It Up – Dreamland
• Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Mama Taught Me Better – Beat The Devil’s Tattoo
• Bouncing Souls – ¡Olé! – Hopeless Romantic
• Darude – Sandstorm – Before The Storm
• Dropkick Murphys – Shipping Up To Boston (Live) – Live On Lansdowne, Boston MA
• Europe – The Final Countdown – The Final Countdown
• Foxy Shazam – Unstoppable – Foxy Shazam
• Ramones – Blitzkrieg Bop – Ramones
• The Black Keys – Howlin’ For You – Brothers

Again, I have to give the edge to NHL 11, even if I ended up ignoring its soundtrack after a few hours of game time anyway. What do you think, though? Tell us all about your favorite/least favorite choices (or debate choices that would have been better examples of those artists’ unparalleled mastery) in the comments. Please be nice to fellow commenters either way, even if you disagree with their sonic preferences.

(H/T to Doug Miller.)

Capitals accuse Letang of leaving his feet, hitting Johansson in head

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Get this: the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins seem divided on the legality of Kris Letang‘s hit on Marcus Johansson.

(Take a moment to gather your thoughts amid this shocking revelation.)

You can watch the hit over and over in the video above. This post features some takes on that check, which the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is reportedly reviewing.

Generally speaking, the three things people discuss regarding the check is how late it might be, if Letang used his feet and if Johansson’s head was the principal point of contact.

Letang told his side of the story:

The Capitals disagree:

While Barry Trotz pleads the Fifth after his previous comments about Brooks Orpik‘s suspension:

No doubt about it, Letang’s status is the top story to follow in this series between Games 3 and 4. We’ll find out soon enough how it all shakes out.

Penguins ride Murray’s masterpiece to 2-1 series lead vs. Capitals

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If Marc-Andre Fleury suiting up bothers Matt Murray, then the rookie goalie channeled those feelings into a masterful performance on Monday.

The Washington Capitals absolutely dominated Game 3, but Murray was even better, stopping 47 shots as the Penguins stole one 3-2 to take a 2-1 series lead.

(Capitals fans might see some parallels to Washington’s Game 5 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers; they fell 2-0 despite a 44-11 shots on goal edge thanks to Michal Neuvirth‘s heroics.)

Murray stopped chance after chance before Alex Ovechkin finally broke through for his first goal of this series. Justin Williams then brought the Penguins’ lead down to 3-2 to make for a hold-your-breath final minute.

A driven Ovechkin and strong overall play from the Capitals (despite this defeat) aren’t the only reasons why Game 4 might present some twists.

First things first: Kris Letang might get suspended for Game 4 (if not for more than one game) thanks to this controversial check on Marcus Johansson.

Beyond that, there could be some bumps and bruises from this contest.

Bryan Rust left during the first period and didn’t return to the game after blocking a shot. Brian Dumoulin seemed shaken up after an Alex Ovechkin hit in the third period. The Capitals might have a player or two to look at, as well.

In other words, the Penguins could really lack for quality defensemen with Letang possibly suspended and possible injury absences for Dumoulin and Olli Maatta.

This series is living up to the hype … and really building up the hate.

Yes, NHL is reportedly looking at Letang’s hit on Johansson

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It remains to be seen if Kris Letang will get suspended for his hit on Marcus Johansson … and if he does, for how long.

(You can read initial reactions and some analysis about the specifics of the check vs. the one that got Brooks Orpik suspended here.)

There are a few things we do know already.

For one thing, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is reportedly looking into it.

Another factor that could help Letang avoid a suspension or limit the duration of supplemental discipline: Marcus Johansson returned during the second period.

In fact, Johansson delivered some hits on Letang.

There have been some nasty moments in Game 3, and more might be coming. The Penguins lead 2-0 with a few minutes remaining in the middle frame.

Kris Letang may face suspension for hit on Marcus Johansson

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Update: Reports indicate that the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is indeed looking into the hit.

***

As thrilling as this Pittsburgh Penguins – Washington Capitals series has been, it seems like every game presents another controversial hit.

Game 3’s most noteworthy entry (so far?) came when Kris Letang was whistled for interference on Marcus Johansson.

Penguins fans griped that Brooks Orpik didn’t get a major penalty for his hit on Olli Maatta … now Capitals fans likely feel the same about the check Letang delivered.

Watch it in the video above. Also, Stefanie “My Regular Face” has it in GIF form:

Things could get ugly in Game 3:

One factor in a suspension happening – or at least the duration of the suspension – would be what the point of contact was:

Also, lateness of the check:

The Penguins ended the first period up 2-0 against the Capitals, even though Washington played one of its best 20 minutes of the series. Expect more drama.

Update: The Penguins won the game 3-2.

Read reactions to the check here.