EA Sports releases first NHL 14 trailer; showcases Niklas Backstrom's shootout skills

The NHL offseason is short in comparison to other sports. Don't tell that to the teams who played their last game 4-6 weeks ago, though. Officially it hasn't even started. That doesn't mean the offseason is a breeze for hockey addicts, but one thing to look forward to during the dark times is the annual release of NHL video games which signal the beginning of the new season.

Fortunately, that time is not too far away as EA Sports has released the first official trailer for NHL 14.

The trailer, which premiered Tuesday at E3, showcases two of the bigger additions - and contrasts - to the longtime video game franchise. In the first half of the trailer, the focus is on puck handling. NHL 14, the 23rd installment in the series, features one touch dekes with such realism that Pavel Datsyuk can make Minnesota Wild goalie (and unrestricted free agent come July) Niklas Backstrom look like a fool in the shootout.

That's the only appearance of an Iron Range Red sweater in the minute-long trailer.

Halfway through the tempo and music change to highlight the other major new feature in NHL 14: the Enforcer Engine. EA delivers (their words) "physics-based punch targeting and player size differentiation to every fight, creating the most authentic and electrifying experience yet," while hordes of players showcase their glass jaws by getting KTFO.

Heck, Don Cherry can play as one of those good ol' Canadian teams and try to get Cal Clutterbuck to fight.

There are other changes to NHL 14, which will feature either New Jersey goaltender Marty Brodeur or Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky on the cover, most likely due to the fact that there are changes to the league itself (hurray realignment!). Those will have to wait for another trailer. After all, it is a long offseason.

NHL 14 drops September 10th in North America and September 13th Worldwide.

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