The NHL14 Demo is out and I'm impressed.
I was disappointed in the game last year with not much new added, save for the skating engine. This year they've upped the fighting engine, smoothed out the skating engine and it appears that speed is more realistic.
I'm a huge fan of the fighting engine. It's extremely more realistic. You can heave haymakers, uppercuts and grapple. Fighter skill is, individually, more realistic. For example, I was Henrik Zetterberg and I opted to slug it out with Shea Weber. I figured Zetterberg owed Weber a beating since Weber smashed Hanks face into the boards in real life. Boy was I wrong. I connected with the first punch, the second was a swing and a miss and Zetterberg, and all his fighting might, went straight to the ice in a comical tumble.
In the same game (I played the HUT demo tournament) Logan Couture laid a beast of an open ice hit on Brad Marchand. Much to my disliking, play was frozen as Zdeno Chara came flying at Couture with his gloves off. With no way out, I took my beating like a man.
Well done, EA, well done.
For those of you interested, here are two Sharks ratings from the HUT cards.
Logan Couture 85
Martin Havlat 85
I couldn't pick up any other Sharks in the 10-15 times I restarted HUT just to see if I could sneak peak the ratings. Evgeni Malkin is rated 89, Shea Weber 86 and Jonathan Quick 88, in a comparison of top of the line players.
TSN announced their broadcast schedule for the upcoming season that features 150 NHL contests, including 7 Sharks games.
October 3rd Vancouver @ San Jose 10ET
October 15th San Jose @ St Louis 8ET
November 15th San Jose @ Edmonton 10ET
January 27th Los Angeles @ San Jose 10ET
March 25th San Jose @ Edmonton 930ET
April 3rd Los Angeles @ San Jose 1030ET
April 9th San Jose @ Anaheim 1030 ET
In addition to the TSN games, I checked into the Hockey Night In Canada schedule, and here it is, an additional 4 games.
October 12th Ottawa @ San Jose 10ET
October 19th Calgary @ San Jose 10ET
October 26th San Jose @ Montreal 4ET
March 8th Montreal @ San Jose 10 ET
There you have it. A total of 11 Sharks games will be broadcast between TSN/HNIC this season. If you have Sportsnet, you can add on games that the Sharks play against your regions team. For example, I'm in Eastern Ontario so I will see every game the Sharks play the Senators.
The Sharks also announced the 11 games that the Black Armor jersey's will be worn this year. Here's the list:
11/7/13 vs. Vancouver
11/21/13 vs. Tampa Bay
12/12/13 vs. Minnesota
12/29/13 vs. Anaheim (only Sunday game)
1/2/14 vs. Edmonton
1/9/14 vs. Detroit
1/23/14 vs. Winnipeg
3/6/14 vs. Pittsburgh
3/20/14 vs. Anaheim
3/27/14 vs. Winnipeg
4/3/14 vs. Los Angeles
The only game that will be on TSN/CBC featuring the alternate jersey's is the April 3rd match-up against state-rival Los Angeles.
1) I have five teams I'm most looking forward to seeing the Sharks play this season. They are:
Colorado Avalanche - I follow the Avalanche just as close as the Sharks and, come on, they have Nathan MacKinnon!
Edmonton Oilers - It's always fun to watch the Oilers' kids play. They should be even more entertaining this year.
Tampa Bay Lightning - Who doesn't like watching Steven Stamkos? That kid named Jonathan Drouin puts on quite a show too.
Los Angeles Kings - Great rivalry. What a series last year.
Toronto Maple Leafs - The Leafs aren't the Laughs anymore. They're a solid team with a few good young players. Phil Kessel is always fun to watch.
2) The Examiner in San Jose suggested that the Sharks are waiting to put Havlat on LTIR. See, it isn't just me. They also talked about Tomas Hertl being put off the books to get under the cap. I don't believe the latter for a second.
3) Logan Couture is pleased with the new jersey's, tweeting "btw our new jerseys look tightttt". Jumbo Joe also weighed in during the release of the jerseys, calling them "beautiful". Good to see the Sharks on board with the new uniforms, not like they have a choice anyway.
That's all for now, thanks for reading!
Stay icy, Sharks fans.