2014 Men’s Ice Hockey Predictions – Finals

Review – Semifinals

Please note that bold predictions are correct predictions.

Sweden vs Finland 2 – 1 
United States vs Canada 2 – 3 (OT)

I am going to stick with my predictions for the bronze and gold medal games from earlier.

Predictions – Bronze Medal Game

United States vs Finland 4 – 3

Predictions – Gold Medal Game

Canada vs Sweden 3 – 2 (OT)

2014 Men’s Ice Hockey Predictions – Semifinals


Sweden vs Slovenia 5 – 0 (4 – 2)
Finland vs Russia 3 – 1 (2 – 5)
Canada vs Latvia 2 -1 (6 – 0)
United States vs Czech Republic 5 – 2 (4 – 1)

Predictions – Semifinals

Sweden vs Finland 2 – 1 
United States vs Canada 2 – 3 (OT)

I am going to also make predictions out of the outcome of mine for the Gold and Bronze medal games.

Predictions – Bronze Medal Game

United States vs Finland 4 – 3

Predictions – Gold Medal Game

Canada vs Sweden 3 – 2 (OT)

2014 Men’s Ice Hockey Predictions – Quarterfinals


Slovenia vs Austria 4 – 0 (1 – 2)
Russia vs Norway 4 – 0 (5 – 2)
Switzerland vs Latvia 1 – 3 (3 – 2)
Czech Republic vs  Slovakia 5 – 3 (3 – 1)


Sweden vs Slovenia 4 – 2
Finland vs Russia 2 – 5
Canada vs Latvia 6 – 0
United States vs Czech Republic 4 – 1

2014 Men’s Ice Hockey Predictions – Qualifications Round



The following reviews the group stage results. Please note that in brackets is my predictions.

Match Day 1 – February 12th

Czech Republic vs Sweden 2 – 4 (1 – 2)
Latvia vs Switzerland 0 – 1 (1 – 2)

Match Day 2 – February 13th

Finland vs Austria 8 – 4 (4 – 0)
Russia vs Slovenia 5 – 2 (3 – 2)
Slovakia vs United States 1 – 7 (2 – 4)
Canada vs Norway (3 – 1) 5 – 2

Match Day 3 – February 14th

Czech Republic vs Latvia 4 – 2 (3 – 1)
Sweden vs Switzerland 1 – 0 (4 – 2)
Canada vs Austria 6 – 0 (4 – 1)
Norway vs Finland 1 – 6  (1 – 3)

Match Day 4 – February 15th

Slovakia vs Slovenia 1 – 3 (2 – 0)
United States vs Russia 3 – 2 (2 – 3) [Close…. right?]
Switzerland vs Czech Republic 1 – 0  (1 – 2)
Sweden vs Latvia 5 – 3 (3 – 0)

Match Day 5 – February 16th

Austria vs Norway 3 – 1 (1 – 0)
Russia vs Slovakia 1 – 0 (3 – 1)
Slovenia vs United States 1 – 5 (0 – 4)
Finland vs Canada 1-2

Predictions – Qualification Round

Slovenia vs Austria 1 – 2
Russia vs Norway 5 – 2
Switzerland vs Latvia 3 – 2
Czech Republic vs  Slovakia 3 – 1

2014 Men’s Ice Hockey Predictions – Preliminary Round

Match Day 1 – February 12th

Czech Republic vs Sweden 1 – 2
Latvia vs Switzerland 1 – 2

Match Day 2 – February 13th

Finland vs Austria 4 – 0
Russia vs Slovenia 3 – 2
Slovakia vs United States 2 – 4
Canada vs Norway 5 – 2

Match Day 3 – February 14th

Czech Republic vs Latvia 3 – 1
Sweden vs Switzerland 4 – 2
Canada vs Austria 4 – 1
Norway vs Finland 1 – 3

Match Day 4 – February 15th

Slovakia vs Slovenia 2 – 0
United States vs Russia 2 – 3
Switzerland vs Czech Republic  1 – 2
Sweden vs Latvia 3-0

Match Day 5 – February 16th

Austria vs Norway 1 – 0
Russia vs Slovakia 3 – 1
Slovenia vs United States 0 – 4
Finland vs Canada 1-2

Team Canada’s Line Projections Redux

Steven Stamkos has not been cleared for Olympic Duty. His Lightning teammate Martin St. Louis is set to replace him. So I’ve redone my line projections. I have also scratched the Canucks defenceman Dan Hamhuis for St Louis Blue’s Alex Pietrangelo.

Anth’s Line Projection

Forward line #1: LW Chris Kunitz, C Sidney Crosby, RW Rick Nash

Forward line #2: LW Patrick Sharp, C Jonathan Toews, RW  John Tavares

Forward line #3: LW Patrick Marleau, C Martin. St Louis, RW Matt Duchene

Forward line #4: LW Jeff Carter, C Ryan Getzlaf, RW Corey Perry

Undressed forwards: Patrice Bergeron and Jamie Benn

Defence #1: Jay Bouwmeester, Shea Weber

Defence #2: Duncan Keith, Alex Pietrangelo

Defence #3: P.K. Subban, Drew Doughty

Undressed defender: Marc-Edouard Vlasic,  Dan Hamhuis

Starting Goalie: Roberto Luongo

Backup Goalie: Carey Price

Undressed Goalie: Mike Smith

Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 1’s Top 5 Episodes

I have been going through Star Trek: The Next Generation on Blu-ray since Christmas. I currently started on the third season. I decided sometime ago to blog my top five episodes per season. I will say that I am more than satisfied with the quality of the Blu-ray releases so far.

5. Encounter at Farpoint, Pt. I & Pt. II

It was really hard to choose a top fifth episode. It was a toss up between the Encounter at Farpoint Parts I & II and the Lieutenant Worf centric episode Heart of Glory. In the end, I decided that Encounter was the better episode. Of course it started the whole series too.

In this episode we become acquainted with the characters of the Enterprise. Worf, Yar, Troi and Picard are aboard the Enterprise en route to pick up Riker, La Forge and Beverly & Wesley Crusher from Farpoint Station on Deneb IV. However the Enterprise crew is interrupted by an omnipotent asshat named Q and places all of humanity on trial (I actually love the character Q). The Enterprise undergoes saucer separation for the first time on screen (and no our favourite Betazoid/Human hybrid isn’t behind the wheel… this time…). The saucer under the command of Lieutenant Worf.

The saucer section manages to getaway and the stardrive is held on trial by Q masquerading as a Judge in a post-WWIII courtroom for a session of a kangaroo court. In the end they learn that Farpoint Station is a creature that had been suffering. The loved one came to rescue it. The Enterprise helps reunite them.

I love this episode because well. It’s awesome.

4. Datalore

Am I seeing double?

Am I seeing double?

The crew of the Enterprise comes to Data’s homeworld of Omicron Theta. It isn’t much of a homecoming for the lieutenant commander… They discover the planet lifeless, no colonists, wild and plant life remains. The away team led by no one other than Commander Riker beams down at the coordinates that the Tripoli discovered Data twenty-six years prior.

They eventually stumble across Data’s “Father” Doctor Noonian Soong’s lab. They discover a similar type android in pieces that looks identical to Data. They bring it back to the Enterprise and decide to assemble it. After the assembly of the “new” Android is complete the Android identifies himself as “Lore”. He tells them that he was built after Data and was made more humanlike.

Eventually we’ll find out that this is a lie. Lore informs Data that he was built first but because the human colonists feared him their Father Doctor Soong dissembled him and builds an “inferior” Android – Data. Lore eventually turns Data off and assumes his identity to lure the Crystalline Entity to the Enterprise to pay tribute. It turns out this entity was the root cause of destruction of Omicron Theta. It feeds on life.

Wes suspicions grow about how Data is acting and brings it forward to Picard. The Enterprise crew eventually learns of Lore’s ruse. Data and Lore fight like brothers do. Lore is beamed away.

I love this episode. It makes me wish that I too had an evil twin brother… -sigh-

3. Skin of Evil

And the goop monster enters

And the goop monster enters

The Enterprise is set to rendezvous with Shuttlecraft 13 transporting Deanna Troi from a conference. The Shuttlecraft crashes into Vagra II. The crew of the Enterprise after a series of errors with the dilithium crystals is able to repair – because if you’re an engineer on a starship, you gotta be a bloody miracle worker.

When the away team led by no other but Commander Riker beams down to rescue the shuttlecraft. They come across a sinister entity known as Armus. Who was hellbent on torturing members of the Away  Team and Deanna Troi. At one point he envelopes Riker. And another he downright murders Lieutenant Natasha Yar.

I loved this episode because it shows that space isn’t safe nor does everyone want to befriend you. It’s a dangerous place and gave room for awesome character development for the characters with the death of Natasha Yar.

2. Where No One Has Gone Before

Wesley Crusher wearing his hipster sweater. "Change your sweater, Wesley!" - Picard

Wesley Crusher wearing his hipster sweater. “Change your sweater, Wesley!” – Picard

In this episode we become acquainted with a recurring character known as The Traveler whom is important in the overall Wesley Crusher storyline. In this episode the Enterprise receives an experimental warp drive modification. Kosinski and his assistant come aboard the Enterprise.

Once they’ve installed the modification the Enterprise gets tossed across the universe to a neighboring galaxy designation M33 also known as the Triangulum Galaxy. They learn that it is Kosinski’s assistant The Traveler that caused the malfunction. The Traveler is exhausted and unsure if he has the energy to bring the Enterprise crew home.

Symptoms of this travel shows that they are see things that aren’t there. Like Picard’s mother, the rape gangs of Yar’s homeworld Turkana IV. They eventually return home to the Milky Way Galaxy with help from the Traveler assisted by no other but Wesley Crusher.

This episode is pretty detrimental for character development for two characters: Picard and Wesley Crusher. Picard learns that although Wesley Crusher is a child he is valued part of the Enterprise‘s crew. And for Wesley Crusher being promoted to acting Ensign.

I have watched this episode countless amount of times while I watched it syndicated, or on DVD and now on Blu-ray disc. Wesley was never really one of my favourite characters and he’s grown on me with my recent re-watch.

1. Conspiracy 

If this won't give you nightmares... what will?

If this won’t give you nightmares… what will?

Captain Jean-Luc Picard receives a communique from an old acquaintance Captain Walter Keel to meet in secret. He is exposed to suspicious activity in the upper echelons of Starfleet. Picard returns to the Enterprise assigning Lieutenant Commander Data to investigate. They stumble across Captain Keel’s command destroyed with no survivors. Their investigation brings them to Earth. They learn that people do not seem to appear who they are. In the end, Admirals are being controlled by an alien race slug. Riker and Picard destroy the Queen.

This is my top favourite episode because I loved the conspiracy and something dark and sinister lingers in the galaxy which makes them a formidable opponent. My only disappointment is that this race’s story never continues, even though the story itself seems to be resolved.

Review · Batman: Arkham Origins (PC)

Another game beaten, another review. I finally completed Batman: Arkham Origins. I picked it up at launch and been slowly but surely played through the game. Like every year, October through to the end of November is the “blockbuster” window where a lot of video games that I want to get come out in this period. It doesn’t help that I picked up an Xbox One…

Please note this isn’t a review for you if you don’t appreciate the occasional f-bomb and you don’t want to read something that may spoil the game for you.

Overall I found that the game’s cinematics and graphics were breath taken for the most part on my PC. I  also found the story tiresome. I realize the game focuses more on Arkham Asylum’s origins more than Batman’s. I don’t think there’s ever been a triple-A title video game that has gone through the whole story, which I found pretty disappointing in Arkham Origins

When the game was first introduced to the world, I was really hoping that it would have gone through Batman’s origin story along with the darkness that Arkham Asylum beholds and the dark sinister force it possess. I didn’t want the Joker to return as the primary antagonist  since I am a big fan of Mark Hamill’s portrayal. With that, I wasn’t too thrilled that they went with a different voice actor for Bruce Wayne/Batman and given Kevin Conroy the boot. Although, I wasn’t disappointed with Roger Craig Smith as the Cape Crusader’s voice. I wasn’t too fond of Troy Baker’s Joker.

While I didn’t want the Joker to be the primary antagonist in Arkham Origins even if it made sense due to the darkness that Arkham Asylum and the Joker share. But I was really hoping they would have used the note from Alan Moore’s Batman: The Killing Joke‘s back story for the Joker. I think it would have been a lot more funner game if you were up against The Joker as the Red Hood. You did see it in a high on drugs flashback but it wasn’t the same. I also wish that the Black Mask had a much larger role. I think his death was pretty premature, unnecessary and disappointing. Of course it wasn’t meant to be so they came up with this story.

I found the ending to be somewhat satisfactory but I wonder what the new developer Warner Bros. Games Montreal will do next. While I was disappointed that Rocksteady Studios isn’t behind the development of these games, I really really hope they are working on a Justice League game that centers on Superman and Wonder Woman. But we’ll have to wait and see.

Like it’s predecessors Arkham Origins has quite a lot of secondary objects like capture the Most Wanted fellows and collectathons. If you complete the game you unlock a bunch of different Batman suits. There’s multiplayer that I have no interest in playing nor the challenges. I may check out I Am the Night mode or whatever they call it but I’m in no rush.

The breakdown for Arkham Origins are:

Story: 3 out of 5
Graphics: 5 out of 5
Gameplay: 2.5 out of 5
Playability: 4 of 5
Overall: 3.5 / 5