Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Alexander the Great

Hockey's New Human Highlight Reel

So far in this young season I think Alexander Ovechkin is the guy that has been the most impressive rookie on the ice in this new NHL. His amazing speed, lateral movement and overall feel for the game is something very special and extremely fun to watch.
"He is an exciting player," Philadelphia Assistant General Manager Paul Holmgren says. "Every time he gets the puck, he is trying to make something happen. He works just as hard in the defensive zone as the offensive zone."

Ovechkin is hoping everything will lead to a major prize.

"I want to be rookie of the year and win a Stanley Cup," he says.
Well Alex I think you got a good shot at the Calder but the Stanley Cup is out of reach for your club... this year anyways.
In addition to all his offensive talents he also plays excellent defense and hits like a runaway bull.
Ovechkin already has produced his share of highlight reel plays, and not only on offense.

On opening night against Columbus, Ovechkin delivered a bone-jarring hit on Radoslav Suchy only 40 seconds into the game that displaced a medal support holding the Plexiglas in place.

Ovechkin, who turned 20 last month, also knocked down a puck out of the air in game against Carolina on Oct. 12 and beat goalie Cam Ward with a backhand before crashing into the net.

Every Ovechkin goal elicits an elaborate celebration.
His maturity and the way he conducts himself both on and off-ice has also brought much praise from knowledgeable observers.
Ovechkin possesses eye-catching skills: outstanding speed, an accurate shot and the innate ability to anticipate a play. But Washington GM George McPhee says Ovechkin's mental makeup impresses him as much as anything.

..."He has tremendous character," McPhee says of Ovechkin. "He knows his place and how to carry himself around the other players. That's what usually separates the good ones. They have the physical abilities, but it's the character and what's inside. Those mental intangibles make the big difference."
Crosby's a very good player and will be a star in the NHL but Ovechkin plays hockey in a different realm... a higher one... and I think he's the one with a better chance at becoming a Superstar. So, the race for the Calder this year is by no means a one person contest, Alexander Ovechkin is making sure of that. If I were a betting man I'd put my money on the Big O to upset Sid the Kid for the trophy.


The best Hockey Video Game on the market in my opinion and those of many others will be the ONLY one available for the much anticipated launch of XBOX 360 which happens in November.
NHL 2K6 for the Xbox 360 looks to be a hit for the casual or hardcore hockey fan as it keeps the wonderful gameplay of its predecessors while adding great detailed graphics. Of course, NHL 2K6 will be helped by the fact that it is also the only NHL game coming out upon release for the Xbox 360 in November; obviously EA missed the boat on that decision.

In other gaming news I'll give you one guess which country has Hockey Games dominating it's sales charts ...occupying 5 of the top 6 spots?

Pond Hockeyapalooza

The game which many believe is played in it's purest form on ponds both here in North America and around the world will be on display this January in Minnesota where the first National USA Pond Hockey Championship will be held.
It's being billed as America's largest outdoor pond hockey tournament.

"While we all enjoy the pristine venues of professional, high school and college hockey these days, there's something to be said for the elements, the unnatural, the unpredictable and irregular pattern of pond hockey," said Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who was flanked by former Gov. Wendell Anderson, a member of the 1956 Olympic team that won the silver medal.

The tournament, set for Jan. 20-22, will feature up to 96 men's and women's teams of four people each. They'll play on 24 rinks shoveled off prior to the games by the two teams on deck.

Winners of three divisions will have their names etched on a giant golden shovel.
Finally, sorry I haven't been updating the Goal per Game stats lately but last nights average did jump back up to 7.2 after spending a couple days in the Dead Puck Era range of 5.0 which I attribute like Tom Bejamin to the ref's starting to back off on the calls. Maybe the league sent out a memo after reading Tom's mighty fine post.
The one good thing about zero tolerance is that the officiating can be very consistent. Everything seen is called and most things are seen, or at least they were in the first week. I think that consistency slipped in the games I saw this weekend.
I totally agree Tom, hopefully they're back on track.

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