EA Sports Canada is based in Burnaby, and is responsible for the development of the company’s popular "NHL series" of sports video games. For the newest, lockout edition of the game, they’ve thoroughly overhauled the player rating system, though I’m sure it still needlessly includes ratings for "poise" to my perpetual chagrin.
Thanks to Puck Daddy’s Sean Leahy, over the past couple of days we’ve received our first look at the way the new "player rating system" evaluates players in the game. In the image above you can see how Canucks skaters fare by the new rating system. 73 for Chris Tanev!!? Outrageous.
Read past the jump.
Over the past two seasons (NHL 11, and NHL 12) the Canucks have objectively been "unfair" or "cheap" to play with on-line. EA is based in the lower mainland and every year we hear about how this Canucks skater, or that Canucks skater is over-rated in the game. There are a few exceptions to that rule, notably Dan Hamhuis and Kevin Bieksa, both of whom have struggled to be rated above an 82 despite being among the best two-way defenseman in the NHL. Well apparently Dan Hamhuis has finally received his due in the most recent iteration of the game, and is ranked as an 88 (the same as 50 point defenseman Alex Edler).
Bieksa has finally cracked through the glass ceiling and into "star defenseman" territory as well with an 84 ranking. That’s the highest he’s ever been "rated" by an EA NHL game, but I don’t get the logic behind rating him so far below Hamhuis and Edler. By the possession metrics, Bieksa is better and more consistent defensively than Alex Edler, meanwhile he’s a more productive offensive player than Dan Hamhuis. What gives?
I’ll save my outrage, however, for the Chris Tanev rating. 73! EA Sports, I beseech you, get yourself to behindthenet.ca and fix this gross injustice!
Finishing up our look at the ratings along the blue-line, Keith Ballard somehow holds steady at 81 despite struggling through two straight seasons in Vancouver. Meanwhile Jason Garrison actually drops a point from NHL2012 (where he was rated as an 82) despite scoring 16 goals last season…
Among Canucks forwards, the Sedin twins’ ratings rightfully remain in the 90s, while Kesler loses a point from NHL2012 and drops to 88. Alex Burrows holds steady as an 83, which, is a little low but I can live with it so long as his "hand-eye" rating (which governs a players ability to tip the puck) is in the 90s. I’m not sure I’d rate Mason Raymond equally with Jannik Hansen at this point, though I’m glad to see Chris Higgins come in with an 82 rating. I hope he’s impossible to beat in puck battles.
Manny Malhotra and Maxim Lapierre get twin 78 ratings, which seems sensible until you realize that it hilariously puts them four ratings points back of Toronto’s Matt Lombardi. Weise comes in as a 73 (yawn), and Kassian is a 76 though hopefully he’s got better "potential" ratings than he had in 2012 (he had B- potential across the board in the 2012 version of the game).
Finally, in net, Roberto Luongo remains one of the games top goalies with a well deserved 89 rating. I’ll bet you’d have no issues trading him for Nick Bjugstad in GM Mode (that is if NCAA prospects featured in the EA NHL series)… Meanwhile Cory Schneider loses a couple points from last years game and comes in at an 83.