Just a short update to help minimize my NHL09-withdrawal pains induced by the holidays.
To my surprise goalie Kirk McLean was quickly recalled from the Hamilton Bulldogs to the Montreal Canadiens. I think I've figured out why he was sent down to Hamilton in the first place. After each game you're graded in three categories; if you're average grade is poor, or if one bottoms, ta dah! You're sent down to the AHL.
Playing goalie is tough. Picard doesn't really care how many goals against are scored because he's practically still guaranteed to come out of the game on the plus side. Goals against, however, are anathema to McLean's statistics and hence his career success.
McLean's job is made worse by the fact that on average he only earns 27xp per game used to improve his stats. This mean it takes playing 10 games to improve one of McLean's stats by... one point. Picard, however, earns 60-70xp per game and is able to improve every 4-5 games.
McLean's job is made even more difficult because his D-men insist on passing the puck through his crease. The last game McLean had to save 2 shots from his very own D. This is just plain wrong.
Oh yeah, one of McLean's "stretch goals" is to have 7 shutouts this season. Is the coach out of his hockey-lovin' mind!? In the last minute of every period, my D-men are guaranteed to leave a forward parked in front of my net waiting unmolested for a one-timer from the corner.
And the coach repeatedly saying, "you have to keep the puck out of the net", has to be one of the most annoying things I've ever heard. Does coach not think I know that?
One last thing for now: The Curse of the Announcer. Every time the announcer says how great you're playing, you're soon going to have to make some spectacular, impossible save to not prove him wrong.