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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Hockey King Of Japan

So... I went out on Friday evening and traded in some of my PS3 (Sony Play Station 3) games at EB Games. I took in five old games I had beaten, and traded it in for $55 in credit!

So... my son wanted the 2013 NHL hockey game, and I bought Naruto 2.

I have never played Naruto before, but I had read a few of the early adventure manga comic books. Lots of fun. because of that bit of knowledge, it made the game exciting... but more on that one later.

Instead, let's look at the 2013 NHL hockey game.

After a couple of games, I was soon better than my son at it, who had played 15 games... that's the penalty for only being seven-years-old, I assume. in a couple of years I will probably be hard put to beat him in anything.

So.... he wanted to play me, but insisted I take the worst hockey team I could find.

Luckily, this game allows you to play NHL professional players against All-Star Teams, junior hockey teams of teenagers and even tams from other countries or national teams.

Hudson chose our beloved Toronto Maple Leafs, I I chose Team Japan.

After Hudson scored some 11 seconds into the game, I figured "Oh crap... this is going to be a 60-0 game."

But a funny thing happened... Team Japan started playing well... or rather the goalie - Fukufuji Yutaka (surname first) - whom I don't really control started playing well... I started to stone him in net... and even managed to score a couple of goals...

I was fine until about three minutes left in the third and final period when Hudson managed to put another by Fukufuji.

I had to kill a penalty, made it to a five minute overtime, killed another penalty... and then we went to a shoot out where we both sucked... going 15 rounds before Hudson finally put one past Fukufuji to get the win.

But... lo and behold... Fukufuji was the first star of the game. Impressive with his 30 saves and 14 saves in the shoot out. Hey... let's face it... I love Japan, but as a hockey nation, they ain't so hot, currently ranked 21st in the world, while Canada is ranked 5th (after a recent disastrous showing).

For the record, Fukufuji is a real person, and is currently playing goalie for the Nikko Ice Bucks (in Tochigi-ken! - my home province!) of the Asia League Ice Hockey. He is the first Japan-born player to play in a National Hockey League game, and teh first Japanese to be drafted as a goaltender, though the second Japanese national to be drafted.

Fukufuji was born on September 17, 1982 in Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan. Fukufuji was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings of the NHL in 2004 in the 8th round - 238th overall. After playing a couple of years in the minors and doing quite well, Fukufuji was called up on December 15, 2006, to act as a back-up goalie on an emergency basis - he dressed, but did not play.

But, on January 13, 2007, Fukufuji made his first NHL appearance, the first by a Japanese player, when he started the 3rd period of a game against the St. Louis Blues with his team (the Kings) trailing 5-4. While the Kings scored, Fukufuji also let in a goal, and the Kings ended up losing 6-5.

What sucks is that because Fukufuji essentially gave up the game-winning goal, he was credited with the loss.

Fukufuji did start a game on January 16, 2007 against the Atlanta Thrashers... and ended his NHL career with: 4 GP (games played), 96 minutes, 7 Goals Against, 4.37 goals against average, 36 total saves and a 0W-3L-T record.

Fun stuff... You just never know where your are going to find a Japanese connection for a blog, eh? I thought it would just be in the Naruto game!

Andrew Joseph

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