Thursday, June 20, 2013

NHL 13: Player of the Week -- Giant Playmaker

This week features a large sized playmaker that is surprisingly effective in all areas of the game.

Legend 3
220 lbs
13" Skates
2nd Curve from the bottom

Deking: 87
Hand Eye: 85 (+5)
Off Awareness: 81
Passing: 87 (+5)
Puck Control: 87 (+5)
SS Accuracy: 75
SS Power: 70
WS Accuracy: 80 (+5)
WS Power: 70 (+5)

Aggression: 76
Body Check: 76
Def Awareness: 72
Discipline: 87
Faceoffs: 65
Fighting: 65
Shot Blocking: 66
Stick Check: 80 (+5)

Acceleration: 82 (+8)
Agility: 75
Balance: 71
Durability: 65
Endurance: 80 (+5)
Speed: 82 (+8)
Strength: 75 (+5)

When does a playmaker look like a power forward? When you make him 6'4" and 220 pounds. I kind of deemphasized the offensive and defensive awareness attributes on this guy to try and crank up other areas and to keep my overall low. We tend to play with fewer CPU players but it seems like having a lower overall tends to make them better and maybe even give you bounces. We played a team the other night of all 50ish rated players and they scored 4 goals on our excellent goalie by basically shooting the puck through him. This guy is 72 overall so not low but not the normal 79/80 you would get on a playmaker wing.

Anyway, on to the discussion. The offense here is strong. With a slightly lower offensive awareness you can have two reasonable shots and everything else loaded up. It passes well, shoots well, and generally can handle the puck well with high deking and puck control.

Defensively you are pretty much maxed out everywhere except defensive awareness. With the poke check block though you can knock down any pass that comes near you so you don't really need it. This build hits surprisingly well despite having what seem like low checking numbers. The poke check is decent but not amazing and as always with a playmaker you need to watch carefully or you trip people pretty easy. The +5 boost there seems to help but isn't a panacea.

Athletically you are looking for acceleration and speed in skating. Those two being maxed along with the 13" blades let you hunt people down. Max strength lets you hit them and take a hit as well. A minor bump in balance helps you keep the puck along the boards and maxed endurance allows you to skate all game long. As I am sure you notice the agility is seriously lacking. I have found with this build and in general you can change direction by just using the left trigger pivot and at the larger size you still move around pretty well.

This build scoops up pucks and can hold them near the wall while fending off hits. It can also go to the front of the net with gusto. It passes extremely well and has good shooting. As mentioned before you can also hit players well. After playing this build I am not sure I am changing it ever. About the only thing it really lacks is a really good poke check. 

As an aside, I tried a similarly specced grinder and it just didn't work as well aside from having a better poke check. I really do think this is one of the better builds you can play.