EA Sports NHL 11 is Out Now!

So NHL 11, the new hockey game by EA Sports, has been officially released to the world as of … right… now. If you’re like me, you either pre-ordered it weeks ago (like last year) or are planning to pick it up today at Best Buy immediately after work. Over the past decade, I’ve bought the game religiously on the first day of its release. And at first play every year, I’ll pick up the controller, sit through the opening credits, love the new gameplay and then get childishly furious at one of the minor details that are off. You know, like the rosters will be wrong (i.e.- Nicklas Backstrom‘s on Brynäs IF of the Swedish Elite League but not on Washington), Green Day will be on the soundtrack (ugh), or the PA Announcer repeatedly mispronounces Alexander Semin‘s name (the really, really wrong way).

Anyways, if you share in my excitement, let’s try something fun this year, shall we? If you’re going into the store and buying the game today, I encourage all of you to take pictures and tell us all about your first experience with the game in the comments below or on the hashtag #RMNBNHL11. And please, please complain about any minor thing that’s off. Like we’re a bunch of pedantic beta testers.

Let’s see how this goes, but try and make me proud. I’ll even give a free t-shirt to somebody if they come up with something truly epic. Like submitting a photo of yourself doing the hot stick celebration with the game box or checking the GameStop employee over the counter. Game on!

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  • FedFed

    I haven’t a PS3 or Xbox 🙁 So i’ll update the rosters and continue to win 20-0 vs the Penguins.

  • Brandocash

    For the best deal today, go to Target. You get a $10 gift card when you buy NHL 11!

  • Peter Hassett

    Ian’s opinion regarding Green Day does not necessarily reflect the views of other RMNB writers.

  • Really, Peter? I mean the early stuff is great. But everything after American Idiot is a little ehhhhhhh.

  • Mill Burray

    I’m picking up the game on my way home from work, but I did a little research about the roster and figured I’d share.

    The Top five Capitals:
    Ovi 94
    Baskstrom 89
    Mike Green 85
    Semin 85
    Varly 84

    Overall I’m pretty pleased with the ratings this year. Backstrom is rated where he belongs – among the other elite players. Green and Semin are both solid 85s. Finally Ovechkin is the highest rated player in the game as the only 94. Crosby is the only 93. Malkin, Datsyuk, and Iginla are 92s.

  • Mill Burray

    A few more of the “higher” rated players. I think Flash could be an 83, but everyone else looks about right.

    Laich 82
    Knuble 82
    Schultz 82
    Flash 81
    Chimera 81

  • Peter Hassett

    Hasn’t Green Day made only one album since American Idiot? I didn’t like their most recent one either.

  • Salvatore

    Somethings I noticed while playing NHL 11

    When playing a season with the Caps before every game they show the Presidents Trophy banner being raised. Was kinda nice for the home opener but it does it before all the home games.
    The announcers are still talking about the 08-09 Capitals home game attendence. Backstrom still has short hair. B Mo,S Mo,Walker and Theo are still on the team. Alzner is still on Hershey. On xbox if you score with Ovie and hold the left analog towards the boards and press A he jumps into the boards

  • Mill Burray

    Anyone else playing? It’s been a blast so far. Aside from the major changes that many fans of the franchise are aleady aware of (physics, passing, face offs, broken sticks), I’ve noticed this version of NHL flows more like a real hockey game than NHL10 ever did.

    I’ve only played a handful of games, but I have noticed that more time is spent in the neutral zone and it’s a bit harder to maintain possession. The AI is more adept to intercept a pass or knock a player off the puck, causing many more small battles for the puck. With first line guys like Backstrom and Ovi, who possess fantastic “puck grabbing” abilities, I found that I was able to keep the puck in the offensive zone for extended periods of time even if my initial scoring chance or chances failed.

  • Mill Burray

    Salvatore is correct about the incorrect roster. I’ve heard (and I’m hoping) that EA updates the roster on the first day of the season.

    Backstrom doesn’t have a generic face anymore (Yay!), but it would be a stretch to say that his game model bares a likeliness to him. At least he doesn’t have a shaved head anymore. His blond (sorta) curly hair stops halfway down his neck and his face could be just about anyone with a baby face.

    On the plus side, Backis has some awesome velocity behind his wrist shot now.

  • Matt

    I’m of the opinion that when playing sports games arena/stadium authenticity is highly important. Some people may share that view…others not so much. When I play of course the game play is priority #1, but beyond that, I love stadiums and arenas being replicated to pretty outstanding detail.

    EA Sports is continually killing me with this aspect of the NHL series. The scoreboard in Verizon Center is still the blue piece of junk that’s been long removed from the Phone Booth. A new arena this year in Pittsburgh? Hardly. It’s the same arena as last year (their replicated Mellon Arena) with some new Console Energy Center logos slapped at center ice.

    Can we get some graphic enhancements to the arenas next year, please? And if we could get the NHL ones down to a T (since they don’t change THAT much from year to year), then let’s start moving onto the AHL ones, instead of having them all play in a generic arena. I mean if they can throw hundreds of college stadiums into the NCAA Football series, I believe they can handle 60 for the two major North American pro leagues.

    One minor thing that bugged me last season seems to be somewhat fixed. That was the goal horn. Whatever Washington’s was last year, it was nowhere close to the real horn/siren in DC. This year, it’s at least close to the real thing, despite only one turn of the siren.

  • Matt

    Oh and replicating AHL arenas like the ones in Lake Erie (Cleveland), San Antonio, Houston, Oklahoma City, Charlotte, and Milwaukee shouldn’t be hard, as they all share arenas with NBA teams and I would think you could take a baseline design from NBA Live (which is becoming the NBA Elite series this year).

    Andddd…if you notice while playing. All AHL teams play in a generic arena except…..Norfolk. The Scope is actually replecated pretty well in the game. It’s the only real AHL arena in the game.