EA Sports Player Ratings: Horcoff, 82; Nugent-Hopkins 80

Jonathan Willis
August 20 2012 09:49AM

I’m afraid it’s that time of year again – the time of year where EA Sports puts out its newest edition of the popular NHL series and fans critique how the players are ranked.

Naturally, none of this matters one iota, but it is late August and I always enjoy glancing at which players are over/under appreciated. The following graphic of the team’s regulars comes via Puck Daddy.

Okay, thoughts:

The Oilers centers are virtually indistinguishable from each other! Horcoff 82, Gagner 81, Nugent-Hopkins 80, and Belanger 78. I think there’s a case to be made for keeping the first three in the same ballpark (Horcoff’s defensive game bumps him up a bit) but in Belanger’s case it looks a lot like not wanting to dump on a veteran too much after one bad year. Of course, EA Sports also manages to duck criticism somewhat by having virtually every decent NHL’er in the game somewhere between 78 and 84, so it only makes sense that everyone is tightly grouped.

No surprises on the wings. The small but vocal contingent of fans who actively dislike Hemsky won’t be happy to see him lumped in so tightly with the kids and I imagine there’s someone out there willing to argue that Ben Eager’s better than a 74, but nothing too crazy here.

On defence is where things get interesting. Whitney 85, (Nick) Schultz 84, Smid 81, Petry/Peckham 77, Potter 76 and Sutton 74. I can see the arguments for Whitney and Schultz, but Smid is done a disservice and someone should probably send a letter of apology to Jeff Petry. He wasn’t leading the team in ice-time down the stretch because he’s the same caliber of player as Theo Peckham. Andy Sutton as the worst of the group is interesting too, and not in a good way.

Nikolai Khabibulin stinks, but the surprise is that Dubnyk isn’t seen as much better, ranked with just an 80 overall. Goaltenders viewed as superior by the game’s planners include Rick DiPietro and Steve Mason. Fun fact – the last time Rick DiPietro posted a save percentage better than 0.900 was 2007-08 (0.902).

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Jeffrey Chapman
August 20 2012, 09:53AM
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The only outrage is that Khabibulin somehow clung to a rating in the upper 70s.

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#2 T__Bone88
August 20 2012, 10:02AM
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I take player ratings with a grain of salt. Playing NHL 12 using this last season version of the Oilers I made the playoffs after simulating 3/4 of the season. Crosby & Malkin have the best rating & have rarely been in the 100 point range.

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#3 dawgtoy
August 20 2012, 10:03AM
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That highlight of Dipietro is awesome.

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#4 Gunner
August 20 2012, 10:18AM
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Where's Nail and Justin Shultz?

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#5 Mantastic
August 20 2012, 10:22AM
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as a team we have the worst goaltending in the western conference!

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#6 Dman09
August 20 2012, 10:26AM
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I would only have to assume that the makers of the game aren't truely hockey fans. Last years be a GM wasn't all that great either. Forced to pick one of 5 teams offers to be a GM? Y can't you say no and look for other offers. As a player you can't refuse or barter a better contract. You can't complain about ice time or ask for a trade. The whole cell phone thing for trade deadline is sad at best. You can't find out what a team is really looking for for a deal to be more appealing and they give you sh*t for offering the same deal more than once but the CPU does it non stop. Y isn't there an untouchables list???? The CPU only offers trades for your best players and will ignore the available list unless its a top player.

Basically this game is just lacking in so many areas there really isn't a point in discussing it. Yet it is all we have as no one makes anything better.

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#7 mayorpoop
August 20 2012, 10:59AM
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when did Katz buy EA Sports? i missed the memo.

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#8 Shifty203
August 20 2012, 11:06AM
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@ Gunner Rookies don't get added in until after the first patch. Something to do with their contracts and status with the NHLPA.

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#9 Archaeologuy
August 20 2012, 11:12AM
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As a former employee of EA I can say that this outrage RE: Nuge vs Horcoff is not unexpected.

Clown Shoes.

I dont even know how it's possible to justify Horcoff in the mid 70's, nevermind higher than Nuge.

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#10 Tim in Kelowna
August 20 2012, 11:17AM
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Mantastic wrote:

as a team we have the worst goaltending in the western conference!

This is a good point, I had never really thought about it like that. The one exception may be Columbus, depending on whether Dubnyk can out play Bobrovski this season.

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#11 Archaeologuy
August 20 2012, 11:19AM
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@Dman09

The game's makers are based out of their Vancouver studio. Need I say more?

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#12 DrDave
August 20 2012, 11:24AM
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I'll still buy it the day it comes out.

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#13 Tim in Kelowna
August 20 2012, 11:26AM
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Yikes, Luongo is rated 89 and Schneider is 83... I think EA may need a new rating system.

Speaking of Bobby Lu, wtf is the plan there? It would be a gift to Oiler fans from the hockey gods if Vancouver started the season with a goalie controversy.

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#14 Shredder
August 20 2012, 11:33AM
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Let's face reality here guys...even if they gave the Nuge a rating of 90, we were still going to go into his ratings and edit him to be higher rated.

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#15 Sanaa Montana
August 20 2012, 11:34AM
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EA NHL game is horrible.

Does anyone know what happened to the 2K series? I've always like their game better.

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#16 Passive Voice
August 20 2012, 11:35AM
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Khabby's rating is, as always, given by his average BAC x 1000.

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#17 Oil Drop
August 20 2012, 11:36AM
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Why is the Khabby thing so hard for everyone to understand? Sure it's only a video game but outside of wins, he and Dubnyk had the exact same stats last season.

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#18 Craig1981
August 20 2012, 11:40AM
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Shifty203 wrote:

@ Gunner Rookies don't get added in until after the first patch. Something to do with their contracts and status with the NHLPA.

Nail will be in the Oilers system as EA has an agreement with the CHL. Justin Schultz will have to wait till the first patch to play with himself as NCAA players are not yet created.

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#19 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
August 20 2012, 11:50AM
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Craig1981 wrote:

Nail will be in the Oilers system as EA has an agreement with the CHL. Justin Schultz will have to wait till the first patch to play with himself as NCAA players are not yet created.

Poor guy. Hope he's got a girlfriend.

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#20 Cody anderson
August 20 2012, 11:54AM
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Obviously they are giving veterans the benefit of the doubt based on experience. I don't think anyone on here would argue that Nuge was not in our top 5 last year.

I would not have changed the numbers a lot on most of them. Here is what i would have guessed they should be.

Hall-85 Nuge-83 Ebs-84

Smyth-80 Horcoff-79 Hemsky-82

Eger-74 Gagner-81 Jones-79

Hordi-72 Belanger-76 Petrell-73

Whitney-84 Peckam-75

N Schultz-82 Sutton-75

Smid-82 Potter-76

Petry-80

Dubnyk-81 Khaby-75

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#21 Cowbell_Feva
August 20 2012, 12:34PM
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100% agree with Arch-guy. Very hard to understand how Horcoff would even make mid 70's. Pretty weak excuse to try and tell me that his "defensive" abilities have him as high as he is. Must be his brute strength when muscling guys off the puck down low or winning 70% of his draws.....wait a minute.

Anyways, as C.A. stating, its obvious the elders are given brownie points for their time in the league. Also don't quite agree with Willis when saying Smid was given a disservice being at 81. I would say the opposite and he was given way more than he should've. I don't quite see the hoopla around what he is apparently capable of. Maybe its just me.

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#22 Mike
August 20 2012, 12:35PM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

Poor guy. Hope he's got a girlfriend.

He's just answering a questiona and for your information myself and several friends of mine enjoy this game and are happily married and find time to play a few hours a week and still have lives a 1000 times better than yours probably is. Take your tiny junk and brain and stop pretending you're better than everyone else.

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#23 winning
August 20 2012, 12:45PM
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Mike wrote:

He's just answering a questiona and for your information myself and several friends of mine enjoy this game and are happily married and find time to play a few hours a week and still have lives a 1000 times better than yours probably is. Take your tiny junk and brain and stop pretending you're better than everyone else.

Settle down bro. He was responding to the part of the comment that said Justin Schultz will have to wait to play with himself. Little bit of humour.

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#24 treevojo
August 20 2012, 12:47PM
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Mike wrote:

He's just answering a questiona and for your information myself and several friends of mine enjoy this game and are happily married and find time to play a few hours a week and still have lives a 1000 times better than yours probably is. Take your tiny junk and brain and stop pretending you're better than everyone else.

You might want to read that again and then say sorry to oil kings for being so tightly wound. There was a joke in there somewhere.

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#25 Archaeologuy
August 20 2012, 12:51PM
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Mike wrote:

He's just answering a questiona and for your information myself and several friends of mine enjoy this game and are happily married and find time to play a few hours a week and still have lives a 1000 times better than yours probably is. Take your tiny junk and brain and stop pretending you're better than everyone else.

It's Monday. We've all been there. Keep that fire in your belly though.

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#26 Archaeologuy
August 20 2012, 12:51PM
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Mike wrote:

He's just answering a questiona and for your information myself and several friends of mine enjoy this game and are happily married and find time to play a few hours a week and still have lives a 1000 times better than yours probably is. Take your tiny junk and brain and stop pretending you're better than everyone else.

It's Monday. We've all been there. Keep that fire in your belly though.

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#27 Dman09
August 20 2012, 01:04PM
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Mike wrote:

He's just answering a questiona and for your information myself and several friends of mine enjoy this game and are happily married and find time to play a few hours a week and still have lives a 1000 times better than yours probably is. Take your tiny junk and brain and stop pretending you're better than everyone else.

Ya a little over the top man, people aren't here to get picked on. They just want to dicuss hockey, have a few laughs and enojoy the best sport available to spend all your money on.

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#28 Wax Man Riley
August 20 2012, 01:06PM
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Mike wrote:

He's just answering a questiona and for your information myself and several friends of mine enjoy this game and are happily married and find time to play a few hours a week and still have lives a 1000 times better than yours probably is. Take your tiny junk and brain and stop pretending you're better than everyone else.

Whoa, Mike, settle down there, homie.

I think he was referring to Schultz playing with himself. Your humour meter needs to be adjusted a bit I think.

Or do you just need a hug?

*HUGZZ*

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#29 TigerUnderGlass
August 20 2012, 01:16PM
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Poor Mike. Hope he's got a girlfriend.

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#30 BurkeTheTurd
August 20 2012, 02:13PM
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I see Gilbert is 83, and Nick is 84. Tambo you pulled off a win you lucky son of a gun. Keep up the good work..haha

Wonder what Hannan gets?

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#31 The Soup Fascist
August 20 2012, 02:55PM
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Good time to start renegotiations with the Nuge. Obviously, the bidding starts south of the $5.5 million cap, Horc is getting.

~ I could be GM. ~

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#32 D
August 20 2012, 04:23PM
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That DiPietro fail kind of reminds me of this Flames' fail from a few years ago.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMjJqOJ_jYs

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#33 Oilcruzer
August 20 2012, 04:25PM
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Mike wrote:

He's just answering a questiona and for your information myself and several friends of mine enjoy this game and are happily married and find time to play a few hours a week and still have lives a 1000 times better than yours probably is. Take your tiny junk and brain and stop pretending you're better than everyone else.

Wait... WHAT????

Holy freaking cow... Really?

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#34 HallFever
August 20 2012, 04:26PM
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Sanaa Montana wrote:

EA NHL game is horrible.

Does anyone know what happened to the 2K series? I've always like their game better.

hahahahaha

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#35 Wanyes bastard child
August 20 2012, 05:28PM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

Poor guy. Hope he's got a girlfriend.

Thats what she said.

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#36 ubermiguel
August 20 2012, 05:39PM
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Sanaa Montana wrote:

EA NHL game is horrible.

Does anyone know what happened to the 2K series? I've always like their game better.

Don't know what happened to it (didn't sell enough? lost player licensing rights?), but 2K's GM management system was light years ahead of EA. Actual game play was primative, but I just ended up GMing my teams for a couple of decades.

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#37 Clyde Frog
August 20 2012, 06:42PM
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Does anyone else immediately edit the "best" players of Calgary and Vancouver to be in line with reality? IE ensuring the sedins dive and fall over whenever coming within 4 feet of an opposing player.

I would be interested in seeing a EA season that uses the average stats that all the players use after 2 weeks into the the game. Who would drop horribly and who would rise far above their current rating?

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#38 Hemmertime
August 21 2012, 01:14AM
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Editing players is against a purists code. Play with them as they are crappy, when Nuge is an actual 91 then we get to enjoy it.

As a lamer, I just want to know all their speed ratings and wrist shot, fk overalls heh

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#39 Jailbirdjoe
August 21 2012, 12:53PM
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Lets not forget, Horcoff's potential is probably listed as 82 so he's as high as he can go, where the Nuge is probably well into the 90's. Once you get the Nuge in GM mode, he'll skyrocket!

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