Friday, July 31, 2015

Game of the Week - Pittsburgh vs Vancouver

In this episode, I decided that I wanted to feature my hometown team Pittsburgh Penguins. They've made some serious waves in the free agent signing period and off-season. They've "given up" on Sutter, while hoping that they can build a more defensive team that is strong on all 4 lines. I haven't heard what Vancouver has thought of the trade yet.

So, here is the game where all sets of players are on their new teams. What exactly would they do in this simulation? This game will explore that. Would Sutter get that "revenge"?

If you have an idea for a great match-up.. then leave a comment or two in the forum below or use the various methods of social media.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Game of the Week - Stars vs BlackHawks

You've probably heard about the blockbuster trade that hockey fans and bloggers have been talking about this summer - no.. the other blockbuster trade in which the Dallas Stars and defending Stanley Cup champions Chicago BlackHawks.

The video below attempts to simulate a game in which Patrick Sharp plays against his old teammates fresh off with a new start in the Big D. Would he want "revenge"? Would he say all the right things and not upset his friends and former teammates and fans in Chicago. Most likely the latter.

So, that's been your game of the week! Do you have a request for next week's feature game? Leave it in the comments section below or get in touch with me in the appropriate social media platforms!


Friday, July 10, 2015

Game of the Week - "Shark Week"

The first in hopefully a new tradition here at Confessions of a Hockey Fanatic that brings the hockey entertainment 365 days a year. Below is the first video of the "Game of the Week" in which NHL 15 simulates or has "Hockey Knight" playing in the video. I don't know what day of the week that other videos will arrive on time with, but with your help, we can make this a successful run. Keep an eye on this page or the official youtube channel for updates and where the fans will select the match-up of teams.
Since this week is "Shark Week" at another broadcasting company, I'll tie-in to the pop cultural reference. The San Jose Sharks are facing their cross-country AHL affiliate in the Worcester Sharks. I decided to challenge myself and handy-cap my efforts to see if I could lead the AHL Sharks to victory over their major league counterparts.

Did I win? Watch and find out!

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Canada Day Cup 2015

As the tradition continues to grow, the long historical Canada Day Cup Tournament will now be played live on the website (via Twitch). I had originally planned to do this last year, but thanks to my previous misfortunes with my latest laptop, I wasn't able to broadcast it. This year however, I was able to get things done in a more entertaining way.

I also did some preliminary matches with Team Canada and Team USA prior to the tournament. It got out of hand right away and Team USA won that one. We'll see if maybe Team Canada gets some revenge on July 4.

If you're not too familiar with the series, the tournament works like this. Each year, I hold a simulated tournament with each of the 8 Canadian NHL franchises. From there, I go through a match-up with the Provincial rivalries like TOR-OTT and MON-QUE with VAN-WPG and EDM-CGY. Of course it's quite an exciting breakdown and I keep up to date with the way that the Free Agent Frenzy on opening day plays out so that the teams are all square.

This years results were seen on Twitch and then later uploaded to YouTube where you can watch on the video below.

Since I've been doing it for 13 years, it's also one of the longest running traditions here on the Confession of a Hockey Fanatic weblog. I'm hoping to spin this off into a "matchup of the week" type video series were I upload a bunch of games to youtube for your enjoyment.

So, Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian readers! Please party safe and responsibly.

Previous Canada Day Champions
2002: Toronto Maple Leafs
2003: Edmonton Oilers
2004: Quebec Nordiques
2005: Montreal Canadians
2006: Montreal Canadians
2007: Winnipeg Jets
2008: Calgary Flames
2009: Vancouver Canucks
2010: Toronto Maple Leafs
2011: Quebec Nordiques
2012: Edmonton Oilers
2013: Ottawa Senators
2014: Montreal Canadians

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Hockey Fanatic Awards 2015

The Confessions of a Hockey Fanatic invented it's own Awards system on the hopes that it could be seen as an alternative to the NHL Awards since they always seem to get things wrong. The NHL Awards Show were on tonight with comedian Bob Riggle as the host. Critics of the show through social media suggested that it wasn't a carefully thought out show as the bigger news actually happened before the show began. So, without hacky Vegas stand-up jokes, here are who COHF wants honored this year.

Note: Despite the NHL not regarding playoff performances in their awards, the COHF blog does.

Most Valuable Rookie: Johnny Gaudreau

He was the most stand-out Rookie this year and even got the nickname "Johnny Hockey". His meteoric rise to the top of his class and seemingly a fixture into the hockey highlights on just about ANY network should have earned himself an award for becoming what the Flames needed to turn around the franchise for the future.

Most Valuable Player: Jonathan Towes

With another Stanley Cup held over his head, he was truly a force the entire year as the BlackHawks Captain. He didn't get within the top three in scoring, but his team consistently won all the way though the whole season. I think the choice is obvious here.

Most Valuable Coach: Jon Cooper

He "shocked" the world (no pun intended) with bringing the Cinderella team Tampa Bay Lightning to the Stanley Cup finals. With a few unforeseen injuries, the Lightning are a young team trying to build around Stamkos.

Most Valuable Defenseman: Erik Karlsson

Despite some up and down inconsistent play as a team this year, the Ottawa Senators captain had the most points and was second in goals this season. As long as he continues to put up the scoring stats, he could have another long career as a blueliner in Canada's capital.

Most Valuable Goalie: Carey Price

This is the one instance that the NHL and COHF agree that Price was the best choice for this award. He not only dominated on the stats column, but he also scored very well in the CORSI type new age statistics. You can also look up a lot of highlights from him this year as he's made plenty of key saves that people still talk about even after the season is over.

Most Valuable NHL Slovak player: Tomas Tatar

This Slovak had the most goals in the NHL season most often paired with fellow Slovak Tomas Jurco.

Most Valuable Teammate Tandem: Kyle Okposo and Jon Tavares

These two NY Islanders were really in the grove all season long and got themselves back into the playoffs. They were a dangerous tandem to start the year, but I would have to project the stats due to Okposo getting injured.

Most Valuable General Manager: David Poile

The Nashville Predators have turned a corner and in their history went for a more balanced attack. Poile is re-designing the team away from what they've always known to be. He hired their franchise's second head coach and acquired a lot of talent through the draft an found some way to keep Weber as captain of the team.

Most Valuable Ice Girls: Colorado Avalanche Ice Girls

Mainly because they look like they worked very hard this year scraping the ice and still looking good doing it. Since the NHL no longer allowed for the Zamboni in OT, every crew hand was more valuable.

Most Valuable Fanbase: Chicago BlackHawks

This wasn't easy to pick. There were several other teams that could have been mentioned here. However, witnessing the pandemonium and the amount of fervor that is surrounding the team all through the season as well as the championship parade, the Hawks are back to being a real force driving interests to one of the biggest hockey markets in the US.

Can-Am Award (presented in recognition to a blogger or fan who have contributed positively to Canadian and American fan relations): TBA.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

2015 Stanley Cup Predictions - Round 4

The only thing consistent about these playoffs for me is the unpredictability of these series. I went O-2 last round which I guess CHI/TB fans can thank me later. I don't think I have a prediction jinx like other bloggers and broadcasters do, but it's still good enough to notice that the President's Trophy curse still holds up. The New York Rangers have folded up while blogs are already talking about tearing down and trading players. NHL Radio's "Boomer" Jim Gordon is already speculating that they will have some trouble having given up a lot of draft picks in recent years to build for today.

So, Tampa Bay and Chicago are two hockey franchises that are strong and passionate about their teams. The bigger cities have already tossed around the typical stale taunt of low-ratings turnout, but I'm not concerned how this will play out nationally. The biggest ratings will be at the Cup-clinching games, but they'll still be great now that they're off basic cable and directly on NBC.

Stanley Cup Championship Final

Chicago v. Tampa Bay

I'm not going to bog people down with advance stats or "CORSI", but rather use my own intuition in my final attempt to predict something well enough this season.
The main focal point of this contest rests within the Lightning "win at all costs" offense with the Hawks "domination" of a defense. Keith and Seabrook have things locked down on defense.

Also, the other key matchup is the Corey Crawford vs Ben Bishop goalie comparison. Corey struggled in the first series but rebounded to a 9-4-1 record. Bishop was steadier with a 12-8 record, but gave up 15 goals in the last series.

Look for Brad Richards to make a story for himself on the ice and North American media to talk about him once raising the Cup over his head. He was once a member of the TB Lightning and now he's playing against them as a member of the BlackHawks.
Prediction: BlackHawks in 6

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Confessions of a Hockey Fanatic 13th Anniversary

Well, we've made it again for another great year for our 13th anniversary blog post. I want to thank each and every one of my readers who have stopped by to read my blogs and to comment on my work. But it is certainly no time to get nostalgic - but a time to continue to be the first hockey blog and the most innovative content. Yes, not only was I the first of my kind, but I was also the first to integrate audio, video and live-streaming podcasts as complimentary content.

I've had plenty of new things around here recently with the addition of the sponsors, the Insticator trivia app, and the live look at my NHL 15 games via Twitch. Be sure to stop by more frequently and play around with the new social media installed on the website.

I've also planned some new content with the youtube vlog where I'll be doing some live video game streaming, kind of like a "game of the week" thing. If you'd like to sponsor it on upcoming videos, please check with me in the regular social media channels.

But here is my newest video that I've made and debuting here for the 13th anniversary. I've had seen these chips around in the grocery stores locally and wanted to let you all know about them. I've seen some other taste testing videos and wanted to try doing something like that on my channel. On the back, I noticed that the Penguins were merely looking for more income for their main charity Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation, but it's not the first time that the Penguins have put their logo on food going all the way back to Fleury Flakes or City of Champions (with Max Talbot). If you also look around, you'll find the other endorsements of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum and Co-advertising Snapple/Sheetz. For the Penguins, it's boldly entering a new era of revenue. I don't remember when the last time the Penguins had done this. (The Mario bun bar and the Jagr Peanut Butter were straight up player endorsements.) Is this sort of thing common among other teams in NHL markets?

(Special thanks to Cheeky Tam for the inspiration to try a video like this one!)