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Strategy Guide
NHL 10: Scoring Strategies

If there’s one area where NHL 2K10 significantly outperforms NHL 10, it’s in the variety-of-goals department. NHL 10, while fun to play, really limits the ways you’re able to generate goals. So hockey fans who pick up the game and try to replicate the kinds of scoring strategies they see on TV might have issues earning wins at first.

Fact is, if players wants to score consistently in NHL 10, they have to drop some of those real-life strategies (scoring off clean shots) and lean a bit more on the side of “video-game strategy.”

So with that in mind, here are some ways to consistently score in NHL 10.

Rebound Goals


For beginning players, the easiest way light the lamp in NHL 10 is by putting the puck on net and having a teammate swoop in to clean up the rebound while the goalie is still recovering from the first save. Pulling off a successful rebound goal comes down to two factors:

  • shot location
  • teammate positioning

The shooter will always want to aim low and away to generate a rebound that bounces towards the middle of the ice; however, knowing when to unleash the shot can be just as important as knowing where to place it.


Geometry 101: the shot usually comes off the goalie's pads at the same angle it hits; plan your shot accordingly.


Ideally, you want to shoot the puck a stride or two after your teammate crosses the blue line. This way he will be hitting the crease right as the puck comes off the goalie’s pads. Once you get the timing down, the rebound becomes one of the easiest ways to create scoring chances in NHL 10.

Deflections/Screens


For whatever reason, the default "screen effect" in NHL 10 is significantly lower than what it was last year, so screen goals are much less prevalent overall than they were in NHL 09. To compensate, NHL 10 adds several new animations for deflections, including some that let you "bat in" pucks that are hanging in mid-air.

Unfortunately, since all the deflection animations are randomly generated, there’s not much a player can do to generate a tipped shot besides facing the shooter (by holding the left trigger/L2) and keeping his stick in the shooting lane.


Forget about trying to screen the goalie -- deflections are NHL 10's tactic of choice in front of the net.


If you’re going for a deflection (and you should be, since screens are so hard to get now), it’s important to position yourself on the outside of the shooting lane so that the puck does not wind up hitting your player and never reaching the goal.

Dekes


Like many things in NHL 10, the effectiveness of your dekes depends largely on your player rating. Generally speaking, a player with a deke rating in the range of 80-85 should be able to fake a goalie out with one or two simple dekes. For players with lower ratings, more dekes are often necessary to get the goalie out of position and open up a shooting lane.

Obviously, most deke chances come off breakaways and penalty shots, so depending on your angle of approach, here are a few moves that will help you get the goalie out of position:

Coming in from a 45 degree angle

  • Penalty shot

    Move: Spin-o-rama, backhand deke, forehand shot

    Controls: Hold the left trigger, move the right stick in a half circle from left to right, release the left trigger, flick the right stick backhand side, then bring it back forehand side and press up for the shot.
  • Breakaway

    Move: Wrist shot fake, backhand shot

    Controls: Click the right stick in (R3), then bring the right stick across your skater's body and flick up for the shot.


Coming right at the goalie

  • Penalty Shot

    Move: Stick flip forehand, backhand deke, forehand shot

    Controls: Hold the right stick out on your forehand side, then drag the right stick downward in a quarter-circle motion, flick the right stick backhand side, bring it back forehand side and press up for the shot.
  • Breakaway

    Move: Backhand deke, forehand shot

    Controls: Flick the right stick to your backhand side, then in one motion bring the stick back to the forehand side and press up for the shot.


With a little practice, you should be able to pull off the more complicated penalty-shot dekes with some consistency. But to get the simplified breakaway moves to work, it’s all about two things:

  • your deke rating
  • timing the deke

Timing is something you just have to get a feel for, but as a general rule, it’s best to start your deke as you come across the hash marks.

While a high deke rating can cover up bad timing (and vice versa), if you have got both bases covered, you should be converting a pretty high percentage of your breakaway opportunities (at least half) into goals.

One-Timers


Since its introduction in NHL 94, the one-timer has been a high percentage scoring tactic in EA hockey games. While the removal of tape-to-tape passing makes it a bit more difficult to generate one-timer goals in NHL 10, if you can make the pass, the actual shot will go in more times than not.

Simply let your teammate bring the puck out wide, then skate along -- forming a right triangle between your teammate and the opposite post -- for an easy one-timer opportunity.


Let the puck carrier skate out beyond the near post, then evenly line yourself up with the far post for an easy one-timer.

When finishing the one-timer, try to aim your shot at one of three places:

  • near-side top shelf
  • five hole
  • low opposite corner

With proper positioning, the one timer makes for a great tactic against defenses that over pursue the puck carrier during an odd-man rush; however, if teams start playing the pass and guarding against the one-timer, the puck carrier might want to think about shooting low at the goalie’s pads to generate a "bank pass" for a rebound goal.


It may not always be pretty, but with goalies still being as superhuman as ever in NHL 10, sometimes you have to think like a video game to score in a video game.

Got any other great scoring strategies that are not covered here? Feel free to share them in the comment box below.


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Member Comments
# 1 Hova57 @ 11/11/09 12:31 PM
Def will be trying these out . i figured out the rebound goal , but the others are welcome addition
 
# 2 asu666 @ 11/11/09 01:38 PM
Nice guide. I'm loving NHL 10 this year after feeling NHL 2K9 was the better game last year.
 
# 3 Bolts_26 @ 11/11/09 02:21 PM
Nice article, man!

Definitely having trouble in my BAP (6 points in 20 games) so I will try these out and see if I can get my guy going!
 
# 4 matt8204 @ 11/11/09 02:29 PM
Good guide but this is unacceptable to me. '08 and '09 did a much better job of allowing you to score clean goals, which is part of the real NHL. I want this game to be a sim, not a one-timer fest. You should be able to snipe, especially with guys like Kovalchuk and Ovechkin. I hope EA addresses the severe lack of clean goals in a future patch.
 
# 5 wsdp @ 11/11/09 02:39 PM
This is my first time playing the game since probably '05 so I'm learning while having a blast in BAP.

I am using "classic" controls (not the default which is this year's tougher version from what I can grasp) and can't figure out how to execute a one timer which I'd like to figure out as my BAP is a Defenseman.

Can anyone provide assistance? I play on the PS3.
 
# 6 jyoung @ 11/11/09 02:46 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by matt8204
Good guide but this is unacceptable to me. '08 and '09 did a much better job of allowing you to score clean goals, which is part of the real NHL. I want this game to be a sim, not a one-timer fest. You should be able to snipe, especially with guys like Kovalchuk and Ovechkin. I hope EA addresses the severe lack of clean goals in a future patch.
Agreed 100%.

I'd love to see more clean snipes, but you have to significantly alter the sliders to do it offline, and for those of us who play exclusively online, slider tweaking is not an option.

It's in EA's hands whether or not they can create a solution for online matches.
 
# 7 jyoung @ 11/11/09 02:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by wsdp
This is my first time playing the game since probably '05 so I'm learning while having a blast in BAP.

I am using "classic" controls (not the default which is this year's tougher version from what I can grasp) and can't figure out how to execute a one timer which I'd like to figure out as my BAP is a Defenseman.

Can anyone provide assistance? I play on the PS3.
I haven't tried the classic controls this year, but if it's anything like last year's, you have to press and hold the shot button before you receive the pass to take a one-timer.

So basically, you want to press and hold shoot right after you press pass.
 
# 8 wsdp @ 11/11/09 02:50 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by wEEman33
I haven't tried the classic controls this year, but if it's anything like last year's, you have to press and hold the shot button before you receive the pass to take a one-timer.

So basically, you want to press and hold shoot right after you press pass.
That's how I remember it from NHL '94 controls... I'm actually shooting using the analog sticks right now but you're saying to use the circle button (PS3 - which is the shoot button) and it'll work while using "Classic" controls? Okie, I'll give it a try tonight when I get home. Thanks!
 
# 9 nacnud @ 11/11/09 02:52 PM
Its a shame that most goals happen the same way, really takes away from the game in my opinion and they need to add some variation to it
 
# 10 jyoung @ 11/11/09 04:01 PM
Again though, auto-aim, like sliders, is something we can't use online.

I think most of the guys here who get mad at the lack of clean goals are the guys who play primarily, if not exclusively, online.

Something definitely needs to give with the online portion of the game, whether it's auto-aim or slider tweaks, but it's all in EA's control right now.
 
# 11 matt8204 @ 11/11/09 04:05 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayhawker
I think the guide is great, but the complaints abut no clean goals is pretty unfounded. I think the problem is that far more people here suck at at aiming thatn care to admit it. I absolutely hate having to aim the puck, as it makes it near impossible to get clean goals.

But I use auto-aim for all of my offline games, and I get plenty of clean goals. Brad Boyes will hit his spots far better than Brad Winchester. I feel like this presents a far more realistic game, and forces me to rely on my best players for scoring chances.

When I play online, my scoring takes a hit, and I rely on the tactics in this guide. But I think it is clear that the holes are there if you aim better, becasue the CPU finds them.

I haven't played the 2K game since NHL 2K7, but maybe it just cheats a little more, and is more forgiving in where you aim. Regardless, when I read about these complaints, I always felt like i must be playing a different game. It finally downed on me that I probably am. If EA would bring auto-aim to the online game, I'd actually play more games there.
I respectfully disagree. I'm not the best in terms of shooting accuracy but I think I'm pretty decent. The problem I notice is that the goalies in this game make too many spectacular saves. There have been so many instances where I see some room on the glove side, aim perfectly at that spot, only to see the goalie make an amazing glove save while doing a full split.
 
# 12 Vikes1 @ 11/11/09 04:09 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayhawker
I think the guide is great, but the complaints abut no clean goals is pretty unfounded. I think the problem is that far more people here suck at at aiming thatn care to admit it. I absolutely hate having to aim the puck, as it makes it near impossible to get clean goals.

But I use auto-aim for all of my offline games, and I get plenty of clean goals. Brad Boyes will hit his spots far better than Brad Winchester. I feel like this presents a far more realistic game, and forces me to rely on my best players for scoring chances.
Yep Jay...I'm terrible at aiming my shots.

The only time I score on clean shots is mostly by accident.

The Auto-aim...I wasn't even aware of this option. Or just didn't pay any attention to it. I'll give this a try.

Edit: I'm having trouble finding "Auto aim" in the settings.

Is it also known as CPU Aid?
 
# 13 BleacherCreature @ 11/11/09 04:29 PM
I used auto-aim for the longest time but have since switched to manual and am seeing far more goals than I would have imagined.
Auto seems to like to aim for the logo on the front of the goalie's jersey, which is a save 99.9% of the time.
Since switching to manual I have found I am able to shoot low from the point to allow rebounds, and I can also lift the puck over a sprawling goalie when in close.
Sure some (well, probably most) is luck on my part but it's working well.
The times it doesn't work I am left scratching my head and saying to myself "why didn't I shoot that higher?" or "I can't believe I couldn't slip that inside the far post."
Manual aim has opened up a new world of goals for me.
 
# 14 Vikes1 @ 11/12/09 12:45 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayhawker

Auto-aim is only available in the gameplay options as you start a game. It is not a setting you can set so that it is turned on all the time. That bites, as well.



I just think the complaints abut the lack of clean goals may be misplaced.
Thanks Jay. I'll look for the Auto-aim next time I play.

I do believe theres something to what your saying about scoring clean goals. In fact I scored a few earlier tonight. As I posted earlier...it's pretty tough for me, but...if/when I do aim my shot just right, I have blown a few past cleanly.

I've turned down the shot accuracy for myself and the cpu to 2. And I think it may be actually helping me. By way of my shots at times being off target, just a bit now. Meaning I hit the corners of the goal a few times tonight...rather than the goalies logo. Can't go by just one game...but it did seem pretty encouraging.
 
# 15 jyoung @ 11/12/09 11:49 PM
Correct, it is mostly an online issue.
 
# 16 eeyor @ 11/13/09 01:13 AM
Imho I can't play with auto-aim on...it just makes no sense...this is the same as if I would watch a CPU-vs-CPU match. It takes away one of the last influence channels I have.
 
# 17 ZFarls @ 11/13/09 09:16 AM
Hey man, good article. I miss nhl 09 but haven't put in enough time to get new strategies to score in NHL 10, these should help.

Keep up the good work
ZFarls
 
# 18 PhilliesPride35 @ 11/23/09 02:06 AM
Hey are you guys gonna put something up like you did in 09 for the attribute part of your online character? And for height and weight and such?
 
# 19 juice-box @ 11/27/09 02:10 PM
one thing i find especially online that most goals are being score with the winger comming down the side then cutting to the net and cross crease pass everytime for the onetimer to the open guy on the side of the net..it seems to work about 90% of the time
 
# 20 Fiddy @ 11/27/09 04:34 PM
i dunno.. i just pass, shoot, then score. not to hard guys..
 

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