A tagline like “Any moment can be a wow moment” just invites mockery. Splashing this catchphrase all over the back cover of NHL 11 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 is certainly over the top and more than a bit cheesy. But it’s also totally accurate. EA Sports has done a magnificent job with this year’s take on the sport, improving it in every area with smarter on-ice AI, sharper controls, and a range of options that take the simulation deeper into the real hockey world, such as being able to start player careers in major junior. The number of refinements enhance the game across the board and take you right down to ice level. You’ll soon find yourself talking to the TV and congratulating virtual linemates after great plays. All that’s missing is dressing-room camaraderie and being able to head out for a few beers after the game with your buddies on the team.