What they’re saying about Game 1 of the 2012 Stanley Cup finals

After a meaty break between the conference finals and Game 1 of the 2012 Stanley Cup finals, the hockey public was ready for the Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils to kick things off in Newark. The Kings won Game 1 by a score of 2-1 in OT (Discuss it here), but let’s take a look at the game through the eyes of Twitter.

(To make it easier to navigate, we’ll just quote or paraphrase the Tweets rather than bogging down your browser/phone with screen caps.)

New Jersey fans had their own clever remarks for the New York Rangers last round, yet the Los Angeles Kings’ Twitter feed reveals that they might need to get warmed up a bit for an unfamiliar foe:

“Crowd starts a ‘Beat L.A.’ chant. Pretty sure we’ve heard that one a few times.”

Yup, the Lakers and Clippers have heard it too.

Things started out without much rhythm; Sam Carchidi described a “lack of flow” shown by the fact that there was just one shot in the first five minutes. Arthur Staple captured the Devils’ stilted beginning with a little more color and sarcasm, though.

“[Devils had] more icings (three), offsides (two) and blocked shots (two) than shots on goal through 5:15. Clearly the fault of the Rangers — poisoned the game.”

Well played. Colin Fraser finally broke the ice with a 1-0 goal, which was the first of his playoff career. Dan Tencer reminds us of Fraser’s interesting path to that tally.

“Colin Fraser, the subject of a grievance filed by the LA Kings against the Edmonton Oilers prior to the season, opens the Cup finals scoring.”

As you may remember, Dean Lombardi dropped a Bernie Madoff reference because of that incident.

The Kings carried the early play, prompting people like James Mirtle to feel even more emboldened about picking them in their series predictions. Gary Lawless asked about the so-called rust that many expected to see from Los Angeles, although it must be said that they didn’t quite steamroll through Game 1 like they have before.

After Kopitar ended the contest, the praise started rolling out (except for Martin Brodeur and for Marek Zidlicky, that is). Carchidi referred to their efforts as “amazing” while also pointing out that road teams are 15-9 in overtime in the 2012 playoffs. Jim Rome had this amusing bit of praise:

“Bam! Kings win! They cannot lose on the road. Unbelievable.”

Even Tommy Lasorda congratulated the Kings.

Unfortunately, Eric Hornick finishes things off with some doom and gloom – which might be doubly disturbing for Kings fans.

“2004 Lightning were the last team to drop Game 1 of Stanley Cup finals at home and rebound to win Cup. Of course, a lockout followed.”

Well, great.

Video: This Kane-to-Panarin goal is all sorts of ridiculous

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When people were arguing against Artemi Panarin‘s Calder case, they often discounted his work because of Patrick Kane‘s brilliance (at least when they weren’t focusing on age questions).

It always felt a little unfair to Panarin.

Do we blame a great wide receiver playing with an adept quarterback? Sure, it’s an interesting discussion to have, but it seems fairly clear that there’s a symbiotic relationship between Panarin and Kane.

One could see that plainly in a 1-0 goal for the Chicago Blackhawks against the Pittsburgh Penguins that … admittedly was driven by Kane’s almost audacious creativity and skill.

But still, Panarin has 26 goals this season because he’s really good, too. This season has been a nice showcase for such thoughts, and a reminder that – like most great combinations – they make each other better.

(Seriously though, Kane was out of his mind there.)

‘Old Time Hockey’ video game takes a bit of an early beating from reviewers

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From the sound of things, “Old Time Hockey” is a video game with a lot of heart, but maybe not the skills to make it to the big time.

While “NHL 17” is pumped out by publishing giant EA Sports, this title is very much an independent labor of love by a company called V7 Entertainment. Puck Daddy’s Sean Leahy provided a great interview with the developers here. It’s worth noting that the game reminds one of 8-bit titles in another way: lacking an NHL license, these teams are instead fictional. This isn’t necessarily a drawback as much as it provides the title with its own unique “flavor.”

It’s hard not to get behind a scrappy development, especially in an age where sports video game options are so scarce. Some leagues barely see any licensed games any longer (see: the MLB, which feels woefully misrepresented these days), and the arcade-style that “Blades of Steel” and other old-school games popularized is even tougher to come by.

Combine these factors with an aesthetic inspired by “Slap Shot” and “Old Time Hockey” seems like it could really scratch an itch … except, it sounds like the puck missed the net.

So far, reviews are pretty mixed for the title, which is currently on PC and Playstation 4 (with planned releases on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch).

While there are a few good reviews here and there, the general reception is of disappointment.

A Sporting News review states that “the promising premise falls apart quickly.” Game Informer slams a “slew-footed story mode.” PC Gamer notes that, with EA not releasing an NHL game on that platform since 2008, there was a need here … but it wasn’t met.

Does that mean there’s no fun to be had? Not necessarily, but it’s a bummer that the game might be off the mark, especially since V7 Entertainment seems to have its heart in the right place.

Then again, maybe those who want that “NHL 94” fix merely need to dig a little. As this Vice article points out, there’s still an active community playing the sort of game that scratches the itch that “Old Time Hockey” – perhaps – can’t quite reach.

WATCH LIVE: Blackhawks at Penguins – Wednesday Night Rivalry

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The latest edition of NBCSN’s Wednesday Night Rivalry presents quite the treat: the Chicago Blackhawks at the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Both teams are at 103 standings points and each squad already punched a ticket to the playoffs. Even so, they’re dealing with mini-slumps that they’d like to work out tonight.

For all we know, this could be a preview of what would be one extremely fun, high-profile 2017 Stanley Cup Final. Either way, it’s a showcase of two premiere franchises brimming with star power.

You can watch on NBCSN, online and via NBC Sports App. Click here for the livestream.

Yes, NHL will share protected, available player lists for expansion draft

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We can debate all day how much the NHL, Vegas Golden Knights and others involved really want to do this, but they’re making the right choice with the expansion draft nonetheless. The league will make protected and available players lists available at the same time they’re shared with teams, according to NHL.com’s Nick Cotsonika.

(The NHL tweeted out as much, too.)

Could this lead to feelings being hurt or perhaps even certain sneaky deals being scuttled? Perhaps, but those are headaches that management should be expected to absorb.

The bottom line is that an expansion draft is a dream come true for armchair GMs, rumor enthusiasts, fantasy sports fans and … really, just about anyone interested in hockey. It would be a bewildering decision to try to keep all of this information locked down, even for a league that frequently garners a reputation for choosing comfort over entertainment value.

Cotsonika reports that such lists will probably be made available on June 18, though that isn’t set in stone. NHL.com’s Dan Rosen also backs this up as a possible date.

(If you’re the type to take off work if a trade deadline was exciting, you might want to start drumming up excuses/putting aside vacation time/practicing your best “I’m sick” voice just in case …)

Cap Friendly provides a handy timeline for the expansion draft process: