The Great Cover Debate Blog: The Final Day of the First Round
For the first time hockey fans all over the world are getting the chance to pick the new cover star for EA Sports’ hockey game with the NHL 13 Cover Vote – Presented by BlackBerry. In this first round, two players from every team in the league are matched up against each other to see who will move on. You get the chance to make sure your team is properly represented in the next round by voting at NHL.com/covervote. Today is the last day to vote for your favorites in the opening round, so vote now!
NHL 13 producers Sean “Rammer” Ramjagsingh and Andy Agostini sat down and talked about what they thought about some of the key contests in the first round of the vote. To end the first week of voting the guys took a look at the Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers, and the Ottawa Senators.
Team: Chicago Blackhawks
Players: Patrick Sharp and Duncan Keith
Rammer: As a Vancouver fan, it’s tough to like the Blackhawks but these are two great players! I think Patrick Sharp might take this one. I know that he plays the EA SPORTS NHL series too. We talked a couple of weeks ago when the Hawks were in town and he mentioned that he’s voting for himself to be on the cover and it cracked me up, so I’m going for him.
Andy: Keith is a former Norris candidate and a Stanley Cup winner with the Hawks. He’s a guy who ate up a ton of minutes during that great playoff run. I think that Keith will win over Sharp because I think that Duncan Keith is someone that people associate great defensemen with and it’s been a few years since we had a defenseman on the cover.
Team: Montreal Canadiens
Players: P.K. Subban and Tomas Plekanec
Andy: Subban is a personality and the city loves him for it. The fact that he’s willing to talk and be open with his opinions brings him closer to fans and he will end up beating Tomas Plekanec, who’s a great player for the Canadiens, because of it.
Rammer: I think that P.K. is going to win this one. P.K.’s another guy who plays our game a lot. When he was in town I had a chance to talk with him a little bit and he’s pretty fired up about having a chance to be on the cover. He’s another guy who’ll use social media to his advantage. People in Montreal love him, people outside Montreal tend to hate him because if you don’t know him, he comes off as over-confident. Really he’s just a fun-loving, passionate guy. I think he’s going to win this one.
Team: Pittsburgh Penguins
Players: Evgeni Malkin and Marc-Andre Fleury
Rammer: Malkin is going to take this one. I think that the year that he’s had, especially in Crosby’s absence, doing what he’s done with the Pittsburgh Penguins and with one of the top points totals in the league so far this season, I think he’ll win.
Andy: With Crosby being out for a long stretch of time this year and portions of last year I think Malkin took his game to another level. I think him scoring at the rate he has been, and with Crosby back the Penguins are the most dangerous team in the league and are poised to make a deep run. I think Malkin will beat Marc-Andre Fleury, though both of those players have the ability to help that team win the cup. So I think it will be close, but Malkin will take it.
Team: Edmonton Oilers
Players: Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall
Rammer: Another great matchup. Both those guys play our game all the time against each other. For this one I think I’m going to pick Taylor Hall. Hall’s a little more active in the social media space so I think he’ll use social media to his advantage to win over Eberle.
Andy: It’s a toss-up for me. Both of them are young, star players on a team that’s growing together. Taylor Hall a little more a power forward, Jordan Eberle a little more in that Jonathan Toews mold. I think that it’ll be close and this will prove who Edmonton likes more.
Team: New York Rangers
Players: Henrik Lundqvist and Brad Richards
Andy: When I went to Sweden, I took in two NHL Premiere Games that the Rangers were in, I saw how much the Swedes love King Henrik, as they call him. Henrik is a long time Ranger and with Brad Richards just joining the team this season, I think Henrik will win. It’ll be close in New York for both of them, but I think the Swedes will help push him over the hump and send him into the next round.
Rammer: That’s a great matchup. I’m going to go with Lundqvist, partially due to the attention he garnered with the whole HBO 24/7 series. He became more of a superstar, if that’s even possible, and that will help propel him to victory in this one.
Team: Ottawa Senators
Players: Erik Karlsson and Jason Spezza
Rammer: Spezza’s having an absolutely stellar season this year, so I think that the Sens fans in North America will get behind him. Although I think that all of Sweden is going to vote for Erik Karlsson, so I think that Karlsson is going to win this one. The year that he’s having and the points that he’s putting up as a defenseman, especially for such a young kid, make him one of the top defensemen in the league.
Andy: Erik Karlsson is the best young defenseman in the league right now. He has a point a game average in scoring which hasn’t been done by a defenseman for many, many years. Though Spezza is a team leader and their top offensive player, I think that Karlsson’s notoriety along with the fact that he’s the clear favorite to win the Norris trophy this year will help him become the guy who moves onto the next round.