Summary: This is a real good game. Very realistic, even down to the goal horns. Playing against NJ as The Mighty Ducks and hearing the goal horn from NJ brought back nightmares from Games 5 & 7. The only problems I have with the game is the jersey numbers. For example, I acquired Daniel Briere, and instead of letting me pick his jersey, the game automatically gave him #66. It's the little things that bother me. A game that is so good, shouldn't have that kind of glitch in it.
Summary: I've played all the big hockey games so far and two have really let my down. 989 was the WORST EVER! Bad graphics, lousy game play and a definite 989 doesn't care what it looks like attitude contributed to a complete failure in my opinion. EA was better. The commentary was horrible, but I just turned it off. Even so, other elements made me wish for more. Then I bought NHL2K3. AWSOME! The got the arenas right, the uniforms look good and the gameplay is pretty top notch.
Summary: As for the Hockey...this game is very good. Hockey is probably one of the most dynamic of the major sports (read: Football, Basketball, Baseball, Hockey) and as such, I'm sure it is especially difficult to program Hockey AI, versus, say, Football, where you could program a defense based on offensive formations and get it right most of the time.
Summary: I took the advice of a Video Game Store employee and waited out til 2K3 came out, instead of buying NHL 2003, as he claimed it was much more realistic. He was right, and so far I am glad I waited. I agree with some other reviewers that there are some glaring errors including: replay cam from wrong net, lame announcing (sometimes you'll hear "what a save!" when the shot clearly rang off a post), and the player faces don't look like them at all, very generic.