Let's not kid ourselves. 25$?? That's nothing if you divide that by the number of hours that you'll end up playing this game. It kicks. I was never even a hockey fan before, but this game is so fast, and so intense that you can't help but enjoy it. Buy. Now. Play.
No offense, but you'd be silly not to buy it at that price! I remember back in the day of playing the various hockey games on PS1--I must have more than a dozen of them. The EA Sports games were always better in terms of the "little" things like player stats, the stadium fly-bys, and especially player physics. I happen to play hockey in an adult league, so I know if you check someone, they don't fly 30 feet. This doesn't happen in the EA games. I also seem to recall that in the FaceOff series, the crowds looked like a blanket of dead grass.
The only game that ever compared to the EA games was the one Fox Sports game, but really only in presentation and looks. For overall game play, you can't beat EA. As they say, "It's in the game!"