Extra goalie animations and a better passing system, along with the aforementioned first-person fighting and board play, are the main reasons to consider picking up NHL 10 (if you haven't pre-ordered already). You even have the option of going right into the Stanley Cup playoffs. But for me, the justification for purchase belongs to the board play feature.
Such is the case with NHL 10, a title that must live up to the twelve sports game of the year awards that NHL 09 garnered. While I won't say that NHL 10 is a step in the wrong direction for the series, it doesn't bring as much innovation as last year's hockey offering from EA Sports and will likely be met with malice from naysayers because of that fact.