Planet Xbox 360 writes: "Whether you are a hockey fan or not, there is no denying that videogame hockey is an absolute blast. 2K8 was an unfortunate failed experiment in updating a time-tested control scheme, but this year corrects that mistake and makes up for it with a fantastic new online mode.
With the return of the classic control scheme, 2K moves forward here by taking a wise step backwards. Last year's awkward control scheme, using bumpers for things typically mapped to buttons, is still here along with an additional option, but the classic controls are the default. Longtime fans of videogame hockey will feel comfortable immediately, though the controls are not without some minor issues. Shooting, passing, checking, and sprinting are all handled well with the buttons and triggers in a familiar layout. Even the coaching menu, called up with the d-pad, works well to call plays or change lines or strategy on the fly. The issues start to crop up when you try to do some of the fancier moves on the ice."