Friday, February 24, 2012

NHL 12: Build of the Week -- Offensive Defenseman

This week I am featuring a smooth skating offensive defenseman build. Suitable for anything from 3v3 to 6v6.

A link to this build can be found here.

Offensive Defenseman
Legend 3

11" blades
Regular Stick Flex
Lowest Curve

Deking: 72
Hand Eye: 90 (+5)
Off Awareness: 95
Passing: 90 (+5)
Puck Control: 94 (+5)
SS Accuracy: 88 (+5)
SS Power: 80
WS Accuracy: 66
WS Power: 70

Aggression: 57
Body Check: 50
Def Awareness: 94 (+5)
Discipline: 99
Faceoffs: 50
Fighting: 40
Shot Blocking: 65
Stick Check: 94 (+5)

Acceleration: 85 (+8)
Agility: 85 (+8)
Balance: 60
Durability: 60
Endurance: 92
Speed: 85 (+8)
Strength: 52

As expected the offensive side of the puck is the strong suit for the offensive defenseman. This build excels at making crisp breakout passes and has a nice accurate slapper that you can score with from the high slot. The high hand eye also helps out defensively adding the ability to pick pucks out of mid-air.

Defensively the numbers look really good from a non-physical standpoint. Maximums in stick check and defensive awareness give you the ability to take the puck away. With the checking the way it is this year you can still lay a forward out from time to time as well. I will point out though that even with 99 stick check and defensive awareness the offensive defenseman is not as good at picking off passes/taking way the puck as a two way or defensive defenseman. Each build has hidden strengths and defense is not one of them for a defender in this mold.

Athletically you can see everything is balanced between acceleration, speed, agility, and endurance. This, along with the 11" skates allows you to change direction smoothly and keep a close gap with just about any forward. This is the strength of the build defensively. You aren't going to overpower players or pick off as many passes like the defensive defenseman does but you will be able to stay right on forwards and with some clever stick lifting and poke checking take the puck from them or possibly even deny them the puck in the first place. In addition these athletics allow you to jump into the play to create odd man rushes but still be able to get back as long as you are smart about picking your spots.

That is all for this week. I have a request for a power forward build and I will try to accommodate that next week. Feel free to comment or hit me up on Twitter if you have questions.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

NHL 12: Build of the Week -- Playmaker Center Addendum

I talked about my playmaker center build in my last post. After running this setup for a while I decided to swap back to having some agility and set my athletics up like this:

Acceleration: 85 (+8)
Agility: 79
Balance: 55
Durability: 60
Endurance: 95
Speed: 85 (+8)
Strength: 50

It is still very quick but feels smoother than the other setup. 79 agility still isn't a ton but I think you can get away with it and the 13 inch skates if you have a smaller player. If you decide to go larger with this setup 6' 200lbs and up I would definitely go with 11 inch skates. Larger players seem to have less inherent agility.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

NHL 12: Build of the Week -- Playmaker Center

Sorry for the long layoff but I thought I would try to get back into doing this. This week I am featuring a super fast playmaking center that excels in 6v6 matchups.

A link to this build can be found here.

Legend 3

13" blades
Regular Stick Flex
Second Lowest Curve

Deking: 94 (+5)
Hand Eye: 99
Off Awareness: 99
Passing: 90 (+5)
Puck Control: 94 (+5)
SS Accuracy: 60
SS Power: 50
WS Accuracy: 90
WS Power: 72

Aggression: 41
Body Check: 40
Def Awareness: 77 (+5)
Discipline: 99
Faceoffs: 91 (+8)
Fighting: 40
Shot Blocking: 60
Stick Check: 87 (+8)

Acceleration: 86 (+8)
Agility: 65
Balance: 55
Durability: 60
Endurance: 98
Speed: 87 (+8)
Strength: 50

This is a build I like to use to play 6v6 but it works pretty well in most situations. Offensively it has a decent shot you can hit the net with. I had been messing around with a 99 accuracy/76 power shot  that is nasty against cpu goalies but against humans you really don't need it quite that high. The first 5 stats are stacked (I prefer the 95 passing over 99 ) so you will have good overall offensive ability with this setup.

Defensively the 95 stick check is plenty for me. and the 82 defensive awareness is not bad considering the 99 in faceoffs that the center is burdened with. I may try to find a way to get that even higher since defensive awareness makes you skate faster on the backcheck.

The athletics really reflect my new views on what is an optimal setup. Acceleration and speed are everything. Agility (provided you are 5'10" and shorter) doesn't seem to make much of a difference. The high endurance allows you to spam hustle when needed and keeps you going at high speeds without tiring. They have changed hustle enough that it can't be used as an effective replacement for acceleration it really doesn't kick in immediately. Seems far more useful to just get that extra burst once you are near or at full speed.

Anyway, hopefully I get back into the habit of doing these. As always feel free to comment.

Edit: Added a quick addendum to this post here talking about a different athletics setup.