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NHL 09: Tips for Earning Your Legend Card Online

Yes that's right, earning, as opposed to boosting, win-trading or whatever else people like to call the form of cheating that is commonly used to secure the game's precious attribute points.

Here at Operation Sports, we assume that our audience is above cheating; that they, like us, embark down the path for the legend card with the expectation that the journey itself -- the stories gathered from overtime victories, dominating shutouts and thrilling come-from-behind victories -- will be worth more than any amount of superficial "experience points."

Statistical Requirements


To obtain your legend card, you first have to acquire each of the game's previous cards.

These cards can be obtained by reaching certain "games played" milestones while also maintaining a required overall player rating:

Rookie Card (+3 attribute points)

  • Complete 1 game online
  • Maintain at least a C- grade overall

Pro Card (+4 attribute points)

  • Complete 20 games online
  • Maintain at least a C grade overall

Veteran Card (+4 attribute points)

  • Complete 65 games online
  • Maintain at least a B- grade overall

Superstar Card (+4 attribute points)

  • Complete 105 games online
  • Maintain at least a B grade overall

Legend Card (+5 attribute points)

  • Complete 150 games online
  • Maintain at least an A- grade overall

 

Which Position To Play?


While it is certainly possible to maintain an A- overall rating from any of the five skating positions, some are undoubtedly easier to score high marks in than others.

A defenseman, for instance, should earn an easy A for positioning and team play just about every game, provided that he is locking down his portion of the ice, dumping the puck out of the zone whenever possible and keeping a close eye on his turnovers.

Centers also have an excellent chance of scoring two easy A grades per game by roaming the interior of the ice, winning a high percentage of their faceoffs and maintaining a high pass-completion percentage.


Playing as a center with a high faceoff rating is a great way to boost your team play score.
Source: Games32.com


Wingers definitely require the most skill to maintain high grades simply because they cannot boost their team play ratings by doing simple things like winning faceoffs or clearing pucks. Instead, they have to rely on the riskier loose-puck dekes to get that extra team play boost. Even the positioning grade is harder for wingers to maintain because the game often penalizes wingers for filling open lanes simply because they are not on "their side" of the ice.

Explaining the Three Performance Ratings


Positioning

Maintaining an A for a player’s position rating is as easy as following the direction of the blue arrow whenever it pops up on screen to indicate that the player is (allegedly) out of position.

I say "allegedly" because forwards will often find that the best spacing actually runs contrary to what the blue arrow is indicating on screen. However, if a player is simply playing the game to secure a high position rating, it is best to follow the blue arrow at all times regardless of how wrong it might occasionally be.

Team Play

Here is where things start to get complicated. Rather than mull over each individual action that can influence a player’s team play rating, simply refer to this list of positives and negatives to figure out what can increase or decrease a player’s cumulative team play score in a given game:

Positives

+ Winning faceoffs
+ Completing passes
+ Calling for good passes
+ Taking "good shots" (generally, those that are taken from high percentage areas, and those that end up finding the net)
+ Successful loose-puck dekes (performed with the left bumper + right stick)
+ Clearing the puck out of the defensive zone (anytime, not just on power plays)
+ Starting "good fights" (usually right after your team has gone down two or more goals)
+ Creating screened goals


Team play rating holding you back from making the next Be a Pro milestone? Look over some of these crucial dos and do nots to get your overall rating to where it needs to be.
Source:Gamespot


Negatives

- Losing faceoffs
- Turnovers
- Calling for bad passes (those that lead to turnovers)
- Taking penalties
- Causing an offside penalty
- Unsuccessful loose-puck dekes
- Causing screened goals (the announcers will usually call you out during the replay)
- Being out of position during an allowed goal (see above)

Stats

This is another fairly easy category to explain since the rating is simply determined by a few key areas:

  • Goals - Just one is usually enough to get an A rating. It’s unclear if game-winning goals count more than normal ones, but there is a separate stat for them under the performance tracker.
  • Assists - For defensemen, one is usually enough for an A rating. For forwards, it often takes two assists to earn the all-important A.
  • Plus/Minus rating - Basically, the rating is calculated by subtracting the amount of goals allowed from the amount of goals scored in the time that teams were playing even strength. Also, goals scored while you are in the penalty box do not count for or against you.
  • Hits - It is important to note that these usually only get tallied if you are hitting the puck carrier directly or if you are hitting a player who just gave up the puck on a shot/pass. Hits that lead to penalties also do not seem to register.


Club or OTP games?


Of course, even if a player knows what he needs to do on the ice to maintain a high rating, sometimes his opponents are simply so good that it is next to impossible for the player and his teammates to have a good game -- whether it be on the scoreboard or on the stat sheet.

For that reason, it seems that it is often easier to maintain high marks in OTP (online team play) community games, as opposed to the more competitive EASHL (EA Sports Hockey League) club games.

In community games there is a higher chance of getting to play in full six vs. six matchups. These are great for creating high scoring, "everybody wins" type games because most human players (especially the human goalies) commit more mistakes than the game's A.I. players.


Hit the Ice


So there you have it NHL 09 fans. You have had all season long to get your required number of games in (150), so now is the time to make that final push and get those grades up to the all-important "A-" overall rating.

The reward, while small in terms of attribute points, is something that I think you will find well worth it because of the many great moments that the "chase for the legend card" often leads to in the NHL 09 online arena.


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Member Comments
# 1 Qb @ 05/07/09 10:10 AM
I think playing as a D-man is the best way to reach an A- legitimately. It is certainly possible playing other positions, but much more difficult. After patch 2, dominating in faceoffs is much more difficult, making center a less viable option. I can usually keep my % around 50, but I rarely get into the 70+ range like I could before the second update.

But in the month after it, I was an A- playing center exclusively in EASHL play (you can sort stats by month/week in the community skaters leaderboard). Of course, we were rolling over former juicers and those who couldn't grasp the concept of interference almost every game...
 
# 2 seasprite @ 05/07/09 10:56 AM
Regardless of whether you want to play D (which is the easiest way) or any other position, the most important thing about obtaining your legend card is to NOT PLAY random OTP games. Find a club or make one yourself and start playing smart hockey. In random OTP it is pretty hard to get A- at least from my experience. I stopped playing random OTP and just played with my club and I got my legend pretty quickly. Just my 2 cents
 
# 3 jyoung @ 05/07/09 01:43 PM
I think it all depends on how good your club is and how good the competition is that you're going up against.

And unless you're on a good, coordinated club, playing in the mid-lower divisions, I think OTP games are a little easier to earn high marks in.
 
# 4 Lubey @ 05/07/09 05:52 PM
I got my Legend card as a wing, and you pretty much have to pass it right away to avoid turnovers, which KILL your team play. You also need to average 1-2 points per game. That's how I got mine. Turnovers were the hardest thing to overcome.
 
# 5 Qb @ 05/08/09 08:37 AM
Yep, turnovers are the biggest obstacle. That's why it's usually easier on D; you have the puck less, so you turn it over less.
 
# 6 pjpants @ 05/08/09 09:40 AM
its brutal because i take way too many chances with the puck when im drinking and it kills my stats, but whenever i come home with a few beers in me i have to play. i neeeeeed to
 
# 7 Qb @ 05/08/09 09:47 AM
DISCLAIMER: Operation Sports neither condones, promotes nor endorses drinking & skating.
 
# 8 Lubey @ 05/08/09 12:10 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qb
DISCLAIMER: Operation Sports neither condones, promotes nor endorses drinking & skating.
Can I start a beer league?
 
# 9 Qb @ 05/08/09 01:23 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lubey
Can I start a beer league?
Can I play?
 
# 10 Lubey @ 05/08/09 02:56 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by LegendX
Yeah, Defense is definitely the easiest to keep an A-. Position is an easy A, Team play is an easy B+/A if you play smart and Stats just depends on if you can get a point or keep your +/- high during a game.

Had zero points in a game but +/- of four and I finished with A+/A/A-

Jeez. I couldn't keep my team play up (I was a scorer though so I turned it over a lot). I think I finished with A/B+/A+
 
# 11 Lubey @ 05/08/09 04:51 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qb
Can I play?
Anyone over 21 can play.
 
# 12 jyoung @ 05/10/09 02:37 PM
This is not true at all, as I was able to make the A- grade playing OTP games exclusively with strangers, using a variety of positions including C (first preference), LD (second preference), and LW (third preference).

Yes, your success is always somewhat dependent on the team around you, but of the three rating categories (positioning, team play, and stats), the only one of the three categories your teammates should ever affect is stats, which is a fairly easy category to keep at a high rating so long as you are halfway decent at the game.

I actually found that the times my rating suffered the most was in the club games, but that's just because friends, as much as I like playing with them, just aren't that good at the game; furthermore, because none of us are interested in abusing cheese tactics, we usually get dominated by the midget teams and glitch goalers that run rampant across the EASHL lobbies.

So yes, you can have success in club games if you have a full team of great NHL 09 players, but for the average NHL 09 player, who probably isn't a part of an amazing club, OTP games are likely the easiest route to take for getting that A- grade.
 
# 13 seasprite @ 05/11/09 12:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by wEEman33
This is not true at all, as I was able to make the A- grade playing OTP games exclusively with strangers, using a variety of positions including C (first preference), LD (second preference), and LW (third preference).

Yes, your success is always somewhat dependent on the team around you, but of the three rating categories (positioning, team play, and stats), the only one of the three categories your teammates should ever affect is stats, which is a fairly easy category to keep at a high rating so long as you are halfway decent at the game.

I actually found that the times my rating suffered the most was in the club games, but that's just because friends, as much as I like playing with them, just aren't that good at the game; furthermore, because none of us are interested in abusing cheese tactics, we usually get dominated by the midget teams and glitch goalers that run rampant across the EASHL lobbies.

So yes, you can have success in club games if you have a full team of great NHL 09 players, but for the average NHL 09 player, who probably isn't a part of an amazing club, OTP games are likely the easiest route to take for getting that A- grade.
I could not disagree more with most of this post. #1 Your teamplay stats are indeed dependant on what you do and also with how your teammates play. If you have a powerplay and no one scores, that is a negative on your teamplay. Also if your defense makes stupid passes close to you, you also take a hit for a turnover. If you have half way decent players on your club, it is 100 times easier to obtain your legend card than it is in random OTP. Congrats on obtaining yours in this mode, but I would be willing to bet that you are one of few that have been able to playing among the idiot demographic that is random OTP.
 

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