|NHL 10 builds on its acclaimed predecessor with over 200 refinements to the play mechanics. The passing system now lets you influence a puck's speed and direction a full 360° around your skater. More dramatic ways to score are possible, from shots on one's knees to batting a puck in the air before sending it into the net. Goaltenders have been redesigned to read and react to the puck more efficiently, with 250 new animations for added variety during save attempts. Athletes subjected to punishing defensemen will feel the wear and tear over time, bobbling passes, showing fatigue, and losing composure. When it's time for the gloves to come off, you'll witness the rough-and-tumble action from a new first-person fighting perspective. Other changes include enhanced crowd atmosphere; post-whistle checks and fights; in-game facial animations; and revamped board interactions.
New game types are introduced along with retooled versions of NHL 09's play modes. The EA Sports Hockey League is back with a significant change in its structure: seasons are now monthly, allowing for more winners in a choice of formats. Various equipment upgrades can also be unlocked as you progress. One new play option is "Battle for the Puck," which has you and a friend vying for the Stanley Cup. Injuries, key match-ups, and in-game stories will persist over the course of the series. Season mode now supports multiple players, letting you or your friends take control of all teams in the league. Fantasy drafts are included, and you can play a season with a created team, the AHL, or European Leagues. "Be a GM" mode tracks the important decisions you make throughout multiple seasons, including trades, waiver pick-ups, draft picks, and more.