"In previous games, you would hit an arbitrary button anywhere on the ice and you would fight," Littman says. "To be more realistic, this year you have to go find somebody to fight. You go up to an opponent and grab them, even face-wash them, which people do in real life to get their attention, and then you're asking them to drop the gloves.
"Once you drop the gloves, the camera switches to a third-person view and you'll see your player drop his gloves, then the camera goes to a first-person view for the fight. Then during the fight, we tried to stay authentic, so you're not bobbing and weaving away from the guy. You grab him and you're always connected to the guy. That's what's cool about hockey fights, there's nowhere to run, nowhere to hide as both guys are grabbing onto the other guy's jersey and holding on tight. You can tug the guy's jersey forward to bring him in and then you can come with an uppercut or a hook to hit him in the face after you've tugged him forward. And with bigger and stronger guys, they'll easily be able to tug someone forward. But if you're playing as a smaller guy, you're going to have a harder time doing that and you're best off continuously moving your head around so the other guy can't hit it.
To be more realistic, this year you have to go find somebody to fight. You go up to an opponent and grab them, even face-wash them, which people do in real life to get their attention, and then you're asking them to drop the gloves.
”-- "NHL 10" producer David Littman
"The other big thing you can do is turtle if you don't want to fight. I can pick a fight with a superstar like Sidney Crosby, and if there are no tough guys on the ice, Crosby will take the fight. But if I have Crosby in a fight, I might not want him to get hurt because you can get hurt in a fight, so I can turtle by pressing a button and he will just go down to the ice. This might not get the effect with his teammates and the fans that you want, but he won't get hurt either, so there's a risk/reward to fighting.
"On the other hand, if you have tough guys on the ice, to protect Sidney Crosby, a tough guy will jump in and fight for Crosby. That's a really cool feature and something that I've never seen in a hockey [video] game before. And it plays into our whole Team Toughness feature because you need to have tough guys on your team to protect your superstars. These guys with the puck all the time, those are the players everyone wants to hit, so you need these tough guys on the ice to step up and protect your superstars. The AI actually drives the CPU player to come in for the fight. I picked a fight with Ovechkin the other day and Brashear came in and checked me down and started a fight with me, so I learned not to go after Ovechkin after that.