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Morning Skate: Retro

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A little throwback action on your consoles.

Boston Bruins Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

Thursday!

I remember hearing about this a while back, but didn’t realize it was confirmed: NHL 94 is back as part of the NHL 21 release.

You get all of that retro Sega goodness delivered straight to your current-gen game system. Of course, if you’re somewhat technically inclined, you’ve been able to play NHL 94 on emulators for a while now, or you might even have a Genesis still kickin’ around.

I’ve played it for a while on my original PSP (talk about throwbacks), but playing it on that little screen isn’t quite the same as the childhood days.

Now, we get that pixelated action on your big screen, with modern rosters too! David Pastrnak in NHL 94? Sign me up!

One of the things I remember most about NHL 94 (and the other NHL games in the adjoining years) is Cam Neely being utterly dominant. It’s no surprise: the game was released in 1993, a few years after 55- and 51-goal seasons.

It was good foreshadowing too, as his 1993-1994 season would end up being his memorable “50 goals in 49 games” campaign.

I remember as a kid learning that you could score pretty reliably on wraparounds with Neely, so much so that my brother and I called it the “Cam Neely Move.”

It doesn’t work as well on the current-gen games, unfortunately. IT’S JUST NOT THE SAME.

The other things that stand out: the theme song, the goal siren, and bitterly checking the opposing players while they were celebrating a goal.

Young me wasn’t a very good sport.

Today’s highlight

Take a trip down memory lane.

Today’s discussion topic

What’s the best hockey video game? NHL 94 is the easy choice. However, Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey on N64 ruled too.

I also liked the short-lived ESPN NHL games, though they weren’t as good as the ESPN NFL games. That “charge” feature that let running backs just bundle defenders was great.

Corey Dillon would regularly run for 500 yards a game back then. Good times.