The second set of Dynamic Duos released a couple days ago, but we did not really get much of a notification from EA unless you turned on NHL 20. That perhaps has something to do with the holiday weekend, albeit the game is made in Canada, but still it seems like a missed opportunity as this is the best event the EA NHL team has run this cycle.
Regardless, we wrote about the masters and first set of Dynamic Duos here, so let’s talk about the second set now.
This time around, let’s start with the best overall card released, the 91 overall David Pastrnak.
With 99 overall speed, solid shooting stats, very good deking and hand-eye, and reasonable enough defensive stats, Pastrnak is just about the ideal winger. He’s maybe a little taller than some like, but he still has a slight frame, is going to be good at making plays, getting back on defense and finishing chances. He does not quite reach the level of the masters from the set, but he’s right there otherwise for best card in this event.
The other half of the Bruins duo, Bergeron has mid 90s speed, mid 80s shooting numbers, but the big thing here is 98 faceoffs. He becomes one of the best true centers in the game when mixing in his other solid stats with the 98 faceoffs and solid defensive attributes. He’s got good size and his general hand-eye and offensive awareness means he can deflect shots on top of setting others up for finishes.
Giroux comes in just a little behind Bergeron for similar reasons. His top-end speed is even a little bit better, and overall Giroux is a more dynamic and dangerous offensive player. However, his defensive stats are not quite there, and he’s a little smaller than Bergeron. You want Giroux out on the power-play and for any scoring line, but he’s not who you necessarily want out there for defensive purposes, beyond winning the defensive zone faceoff.
Dougie Hamilton stands out first and foremost because of the 6-foot-6 frame to go with the quality overall speed. He doesn’t have top-end shooting, and overall I think this card would be less impressive if he didn’t have the obvious physical attributes. He will be a good puck mover and will be able to get up and down the ice, but I just don’t love this card overall. He’s not quite a shutdown defender and doesn’t have any other overwhelming strengths.
Mantha is another one of those cards where I have to call out his 6-foot-5 frame before anything else. He doesn’t have the top-tier speed of some other wingers, but he’s not slow either. He’s got some power to his shot, but I don’t think he will be an amazing threat in front of the net. If you like controlling the puck, you’ll probably like this card, but he’s a little underwhelming after looking past his size, much like Hamilton.
Voracek has quality speed and should generally be a tank on the puck, even at just 6-foot-2. He fits into the Giroux duo in that they’re both offense-oriented players who may get a little outclassed when they don’t dominate possession. I like this card for what it is, but with an 88 overall I think you’re looking for a more well-rounded card.
Suter is a little slower than he used to be, and this is not a card that is going to be amazing on offense in general. The card fits Suter overall though in that it’s mostly unimpressive, but it’s also not going to be a glaring issue anywhere either. He’s not who I want on my top defensive pairing, but I’ll take him on my team.
Nylander is another offense-oriented pick. His appeal is more the fun that can be had on the puck, and via passing and deking, rather than his shooting or strength on the puck. With 90 faceoffs, he’s someone who can move to center if need be, and that should not be overlooked in terms of versatility.
Larkin has the speed, but he’s like Nylander where there might not be enough elsewhere to take full advantage of the speed. That being said, 92 faceoffs is plenty good enough to stick at center, and his offensive awareness is good enough to get some deflections after dishing off the puck to some of your scorers.
Parise fits the Suter duo in that he’s another all-around solid player who doesn’t stand out too much one way or another. I think he’s more well rounded than some of the other players hovering in his 86 overall area, and in general, I think he’s a good fit on most types of rosters.
Eronen is one of the weirder cards in the whole event in that he’s a very fast defenseman, but he’s only 5-foot-9 and 174 pounds. I don’t think I can endorse him purely due to that alone. His defensive attributes are not special either, so really he’s a break starter, but after taking it from blue line to blue line you kind of just want him to pass the puck and get out of the way.
Nikkila is his duo partner, and he has the same solid speed and size issues. He’s a little bit more of an offensive threat than Eronen, but in some respects even more of a liability on defense. Overall, this would be a tough combo to make work even with the quality speed.
Thomas is a speed demon who actually looks like he will be a decent shooter, but he can be knocked off the puck and only has an 86 faceoffs rating. That being said, this might be one of those cards that is fun to throw at people who don’t follow the game as closely as they might be thrown off by his shot and speed at first.
Tomasino completes the duo, and here you have the same top-end speed and decent shooting stats. He’s actually slightly better at faceoffs than Thomas, and overall this could be a fun budget duo to use once the promo quiets down a little. They might get body checked into oblivion here and there, but they also could create some great chances going against other third and fourth liners.
We’re down to the cards you would most likely be disappointed to get in a pack, at least if we’re talking about cards in this promo. Nothing is really impressive about this Johnsson card, and the Leafs duo is a bit of a bust overall.
We get our first goalie of the event, and I guess it makes sense he duos with another goalie. With goalies, it’s just go with who you like and trust. The ratings only mean so much at times, and so it’s hard to really judge one from another in many respects. I just wonder how much the “boost” you get matters when teaming Greiss up with Varlamov.
Everything stated for Greiss applies to Varlamov as well.
Slavin completes the Dougie Hamilton duo, and he’s another big body who won’t be a massive threat on offense. He does not have the same skating prowess of Hamilton, and that’s a shame because he doesn’t really provide any big strength that Hamilton doesn’t already have either. But he does at least shoot left handed so it’s easy to play them together.