NHL 2k9 is a top shelf hockey game that still needs some tweaking to perfect the on-ice experience. That said, the impact on the authenticity of the game of having such unparalleled realism in the realm of puck physics cannot be overstated. It's too bad the off-ice experience, unless it's patched, is a bit more of a mixed bag because the free agent problem in franchise mode is an absolute killer. Is it a better hockey game than NHL 09? That'll depend a lot on how you like to play.
While both games have their perks, GameShark thinks EA offers a game that is a bit more fun to play because the controls and the overall feel of that game are just superior enough to make it a more compelling buy. There's no question, though, that you can't really go wrong with NHL 2k9, especially if you're a dedicated fan of the sport.