Hockey Headlines

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Sour Grapes With Added Teaser!

It's weird to hear players complain about something that has rekindled the fire in fans when it comes to the NHL. According to his comments, Washington Capitals superstar Alexander Ovechkin told CSN Mid-Atlantic's JJ Regan that he's not a fan of the current format for the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. While I completely understand his stance on how the format could pit two good teams early in the playoffs, this seems like sour grapes from Ovechkin. Especially when you consider the Capitals' record in the playoffs.

According to Regan's report, Ovechkin wasn't happy that the top-two teams in the Eastern Conference met in the second round of the playoffs as the Capitals and Penguins battled for the right to advance to the Eastern Conference Final. The Penguins defeated the Capitals and sent them home early - one round too early according to Ovechkin.

"The schedule in the playoffs is kind of weird," Ovechkin told Regan, "because you play first team and fourth and then you play against Pittsburgh. ... Then you think, why [do we] need to win Presidents' Trophy to play against the best team?

"It's tough to think about it. It's kind of weird, but there's nothing you can do."

Boo-freaking-hoo. Try playing in the Central Division.

Look, fans love the setup because it rekindles the divisional rivalries between teams. It's like the old days of the NHL where there was always a superpower who went home early in the Smythe Division when the Oilers, Flames, Jets, Kings, and Canucks were all battling to get out of the division. You develop some hatred for the teams within your division, and it ups the interest from media and fans alike.

We're talking about the old days of a Rangers-Islanders series, a Pennsylvania series between Pittsburgh and Philly, the oft-seen battles between the Canadiens and Bruins, and so on. Fans from yesteryear get excited as the ghost of playoffs past are brought into the present while players today are elevated to hero-like status with their performances. It's exactly the kind of excitement the NHL wants, needs, and has to continue to develop in order for the playoffs to hold its mystique.

If the Capitals had downed the Penguins in the second round this past season, I'd wager that Ovechkin wouldn't have uttered a word about the playoff format. However, the Capitals fell short once again despite being the best team in the league, and I get a sense that Ovechkin might be feeling a little pressure when it comes to the shortfalls of the overly-talented Capitals.

In the end, there's a difference between winning and whining.

Just A Little Teaser

It's a big day in the video game sports world as EA Sports' newest NHL installment is released! NHL 2017 hits the shelves across North America today, and it includes all of the NHL, AHL, and ECHL in which game players can participate!

I've been reading reviews and looking at all the teasers that EA Sports has been releasing, but one image caught my eye in a big way.

The team in the picture is the AHL's Bakersfield Condors, but that's a logo that has not been seen before until a few days ago! I'll have more on this new alternate jersey tomorrow as we take a look at the new logo and alternate jersey, but that jersey is sharp on the pixelated version of the Condors. I expect it to look similar on the ice when the AHL season starts!

I'm not saying that video games and tantrums go hand-in-hand, but the two seemed to fit nicely today on HBIC!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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