During the NHL Awards in June, EA Sports announced Connor McDavid as its cover athlete for NHL 18. The company also released its first official trailer for the game.
They may not have known it at the time, but EA Sports totally trolled the Capitals.
At the 36-second mark, a screen pops up that says BUILT FOR CREATIVITY. Then Penguins’ winger Conor Sheary busts down the wing, puts the puck in-between his legs, and sauces a pass over Karl Alzner’s stick. Jake Guentzel blasts a one-timer past Braden Holtby, the runner up for the 2017 Vezina Trophy.
The trailer was released a month after the Capitals lost to the Penguins in a playoff series for the tenth time in eleven tries. Over the last two seasons, the Capitals won the Presidents’ Trophy as the NHL’s best team, only to be bested by their hated rival in the second round. Both years, the Penguins would go on to win the Stanley Cup.
While NHL 18 is not upgrading to the Frostbite Engine (like the Madden franchise did), this clip proves that, at least to me, the realism and logic of the game has definitely improved. That’s because I’m in tears right now. Just like in May.
Over the last decade, EA Sports has made the Capitals look ace, having Alex Ovechkin be their cover athlete (NHL07), putting the hot stick in as a goal celebration (NHL17), and featuring Mike Green beating the living bejesus out of someone in a trailer (NHL14).
After nearly a decade full of playoff disappointment though, I guess this is what we’re left with: art imitating life.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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