Modern sports video games open up the fantasy of running your own team, but they still have a long way to go to truly ape reality.
Game Informer’s Matt Bertz provides a detailed preview of some of NHL 13’s tweaks that should appeal to armchair GMs, beginning with some changes that seem relevant in the wake of the Rick Nash trade.
… A team in true Cup contention like the New York Rangers may be willing to trade away high draft picks or well-regarded prospects to acquire a veteran player to fill out the roster, while rebuilding teams may part with their veterans to gather more draft picks and build for the future. Teams will constantly re-evaluate their standing throughout the year, so they are not locked into a specific philosophy.
One common criticism of the series’ (and many sports games’) ratings system is that stars might stand out, but not as much as they should because it seems like even mediocre players receive solid ratings.
That could change a bit with NHL 13, according to Bertz’s account.
Based on early fan feedback on NHL 13’s direction, the development team decided to change the player ratings to create more of a gap between the star players and the average skaters in the league. Franchise players like Sidney Crosby are still rated in the 90s, but the average ratings of third-line defenders are in the mid-70s instead of the low-80s this year.
Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.
Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.
And what a look it was.
In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.
It was, in a word, fun.
Lots of fun.
A quick sampling of reviews:
Of course, not everybody was a fan:
Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.
But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.
Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.
Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:
Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).
The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.
Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…