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NHL2K11 Tour pulls into Hockeytown

Tuesday, 08.10.2010 / 3:54 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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NHL2K11 Tour pulls into Hockeytown
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WESTLAND, Mich. – Summertime in suburban Detroit used to mean playing Little League and hanging out with family and friends for Ryan Kesler.

The Livonia, Michigan, native gave up playing baseball some years ago, but this summer is still a lot of fun for the Vancouver Canucks’ forward.

“I used to play a lot of baseball,” said, Kesler, who was a pitcher and shortstop for his Little League team, the Cubs. “But this is a dream come true. I used to play a lot of Ninetendo ice hockey, “Blades of Steel”. Now I play a lot of “NHL2K10” and “Call to Duty.” ”

Kesler is on the cover of the soon-to-be released “NHL2K11” video game by 2K Sports. He is in Detroit this week as part of a 14-city, North American tour helping to promote the upcoming release of the video game, which is set for Aug. 24.

“They’ve really improved it from last year,” said Kesler, who appeared at the Westland Mall Best Buy on Tuesday with Chicago goalie Marty Turco and Los Angeles defenseman Jack Johnson. “I learned in about 10-minutes all of the moves, but I haven’t mastered them, which is what you want.”

But what’s it really like to be a part of a video game?

“It’s weird. It’s weird to play as yourself,” Kesler said. “It’s weird to hear your name being called in a video game. But at the same time it’s a lot of fun.”

Kesler said that he doesn’t always play as the Canucks; instead, he usually selects “random” on the controller. “I like to see which team comes up,” he said.

Turco, 35, said that he is amazed at how far the graphics have come since the days when he first began playing video games back home in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
NHL2K11 Tour Stop

“I feel like I’m dating myself with my involvement with 2K Sports, for a long time seeing how crazy these games have come along,” Turco said. “I remember doing the (motion capture) back in ’04, being a part of the game, seeing the development of it, and now playing these games on the Wii or on the Xbox, it’s just kind of mind-boggling what these creators can do.”

Turco, who signed a one-year deal with the Blackhawks this month, doesn’t deny that his hockey skills might be a tad better then in reality.

“The hockey just comes to life on your TV,” he said, “and I know some of the players, for the most part, are better in video games than they are in real life, but don’t tell my teammates that one.

“It’s all about muscle memory and making routine saves that you can do better in the video game than you can do on the ice. … It’s a lot of fun whether you’re playing by yourself or with your bodies and putting players over the boards like Jack Johnson.”

With three highly competitive NHL players together on a video game promotional tour, someone has to claim supremacy on the bus, right?

“I think that all remains to be seen,” Turco said. “I don’t like to get too cocky when it comes to video games, but these guys are a lot younger and I’ve been playing a long time and you have to use your experience and your veteran attitudes some times.”

A relative newcomer to “NHL2K11”, Johnson wasn’t ready to self-proclaim himself as the best either.

“I’m hoping that I get better as the day goes on,” he said. “I have a lot to learn, but usually I’m a quick learner.”

The NHL2K11 bus will still be in suburban Detroit on Wednesday, making stops at Lifetime Fitness in Commerce Township (9-11 a.m. EDT) and the Gamestop in Farmington Hills (1-4 p.m. EDT).

The next stop of the tour is Pittsburgh, Aug. 14-15.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
R. Sheahan 81 14 11 -8 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80