Depending on how long you’ve known I exist, you might remember a series I did on my old site in which I would discuss 3 things, usually of the off-ice matter. Seeing as the summer continues to drag on with not much else going on I thought “Why not?”
1. The CBA
This will be the first and last time I talk about the NHL CBA negotiations. I hate them, I truly do. Because I feel this way, my knowledge on the whole situation is lacking so ignorance might play a factor in what I’m about to say. To me, when everything is boiled down, it’s all about the money. Each side fighting for their share of the money. That’s what gets me about it, two parties where every single person on each side will make more money than the all of the people that give them the chance to make that money, and yet they take away what we love (and what pays their salaries): Hockey.
I mean after a while it just gets ridiculous, just play the game. Just from what I’ve been hearing on Sportcentre, the owners and NHLPA are still far from a deal, which means after the deadline that was set (somewhere around September 15) there will be another lockout. With the previous lockout being only 7 seasons ago, the fans will be restless and upset. Many already feel this way.
At this point, if there’s another lockout it seems pointless to get involved with Hockey if its just going to go away in another 5 years.
Everybody in question makes upwards of 7 figures every year; Ask me how much I care about them getting a few extra million dollars. I just want to watch Hockey, I truly do.
2. NHL 13 Demo released today
As of this right now, it is just about done downloading. In this demo I’m looking for signs of better hitting; Making it more powerful in open ice and on the forecheck and less powerful on one-on-one situations near the boards. Also the hipcheck animations in 12 were not entertaining at all, NHL 11 was much better in this regard.
I’m also concerned about how hard it will be to score. In the videos EA has released, it has been released that Goalies are much more aware of scoring threats and are equipped to stop these multiple scoring threats simultaneously. Also, It will be much easier for players to be stripped with the poke check, so we’ll see how it works.
The game is ready to play so I will do the logical thing and play it.
OK, I’ve just finished playing and I have to say that I’m very impressed. Upon playing the one period against New Jersey, 3 things jumped out at me. 1. Goalies seem more dynamic; more in the play and aware of the players (as the preview promised). 2. Skating isn’t so effortless anymore. When the player stops, they actually stop all movement and have to accelerate again. Turning is also vastly improved, the sharper the turn, the more the player slows. 3. No problems with the hitting stood out, aside from the fact that it was a lot harder, so I will assume my problems with the hitting are fixed.
After the one period game, I switched over to the Free Skate option where I really got a sense of how much better the skating is in EA’s latest creation. In NHL 12, you might remember how annoying it was when a forward was skating straight through the neutral zone, you know that isn’t as fast as they can go, yet there is no way to speed up. In NHL 13, they longer you go (relatively) straight the faster you go until you hit the player’s fastest speed where you are pushing the puck in front of you with one hand on your stick, the other arm pumping.
Several other things became apparent during this free skate session, 1. The Goalies’ poke checks are stellar. 2. Scoring via deke to the backhand is much more difficult. 3. The classic old wrap-around move still works if you get your analog positioning right. It worked half of the time for me. 4. Pivoting is a lot easier and will be more prevalent in the offensive zone. 5. I discovered a move that could potentially become the new “cheap move” along with the “cross-crease one timer” from last year and the infamous wrap-around. I won’t reveal the move in the effort to keep it to myself before the masses find out and use it every chance they get. Of the times I tried it, I scored 7 times, hit the post twice, missed the net twice and was stopped only once. We will have to see if this move will be a factor in actual gameplay or not, if so expect a patch from EA.
3. News & Updates
Thehockeyhouse.net is turning one years old this October! If you’ve been here since the beginning, you’ll notice there have been major changes since then, most notably a major site redesign and way more quality writers. To gear up for our birthday we have just recently hired a handful of new writers to broaden our coverage of the league, adding writers for teams such as the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres, plus more writers for teams we already cover.
This season (pending CBA agreements) we will be adding more shows to our existing Podcast, plus an interactive fantasy pool with our readers and something on NHL 13 like an EASHL team or a GM connected league. Contact me @JacksonScarrow or firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in being a part of either