Although you will find it difficult to score against the upgraded AI, it is worth it once you finally do pull it off. The game really pushes hard work and consistent planning and a strong fore-check or attack. There are plenty of offline modes to keep one busy and not have to worry about getting online, even though that's where the real challenge is. IF you don't mind the skimpy EA servers, then by all means head online to the ranked matches. 6 vs. 6 online are worth it when it works. All in all, NHL 09 is a fine addition to the series and it's only a wonder as to where EA Sports will be going next.