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Updated further review and discussion

455 posts Member
edited October 2020
Hey y'all! Hope people are enjoying this game. So far, I totally am. Sure, improvements can be made but that is why we are here, right?

A few things to note (still have not found the time to upload some vids but I am working on it):


1. The meta is NOT the same as 20 and before. This should be praised. Forwards can be dispossessed easier. Size matters. You can create separation and make plays to move defenders around. No longer can you play passive defense and not give up a bunch of good chances. I have yet to see a "glitch" or "cheese" goal. Nothing has been a sure-fire-shot from my experience so far.
2. You can tell if your opponent is trash fairly quickly. Those who exclusively skate as fast as they can and try for a cross-crease are junk and CAN be shut down. The people who play this style are going to get destroyed by those who master the defensive mechanics. I promise you that. Being a good defender in this game is what it used to be...worth it's weight in gold. It will be like Novocain ... give it time, it always works.
3. The flow has increased. Players are not getting stuck on each other as often. The neutral zone move-outs are pretty smooth.
4. On defense, you can have a much more active stick, you can use the body effectively, you can get the puck loose.
5. On offense, you can get defenders out of position and make them pay.
6. Dump and chase is viable. Criss-cross drop passing is viable. Passing off the pads is viable. Taking it deep and then popping it up to the point is viable to stretch defenders. A lot of options.
7. Playing good, smart gap is viable. Playing an aggressive defense is viable. Team defense is rewarded as long as you ALL play with each other and work together.
8. The slip dekes and chip dekes are a great addition. Really make playing near the boards a lot more fun and rewarding if you do them correctly.
9. DSS being effective at stopping passes is magnificent. You can actually use it this year. So happy for that.
10. The skill gap on defense is right where it should be, in my opinion of course. If you stink, you get torched. If you are good, you can smother your opponents.
11. The AI, in EASHL, on defense does a lot of good things. Poking, bumping, getting the puck loose.


1. Goaltenders too often let "tricklers" through. I get it when there is a tip or deflection and they cannot react in time, but when the puck is going 3 mph they should be able to recover and make saves and/or cover the puck. I have seen a few instances where (for us or against us) pucks sneak through that makes the goalies look really weak.
2. Speaking of skill gaps and interceptions...hopefully in the future there is a timing/meter/mechanic/something that makes one timers more difficult. Simply pressing up on the RS is lame. If the goal is to make a challenging game to master then this needs addressed at some point. Maybe force people to hold LT, pull back, and then flick forward, in time, is a good idea? Make these shots more manual? In hockey speak, one timers are really difficult to master. Maybe a middle ground can be reached? I hope everyone wants to discuss this further.
3. Special Teams. So, I am going to say this harshly and I apologize but it needs to be said. Running a powerplay where your guys always have to move, where you can be too aggressive on the PK, where the strategies are old and archaic, where your players stand in the strangest spots, where it seems like there is less flow than even strength, is terrible. When you watch PP's in live hockey, you see one of the main objectives is to force the defense to move to open up shooting lanes and even killer passes. This is one time where PASSIVE defense should be the way to go. The offence has an extra guy for Pete's sake. It feels, to me, like being on the PP really isn't a reward. You can be hyper aggressive on D. This should not be viable. If you are really aggressive with 1 less man, usually, you get destroyed fairy quickly. Taking a penalty is just that...a penalty.
4. Have yet to post it but when you try to pull up in the offensive zone the game defaults to facing the center of the ice. Either let us toggle that or remove it and base pull up direction on your momentum. I would prefer a toggle much like auto-back-skating.
5. I will always maintain the hustle button is dumb. Sorry but having an "extra gear" should only be able to be used once/twice a game. You are exerting more energy than usual. You cannot keep that up in perpetuity. Perhaps an aggregate stamina bar that depletes over time would be better? By the third period you only have 1/2 left so you are forced to be wiser with when you use it? Perhaps create a skill gap/intelligence to it?
6. The Ai, in EASHL, on defense does a bad job tying up in front. Let too many guys open that they can cover in the danger zone. If you are a forward and truly beat a defender, then awesome and way to be. But if you didn't earn that space, you should not be rewarded with the AI not tying you up and allowing passes through.
7. The Ai, in EASHL, on offense is really bad with passing and decision making. When they are pressured, they almost refuse to make close, support passes. They will curl and wiggle and eventually skate themselves into trouble.
8. The menu system is way too complicated and it takes way too long to navigate it. Why are they cloud based? They are slow and clunky. Really dislike them.


If you are allowing a lot of cross-crease goals (from my experience so far)...then you are doing something wrong and need to get better. Sorry to say it that way but I have yet to play a game where it was a cross-crease fest. Sure, it happens, but that is hockey. If the score is 9-7 consistently for you then I am afraid to say your defensive, two-way play is poor and you need to forget the old meta. I do not share the hate for interceptions in this game. If you play a responsible two-way game and cover your man properly, they will not bury you with this. They made it so if you are not facing the puck this year it is hard to pick passes off...the way it should be.

I will be uploading videos soon once I have time. In the meantime, let's talk about this stuff.


  • Great post man. We’ve already had some great discussions about this stuff so hop on in and keep them going.

    We’ll see if online 21 turns into 20.2 in a week like the offline experience now has.
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