In America, I feel that many people are afraid to watch Hockey because they are in love with their NFL Football or Major League Baseball. I feel like I need to break that fear, and tell you why you need to watch more hockey. I think many people are afraid they do not understand the game or they are afraid to watch hockey players fight. There are many great teams and great players not only in the NHL but the entire world. So, lets discuss what makes hockey awesome.
You have to start off any discussion about hockey with the fighting. Outside of scoring a goal, it has to be the best part of the game. It is the only sport where you can fight and not be suspended for 2, 3, or more games. Players are often thrown out of the game in other sports for throwing punches, in the NHL, the more punches the better. Players in the NHL that fight get a 5 minute major penalty and then they are back on the ice. Whats better then just a fight? a line brawl! You ask what is a line brawl? It is basically mayhem, when everyone on the ice is fighting, how sweet is that? So, you do not like fighting there is more awesome stuff I promise. (Suggested You Tube Video: St Patrick's Day Massacre)
The game flows better then any other of the major sports. There are no stoppage in play for players coming in and out of the game. Changes are made "on the fly", which means that the offensive player shoots the puck towards the goal and skates off so that other people can come on to the ice. There are less commercials because play is not stop as often as the NFL or the NBA. Hell, the NHL had to create Ice Girls to clear the ice every so often so that there could be more commercials.
The flow of the game was greatly improved by the deleting of the rule of the two line pass. This was a rule that forbid passes from one player to another across two lines. Another rule that people struggle with is icing. Icing is when a offensive player shots the puck across two red lines with the defensive team's goal line being the last line being crossed. The puck has to be untouched and the goalie cannot come out and play the puck. Also, if the puck were to go into the net by some stroke of stupidity by the goalie, it would count as a goal. The rule was put in place because teams that were winning would keep icing the puck if they were winning, it got so bad that the fans in Boston back in the day got so pissed they threw stuff on the ice and the game was delayed.
Speaking of throwing things on the ice, there is another great part of hockey and that is the throwing of hats on the ice after a hat trick has been scored. A hat trick is when one player scores three goals in the same game. Fans respond by throwing hats on the ice, so if you are out with your girl don't let her buy a new hat before a hockey game. A funny video you should look up on you tube on the subject of the hat trick is "sidney crosby crying about hat trick." Hockey, the only sport where you can throw stuff on the ice, and not be rudely escorted from the game.
Another great thing about hockey is in general, the fans are more knowledgeable about the game and the history of the sport. Fans of hockey are more ruthless towards opposing fans (except in Columbus). In many studies more people go to hockey games (NHL) then NBA games in the same city. Plus, who can hate against the Green Men in Vancouver? Hockey fans are more passionate about their teams, and studies have shown that they are much better hecklers then fans of other sports. Finally, there might not be anything better in the sport world as Canadian fans singing "Oh Canada" during the playoffs.
Not are the fans ruthless but the players are also ruthless, the NHL has better rivalries then other sports. There is nothing quite like the Chicago - Detroit rivalry which dates back to the 1920s, and in the United Center in Chicago you can hear "Detroit Sucks" chant almost after every play. Not to be out done is the Pittsburgh - New York Islanders rivalry in which you are guaranteed to see a line brawl in almost every game. A third good rivalry is the Boston Bruins and the Philly Flyers, two very physical teams pounding each other every time out. Not too mention, the rivalries of Canada which pits Montreal vs. Toronto. I think that one really started because Toronto refused to speak French, hahaha.
Continuing the discussion about the Canadians, and I touched on this early about how the Canadians sing "Oh Canada", the NHL has better anthem singers. Most sports just bring in random people for every game, the NHL has the same professional singing the anthem(s). Anthem has an (s) because it is tradition if you are playing a Canadian team in a USA venue, both of the anthem will be sung before the game. The Black Hawks anthem singer Jim Cornelison is so good that the Chicago Bears (NFL) routinely ask him to sing the anthem at their games. If you want to hear some awesomeness just search Jim Cornelison or "oh canada playoffs" in you tube.
So, in conclusion, I have presented some of the facts why Hockey is pretty freakin awesome, I suggest that you go out and watch some hockey. If you cannot get to an NHL game, I would suggest going to see some college hockey, it is just as good. So, I demand you stop reading this now and go watch some hockey! Or just rent Mighty Ducks 1 thru 3.