Today EA Sports released NHL 14, but EA Season Ticket subscribers have had their hands on a digital copy for four days now. Luckily, I have been able to play the game for some time now, and there are a lot of fun teams you can control.
Some of the newest features like the enforcer engine and the one-touch deke system go hand in hand with these teams. Everyone's playing style is different, but here are the 10 most fun teams in NHL 14.
Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis are two of the top offensive guns in NHL 14, and it was particularly fun to place prospect Jonathan Drouin on their line for a few games. In EA's newest release, the Lightning play high-octane hockey, and that often results in many goals against.
While it was fun to use Stamkos and St. Louis on breakaways and other defensive situations, it wasn't fun to continually lose one-goal games. The Bolts are a great start up team to use in Be A GM mode, because with a few tweaks you can make the team a contender.
NHL 14 doesn't realize that John Tortorella is the coach of the Vancouver Canucks yet, so play with the offensively charged roster while you still can. Sarcasm aside, both Daniel and Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler have solid rankings, and the blue line has overalls in the mid to high 80s.
Roberto Luongo may only have an 85 right now, but after the season starts dynamic rankings will take effect. This is a new feature of the game, and players will improve or get worse based on their real life on-ice performance.
The Canucks have a balance roster from a developmental standpoint, and you can have fun with them in many different modes.
The Edmonton Oilers are an up-and-coming team in real life, and they are a great franchise to use in NHL 14. Taylor Hall, Sam Gagner, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov have solid offensive rankings, and they all have high potential rankings.
In extended season or Be A GM mode, these players will get better as they actualize their potential. For that reason the Oilers make for a great start-up team, and in virtual reality it is very easy to get a goaltender to come to Edmonton via free agency.
In real life the Oilers are a goalie away from being a contender, so for that reason they are an enjoyable team to use in NHL 14.
The New York Rangers were one of NHL 13's top teams after their playoff run during the 2011-12 season, but they regressed a tad in this game. Brad Richards' overall ranking dropped significantly, but Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh saw their overalls increase.
Gamers who enjoy playing two-way hockey, forechecking, blocking shots and creating offense from defense will love playing as the Rangers. This type of hockey may be boring in real life, but in the game the announcers make a big deal over blocked shots and massive hits.
If gamers decide to use this team in Be A GM mode to open things up offensively, they will still be able to contend because Henrik Lundqvist is one of the game's best goalies.
The 2012-13 Eastern Conference champs are a good team to control in NHL 14. The team is drastically different than they were in NHL 13, and Boston Bruin fans will need to adjust their playing style.
Nathan Horton and Tyler Seguin are gone, but fans will have fun making magic with Loui Eriksson as he plays alongside David Krejci. The Bruins are a two-way team for the most part with a strong blue line, but Eriksson and Krejci are very fun to play with if you are a fan of offense.
Patrice Bergeron can hold his own offensively in this game, but he is at his best when killing penalties or forechecking an incoming forward.
The Los Angeles Kings were the focus of the NHL 13 demo as the reigning Stanley Cup champions, and they are one of NHL 14's top teams in the game.
Jonathan Quick is the team's best player, and one of the game's best netminders, and the remainder of the roster is fun to maneuver with.
Dustin Brown, Justin Williams and Jarrett Stoll are great players to use if you like to get physical, and Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar will suit you if you play an offensive style.
The remainder of the roster is good to play with regardless of style, and the versatility of the team makes them fun to play with.
The San Jose Sharks are a great team to use in this game if you want a well-rounded squad. Offensively, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton and Brent Burns lead the team, and Dan Boyle and Marc-Edouard Vlasic lead the blue line.
Each of the above players can either utilize one-touch dekes or the enforcer engine, so there is never a dull moment when they are out on the ice.
In goal is Antti Niemi, and he got a well-deserved bump up from NHL 13, because he was one of the NHL’s top netminders last season. In NHL 14 the Sharks are a team that can hit and score with frequency, and you can spend countless hours having fun living vicariously through them in virtual reality.
If you are a gamer that likes high-octane offensive action, the Pittsburgh Penguins are the team you will use a lot when playing NHL 14. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and James Neal are great offensive stars, and Pascal Dupuis and Chris Kunitz are great to play with if you enjoy two-way hockey.
While the Penguins’ defense and goaltending isn't the strong suit of the team, the offense is strong enough to carry you to victory. The great thing about video game hockey is that you can build your own teams, but the Pens are a good team to pick up and play with.
The Detroit Red Wings' roster is great for NHL 14. Pavel Datsyuk is one of the best danglers in the game, Niklas Kronwall is a beast who is perfect for taking full advantage of the improved physics engine and Henrik Zetterberg is a great player to use in all situations.
The Red Wings also have some younger prospects who are fun to play with, so if you enjoy playing Be A GM mode, you can utilize them to their full potential. There are a number of players who are great to use in the game's Be An NHL Pro mode, and the team is just fun to use in the game.
The Chicago Blackhawks are a great team to use in NHL 14. The roster is stacked with offensive forwards like Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa who utilize the one-touch deke system.
The defending champions also have some heavy hitters like Bryan Bickell and Duncan Keith who can get drawn into a fight after they have leveled an opponent. The entire roster features a blend of speed, skill and pugnacity, and they are the most fun team to control in the game.