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Fun with ratings: taking a look at the best (and worst) of NHL '11

Sep 7, 2010, 8:00 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for crosbyovechkinbattlew.jpgHockey video games will always have some wonky player ratings. For one thing, it’s human nature. These things are also almost exclusively subjective.

Years ago, long-washed-up players would still be given the benefit of the doubt (I remember players such as Eric Lindros were great long after their eggs were scrambled beyond effectiveness in real-life). A Stanley Cup ring will make an otherwise goalie just a little too good.

Still, for the most part, game companies get it right. If nothing else, player ratings are an interesting barometer of how a player is perceived. Since NHL ’11 arrived in video game stores on midnight, I thought it might be a good time to take a look at some of the ratings. (Note: these ratings are based on the first roster update found online)

  • Washington Capitals fans rejoice: Alex Ovechkin is a 94 while Sidney Crosby is a 93.
  • American hockey fans can rejoice as well: Ryan Miller is the best goalie in the game at 91. Martin Brodeur is out of the 90’s for the first time in more than a decade (I’d guess) at a still-pretty-good 88.
  • Zdeno Chara is the game’s highest rated defenseman at 89. Robyn Regehr clocks in at an 88 while a handful of D (including Duncan Keith, Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Pronger and Drew Doughty) are almost there at 87.
  • Mason Raymond earns the highest speed rating in the game at 95. Conversely, a handful of players earn the lowest (NHL-level) speed rating of 70, yet somehow Hal Gill isn’t in that group (he’s at 75).
  • Chara earns what I would guess is a perfect body checking rating of 99 (I’ve never seen a 100 rating).
  • As great as Chara is, I’m not sure he really is more defensively aware as Nicklas Lidstrom, even if this is the height of nitpicking. Still, Chara takes that category with a 95 over Lidstrom’s 93.
  • Now that Rod Brind’amour retired, Manny Malhotra is the crowned king of video game faceoffs with a 94 rating.
  • I’ve never seen EA list “hand-eye coordination” as a rating until this year. Alex Ovechkin narrowly takes the category with a 94 rating.
  • Sidney Crosby, Marian Gaborik and Ovechkin are tied for the most accurate wrist shot in the game at 95.

So those are some of the more interesting ratings in NHL ’11. What are some of the most and least accurate ratings? Should Ovechkin be better than Crosby? Is Ryan Miller worthy of the highest goalie rating? Feel free to discuss these and other matters in the comments.

  1. NYRFTW - Sep 7, 2010 at 10:45 PM

    Of course Ovechkin should be rated higher than Crosby. He’s one of the top athletes in all of sports period. There is no question he is the best hockey player. He should be rated a 100, he has no flaws. Who else can pick up a hat trick, 3 assists, get over 10 shots on goal and throw 10+ hits in any given game? Nobody! He is the first hockey player ever with that capibility. Not even players like Lindros, Gretzky, Mario, Howe could do what he does. He really is one of the top athletes in all of sports. No cups yet, but that’s a team thing, not an individual one! He can win 10 or 0 he’s still going to be the most dominating/dynamic player ever. There is no hockey player to date to compare him to. The reason why I hate the game is because it’s not realistic. Somehow a player like Patrick Kane can make Ovechkin do a back flip when he hits him. That game is a joke!!!! Why spend 60 bucks on that garbage when Blackops is coming out in November? Go Rangers!!!

  2. Gianthatr - Sep 7, 2010 at 11:10 PM

    Wow a Rangers fan that doesn’t bash Ovie…I’m impressed…I just assume everyone else bashes him outside of DC here. We are seeing one of the greatest players to ever play bar none. Sid has his way and Ovie has his. Sid cries and Ovie takes questionable runs at people. To each his own. The both are awesome players I just prefer Ovie’s bang bang style.
    Back to the game…
    Think of the Patrick Kane hit as Ovie just missing his…We’ve all seen Ovie take a run and just barely miss and check himself. He does it a couple times a year. It’s not like Kane is constantly able to check Ovie like that the whole game.
    Ryan Miller does deserve the highest goalie rating…Guy single handily made Buffalo relevant.
    Can’t wait for the Caps this year…This has got to be the year.

  3. Sad - Sep 8, 2010 at 1:10 PM

    Luongo is a better goalie then Miller

  4. VomitONluongo - Sep 8, 2010 at 8:48 PM

    I respectfully disagree.

  5. Hockrock - Sep 8, 2010 at 8:54 PM

    How does Chara get a better rating than the above mentioned? DK and Lidstrom are the top two defensemen in the league period. And Robyn Regher? That guy isn’t exactly a high end defenseman let alone being mentioned in the same sentence as those guys is almost silly!

  6. Dingo - Sep 9, 2010 at 10:41 AM

    Rangers suck. Yes, I would bet “Blackops” is far more realistic that NHL 11. As of yet neither crosby nor ovechkin can hold gretzky’s jock. he was more comparatively dominant in his time and far more productive 5 on 5, PP, PK, so much so that they had to change the rules to slow down his scoring (a rule since taken out of the game to make it easier for sid and ovie)

  7. qwertyuiop - Sep 27, 2010 at 5:35 PM

    ovie best player in the league, correct, ryan miller best goalie, correct, chara best defensmen, correct, brodeur should be higher robyn regeher should be way lower, and everyone should be rated higher like the other games such as madden were the best players are 99. . ovie and crosby who are no question best players in the league should be 98 or 99 and everyone else should be higher like datsyuk a 94 or 95. henrik sedin had a great year but should be lower then a 91. top 5 players are ovie crosby datsyuk nash and kovalchuk in that order. toews should not be higher then kane especially 2 overall points. lecalvier needs to go way down to like an 84 and should not be higher then stamkos who is the best player on the team now. mike green should be a lot higher, top 5 defensmen in the league.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1825)
  2. P. Kane (1510)
  3. M. Richards (1325)
  4. P. Datsyuk (1316)
  5. N. Backstrom (1182)