I think that reviews of games in general should be prefaced by what that person is looking for in a game. I, for instance, play games sporadically, so the most important thing for me, is playability and realism in terms of does the game transport my imagination to the actual arena. I'm not so concerned with online play or leagues stats (although I totally understand how that would be important to people). But, for me, it's that hour or so that I'm playing the game that is most important to me.
With that being said, I'm going to retract what I said earlier a bit. I just completed two games and thoroughly enjoyed playing both. There are still some "game flow" issues (I have a problem when a game tells me that a player takes control behind their own net, then in one sentence tells me that another player is taking a shot at the other end). This is something that APBA had down pat. There was always the progression from defensive zone to center ice to offensive zone which really captured the flow of hockey. I find the flow in this game to be closer to the old Lance Haffner Hat Trick game. A little choppy and not really authentic hockey "flow". However, the one thing that the DK games do so well, is bring a wealth of coaching options and decisions to the table. The DK hockey is no different. There are loads of pre-game and on ice decisions to be made and, all in all, this makes for an enjoyable game experience. Enough to overcome the
shortcomings of the gameplay.
I've played a few other computer hockey sims in the past and would probably say that this is the closest thing out now to real hockey. DK has always been good about upgrading and improving with each release, so it will only get better. But, for the first release, I'd say its a good one.