Tuesday, June 24, 2008

End of a Nightmare for Denis

After the trade from Columbus to Tampa Bay, it was all downhill for Marc Denis' career. It appears that he has hit rock bottom, after being placed on waivers by the Lightning today, and is expected to be bought out if not claimed by another team.

After struggling in his first season with the Lightning in 2006-2007, posting a record of 17-18-2, he followed it up with a dismal 2007-2008 campaign. He owned a record of 1-5 in 10 games, with a 4.05 goals-against-average, and a 0.859 save percentage before being sent down to the Lightning's AHL affiliate in Norfolk. Even there he only won 11 times in 32 games.

For a goalie who is supposed to be hitting his prime at age 31, Denis is far from it. He showed flashes of greatness for Columbus, when he was playing behind a brutal squad for years, so everyone knows that he has the talent, it's just a matter of putting it together in the right situation. He may be in the AHL for the rest of his career, or in Europe, but I still think an NHL team should take a flyer on him, and send him to their AHL squad.

If Denis does get another shot, he better not blow it, because it could be his last.

UPDATE: Denis has signed a contract with the Montreal Canadiens. He'll likely start the year in Hamilton. He's replacing Yann Danis who signed with the Islanders (Denis to replace Danis???) Welcome to Hammertown, Marc!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Early Information on NHL 09 Released

The first bit of news on the all-new EA Sports video game NHL 09 was released in the form of the cover athlete earlier this month. Dion Phaneuf's mug will grace the cover, and is the focus of the first trailer video released, which you can watch here.

Since then, some other information on the actual game has been slowly released. For starters, a preliminary release date has been set for September 9th, so mark that on your calendars. 60 frames/per second gameplay has been confirmed for the Playstation 3, unlike last year.

The first major feature added is "legendary moves." The most famous moves in NHL history (the Datsyuk fake, the Crosby leg kick, Jussi Jokinen's patented penalty shot move) are all in there at your disposal. Not a lot of other information has been given about the moves, like how to use them, it has only been confirmed that they're in there.

Skates and sticks are fully interactive. Players may get spun around because they get caught on the stick of a defender, or the puck may be smacked away unexpectedly. There is no more "magnet" feeling to puck handling. The puck is no longer glued to the stick on a pass, the stick will actually have to move to the puck. I am excited about this feature, as it makes the game much more realistic. I can't wait to see this baby in action.

In NHL 08 goalies had probably 10 set moves or so, making it very boring and expected. In NHL 09 they have added an all new "desperation save" where a goalie may come flying across the net, right when you think he's down and out. This should lead to some jaw-dropping moments.

Freezing issues, fixed. 1000 hip checks a game, gone. New ways to injure players have been added. Hitting is more difficult. Again, there is no more "magnet" feeling. You may go in for the hit, and completely miss, slamming into the boards.

New stick-lifting feature, which makes it easier to steal the puck away. Watch out though, if you miss you may high stick the player. If it's serious enough then it can be a 4 minute double minor.

Create a play can now start from your own end. Separate line changes for offense and defense, and retro jerseys have been added. New European leagues have also been added. Here are the leagues available in NHL 09:

National Hockey League
American Hockey League
International Teams.
Russian Elite
German Elite
Swedish Tournament
Finnish Tournament
Czech Elite

Another new feature that has been added, Superstar Mode. I know a lot of people will be happy about this. I know I will be plugging many hours into it. An all-new create-a-player will compliment this new mode. You will most likely start off in the AHL, and work your way up. During time on the bench, it will show you what you did right, and what you did wrong. Your shifts will dictate how your attributes fluctuate.

Custom soundtracks will be available, so you'll be able to choose what song to play in certain situations (Goal, penalty, over the glass, etc.) That is a new and exciting feature that I can't wait to fiddle around with.

When a player scores it will tell you how many goals they have on the season, they have brought that back for NHL 09.

There is also a "big surprise" that they have not revealed yet.

They will be in tough competition since 2K sports just announced that they will be making NHL 2K9 for the Wii, while NHL 09 will not be out for the Wii. That's all that I've read about the game, I just can't wait until the release!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

My Mock Draft For 2008!

Expect more from us in the upcoming weeks with Draft Previews for different teams!But for now here is my mock draft I constructed. It is not based on TEAM NEEDS because of the trades the go on during the draft I figured that it would not be the same teams, in the same positions during the draft.

  1. Steven Stamkos,Sarnia Sting, Center (6’1, 180 pounds), Canadian
  2. Drew Doughty, Guelph Storm, Defensemen (6’0, 213 pounds), Canadian
  3. Zach Bogosian, Peterborough Petes, Defensemen (6’2, 200 pounds), American
  4. Alex Pietrangelo, Niagara Ice Dogs, Defensemen (6’4, 210 pounds), Canadian
  5. Nikita Filatov , CSKA Moscow, Left Wing (6’0, 172 pounds), Russian
  6. Luke Schenn , Kelowna Rockets, Defensemen (6’3, 209 pounds), Canadian
  7. Cody Hodgson, Brampton Battalions, Center (6’0, 185 pounds), Canadian
  8. Kyle Beach, Everett Silvertips, Center (6’3 , 203 pounds), Canadian
  9. Colin Wilson, Boston University, Center (6’1, 215 pounds), American
  10. Mikkel Boedker, Kitchener Rangers, Left Wing (5’11, 201 pounds), Denmark
  11. Colten Teubert, Regina Pats, Defensemen (6’4, 181 pounds), Canadian
  12. Tyler Myers, Kelowna Rockets, Defensemen (6’6, 194 pounds), Canadian
  13. Michael Del Zotto, Oshawa Generals, Defensemen (6’0 ,190 pounds), Canadian
  14. Zach Boychuk, Lethbridge Hurricane, Center (5’9, 176 pounds), Canadian
  15. Jordan Eberle, Regina Pats, Center (5’11, 170 pounds), Canadian
  16. Luca Sbisa, Lethbridge Hurricanes, Defensemen (6’1, 176 pounds), Switzerland
  17. Mattias Tedenby, HV 71, Left Wing (5’10, 176 pounds), Swedish
  18. Tyler Cuma, Ottawa 67’s, Defensemen (6’2, 182 pounds), Canadian
  19. Colby Robak, Brandon Wheat Kings, Defensemen (6’3, 202 pounds), Canadian
  20. Thomas McCollum, Guelph Storm, Goaltender (6’2, 208 pounds), Canadian
  21. John Carlson, Indiana Ice(USHL), Defensemen (6’2, 215 pounds), American
  22. Greg Nemisz, Windsor Spitfires, Right Wing (6’4, 202 pounds), Canadian
  23. Kirill Petrov, Ak Bars Kazan, Right Wing (6’3, 198 pounds), Russian
  24. Jamie Arniel, Sarnia Sting, Center (6’0, 195 pounds), Canadian
  25. Yann Sauvé, Saint-John Sea Dogs, Defensemen (6’3, 220 pounds), Canadian
  26. Chet Pickard, Tri-City Americans, Goaltender (6’3, 200 pounds), Canadian
  27. Zac Dalpe, Penticton Valley First Vees, Center (6’1, 175 pounds),Canadian
  28. Evgeny Grachev, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, Center (6’4, 202 pounds),Russian
  29. Anton Gustafsson, Västra Frölunda HC, Center (6’1, 189 pounds), Swedish
  30. Joe Colborne, Camrose Kodiaks(AJHL), Center (6’4,195 pounds), Canadian