Playing NHL 09 in the Dynasty mode, you have to familiarize yourself with all the aspects of your team management. You should always be always conscious of your squad – and also take into account a player’s hot streaks, cold streaks, minor injuries and fatigue.
And even when everyone is healthy, constructing the correct lines can prove very beneficial to gaining some extra points for your team.
Accessed via Coach Options screen, Edit lines will give you complete control of your squad. There are several screens: Offensive Lines, Defensive pairs, 5-man Power Play, 4-man Power Play, 4-man Penalty Kill, 3-Man Penalty Kill, Hero Line, Penalty Shot takers, Goalies and Extra Attackers. But before we look into the lines themselves, there are some important things for you to know.
You have dressed players and scratched players. The number of dressed players has to be twelve attackers, six defenders and two goalies. The number of scratched players can vary – but they will not be available once you start the game. Before assigning a player to certain position – you need to dress him. To do that – it is advisable to first undress the players which is due to be substituted, as he may appear in more than one line – this way you will clearly see which unoccupied position you have.
Important note – when dealing with your salary cap, you might need to transfer some of the players into “minors". Those players will NOT be available for editing lines, as they are technically not in your squad. So if you can’t find certain player – go to Minor League Management and look there.
Priority and Fatigue
Obviously, you would like to play the whole game with your best five players. In NHL09 this is possible – you just need to turn the fatigue off in the game options. However, if you are looking for a more realistic experience, you should be aware of the fact that players spend about 1-2 minutes one the ice before changing. Making those changes manually can be problematic – so delegating the task is a good option. During substitutions, the priority is given by the computer based on two things – line freshness and number. Freshness is the average condition of all the players in the line. Generally, Line 1 will play if fresh enough, then line 2 etc. But remember, ALL the lines will play certain amount of minutes – so you need to handle them all carefully.
Also, the lines are treated as a pack of five players, ie Line 1 is actually Offensive Line 1 and Defensive Line 1 – although they are defined separately they always play together.
There might be times when some player is not available to be on the ice (injury, penalty). His place will be filled in by the player who plays the SAME position in the following offensive/defensive line. That means that if your Center of Line 2 is injured, Center 3 will play both with Line 3 and Line 2. Moreover, if Center 2 was also a member of Power Play/Penalty Kill line – Center 3 will take his place there as well. This is why when dealing with injury that happened during the game you have to edit your lines, reassigning certain players to positions that are needed to be filled in. Otherwise you can end up triple shifting a player you might not even like playing that much when he isn’t exhasuted.