Like all you puckheads out there, I am experiencing serious hockey withdrawal. Sure, it's great to watch all the classic games, series, Raising the Cup, and Top 10's on NHL Network; but one can only withstand seeing the same thing over and over again so many times.
It's also great to play NHL video games to help satisfy your hockey cravings. For example, I actually just won the Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins (I already won one with the Rangers back in March) by sweeping the Chicago Blackhawks in EA Sports' NHL 10. So now what?
Well, it really got me thinking about what else should be implemented into hockey video games to make them even more realistic. Like many others I'm sure, I am a big fan of realism and, as such, have come up with a few things that EA Sports should consider adding in the future to make their NHL series even better:
- Warm-ups: I know that the NHL series has a practice mode but wouldn't it be cool to be able to warm up before a game? You could test out line combinations, warm up your netminder and even watch the other team warm up.
- Goaltender Styles: EA Sports has the netminders down to a science as each goaltender has the equipment brand they use in real life. What would be even better is if the game incorporated the goaltender's playing styles into the game. For example, the game could have Martin Broduer's butterfly/classic netminding style, Marc Andre Fleury's quickness, Tuukka Rask's glove saves, etc.
- Goal Songs: It would be great if EA Sports could somehow implement each team's goal song into the game. As a Rangers fan, I'd love to hear "Goooaaaallllll" every time I put one in the net at home (or "Chelsea Dagger" in Chicago).
- Crowd Attendance: Most of the time, it looks like every game is sold out. This is not the case in the real-life NHL, especially for teams like the Islanders, Lightning, Panthers, Devils (among others).
These are just a few things that I would insert into an NHL video game to make it more realistic. What would you do?
(Ed. Note: One suggestion I have would be goal reviews... but they will be included for the first time in NHL 11! Another thing I think would be cool are individual goal celebrations... like Alex Burrows' tribute to Luc Bourdon, Patrick Kane's antics, or Alex Ovechkin jumping into the glass.)
Our podcast 'RLD Hockey Talk' is LIVE every Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 ET/Noon CT. Some of our notable guests in past episodes have been Dustin Brown, Doc Emrick, John Buccigross, Dave Strader, E.J. Hradek, Elliotte Friedman and Jay Grossman.