Last year's Crease Control feature put you between the pipes to make those big saves by matching up targets in slow-mo. Crease Control is back, of course, along with a couple of new features. Pressure Control allows you to select an opponent during gameplay and sic your teammates on him. As you increase the pressure, your teammates will check your targeted opponent more vigorously. You can also execute drop passes with the right bumper, sliding the puck between your legs and on to the stick of a trailing skater.
With the return of all the old features, such as On-the-Fly coaching and Pro Control, we hardly felt like we had time to pay attention to Pressure Control. Serious strategists, however, may enjoy the added complexity. For the clueless, there is a series of tutorials designed to familiarize you with all these features.
All of the old game modes are back, including three new mini-games for quick and accessible multi-player challenges. Franchise mode has been updated to reflect the changes made to the NHL by the CBA. Also new in Franchise mode are rivalries. Each team has three major and three minor rivals. Games against your team's rivals are more intense - the fans are more pumped up and the players are more physical. Beating your rivals ups you're team chemistry, so it's worthwhile to focus on those games. Rivalries will change throughout the season, or throughout multiple seasons, as tensions either increase or decrease.