Hockey news is slow, but the puck has started rolling and will be gaining momentum soon to the point that most of us may struggle to keep up. My primary news gathering device is an Apple iPhone and recently, while looking for something interesting related to hockey, I started to search the iPhone App store. A simple search for the “NHL” brought up 2K Sports NHL 2K11.Hmmm… it sounded interesting and it was on sale for $1.99 (normally $6.99). There is even a Lite version for free if you care enough to give it a try. Good enough, I bought it and began my first game, a 2011 Winter Classic simulation.Now I am an occasional gamer and had played similar games on the Playstation nearly a decade ago. The controls were similar to the old controls and the old muscle memory allowed me to catch on fairly quick. Advantage was still in the hands of the computer controlled Penguins though.Game Summary:The Pens were all over the ice and maintained a solid puck control. Crosby weaved in and out of the Caps defense and fired multiple shots to challenge Varly, but he stood tall. Probably because I was not controlling him. As the bench boss and virtual player control, I had my gloves full.By the second period, the Caps had played well enough for a 0-0 tie. Not too exciting for a Winter Classic, but hey we weren’t losing, so we had that going for us. This was especially good since the Caps defense was slow and often at the wrong end of the ice. That is when I was controlling them. They somehow followed the game plan better when I wasn’t controlling them. Go figure.Through the third period it was much of the same until this virtual Bruce Boudreau finally put the puck on Ovi’s stick. The clock was ticking down… 10 seconds, 9, 8, 7 and at 6.6 seconds, it was if Ovi took the controls and worked his magic. Down the boards he skated with a weave and his signature shot right past the defender. Caps beat the Pens! Caps win! Final score: 1-0.Now, a 0-0 game might not do well for the Winter Classic ratings, but a game winner with under 10 seconds left would be golden.As for the game, it was entertaining and offers the option to play the 2010-11 NHL schedule. At $1.99 it was an easy buy. At $6.99 a maybe. For kicks, I may play each virtual matchup just before the real Caps matchup and see how how the genie in the iPhone does.
Russian Machine Never Breaks posted a interesting link to a blog today. That of none other than Caps goalie, Semyon Varlamov. Here’s the catch, it’s in Russian.No problem, as Caps fans we all speak Russian through our Google interpreter. How to do it? Copy the Varly blog URL (the address), then go to Google Translate. Paste it in and your translator is ready to go.