Monday, October 5, 2009

THRASHERS REPORT: Ron Hainsey's Own Goals in EA Sports NHL '10 Up 25%

Atlanta Blueliner Shows More Signs of Error in New Video Game Season

By Jeremy Strauss

Editor's Note: The following is the first segment of "Thrashers Report," a monthly bit we're planning on doing, well, each month, to keep you updated on everyone's favorite team, the Atlanta Thrashers. Please enjoy!

ATLANTA, GA -- The crowd was moaning. The players were groaning. The scoreboard read 1-0, Tampa Bay.

Ron Hainsey had put the puck in his own net yet again.

That instance last Thursday in a game of EA Sports NHL '10 was unfortunately one of many this year for the Thrashers' veteran defenseman. These days, it seems the more he plays on video game consoles, the more virtual mistakes the Connecticut native makes.

"Some times I'm trying to go behind my own net and I accidentally poke it in," explained an embarrassed Hainsey. "Other times, I don't know, I'm getting pushed into the goal by someone on the other team during a scramble in front.

"This has to stop. It's eating at my soul."

Hainsey's latest own goal came on Sunday night at the hands of Atlanta division rival Florida Panthers. With Hainsey being controlled by USER GoThrash96, he took control of the puck in his own zone, weakly attempted to pass to his defensive partner, and somehow managed to direct the puck past his goaltender Kari Lehtonen, who looked up at the sky in dismay.

The goal was Hainsey's fifth for his side of the young season, which already marks a 25% increase on the 4 virtual video game own goals he scored last season in NHL '09.

Above: A simulation of one of Hainsey's 5 own goals

"That one was bad, but it was nothing like last week," noted Hainsey following the game.

The incident Hainsey was referring to came during a virtual game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. With the Blue Jackets trailing 5-4 with less than a minute left to play, USER ILuvUKovalchuk -- who controlled the Thrashers -- decided to give his friend USER RickyNashRocks -- who controlled the Blue Jackets -- a break.

Controlling Hainsey, ILuvKovalchuk skated forward into his goaltender until he gave up and scored, forcing an overtime during which the Blue Jackets would emerge victorious, 6-5.

"We're about to win the game, and then we're going to overtime and it's all because of me," said Hainsey after the game. "I let everyone down tonight."

With five own goal tallies on the season, Hainsey sits well ahead of the next-in-line -- teammate Colby Armstrong -- who only has one. If this nightmarish season continues for the American-born defenseman, a trade could be on the horizon.

"I don't think I could cope with that," said Hainsey of the possibility. "I like playing in Atlanta too much."

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