Ice Madness – Final Four of Retro Hockey Video Games

First, I wanted to say thank you to everyone who checked out my debut podcast for MSG Networks!

Last Wednesday we launched “The A-Pod,” which will be a weekly podcast that drops every Wednesday. Fun chats, fun topics, fun people! The first guest is exactly the type of person I hope to interview each week: he is a lawyer with the Florida Panthers by day, and by night he is the creator/curator of (IMO) the best parody account on the internet, @WWECreative_ish. Check out our chat on and subscribe on iTunes.


Also, as a thank you to everyone that reads this, I will be announcing the podcast guest each week in this blog. Coming up this week is Pete Cannarozzi, the organist for the New Jersey Devils. We have a fun convo about the unique job of complimenting the play on the ice by playing the perfect song at the perfect time. What is it like being an organist for an NHL team? Definitely check this one out.

Now, on to #IceMadness! As this tournament goes on, I was reminded of one of the best themed nights seen in the NHL this year – on January 26, the New Jersey Devils hosted “Retro Night,” complete with NHL ’94 inspired poster (created by Anthony Zych) and retro-game filled video intro (produced by Sergio Camacho). So, so cool.


What else is cool is what happened during the quarterfinals. No surprise here that Blades of Steel, Ice Hockey (NES) and NHL ’95 all moved on. In the heavyweight battle of the QF round, NHL ’94 trounced NHLPA ’93, ending that argument once and for all! NHL ’94 is the better game, according to you.

And now, we have come to the Final Four! These blockbuster retro hockey video games have survived and now face each other to determine which one stands alone on top of the mountain.

On one side, we have Ice Hockey (NES) vs NHL ’95: some consider NHL ’95 to be the weakest of the EA sports games in this tournament, but it has soundly defeated its first two opponents. Ice Hockey (NES) is a revered classic.

On the other side, NHL ’94 meets Blades of Steel in a matchup that could easily have been a final in any other bracket … but not here! One of these GOATs has to go home! Will it be the snazzy one-timers, or “hit the pass!” that edge their way to the promise land?


Voting for the semifinals will take place Monday and Tuesday, and the Finals on Thursday, with the winner announced on Twitter on Friday (and in next week’s blog in case you miss it).

MATCHUP 1: Ice Hockey (NES) vs. NHL ’95

Ice Hockey (NES)
Second Round: Beat NHL Open Ice 2 on 2 Challenge, 68%-32%;
First Round: Beat Pro Sport Hockey, 81%-19%

NHL ’95
Second Round: Beat Mario Lemieux Hockey, 90%-10%;
First Round: Beat TV Sports Hockey, 89%-11%

MATCHUP 2: Blades of Steel vs. NHL ’94

Blades of Steel
Second Round: Beat ESPN National Hockey Night, 94%-16%;
First Round: Beat NHL Stanley Cup Hockey, 82%-18%

NHL ’94
Second Round: Beat NHLPA ’93, 77%-23%;
First Round: Beat Face Off!, 95%-5%