Hockey is one of the greatest sports there is, maybe even the best (I also love baseball).
Being a Rangers fan my whole life (Dad said he brainwashed me and my brothers well), I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly within the Rangers organization.
First, I want to talk about the Rangers and where they are at right now.
With the Rangers bound for the playoffs, we are in for some exciting hockey. There’s nothing like the playoffs and with that in mind, it never hurts to think about the sport we love. Here are five reasons why hockey is awesome.
#1 The fans
Hockey fans are amazing! There is nothing like seeing the fans of a hockey team and how they react to a play, goal, fight, a bad penalty call, or a no call.
I remember a time many years ago when I went to a New York Rangers game. I don’t recall who they played or who scored the goal, but I do remember high-fiving fellow fans, complete strangers. It was awesome!
The way the fans band together through thick and thin is an incredible feeling. One minute you are cheering and celebrating with other fans. The next minute you are booing together. It is one big community, almost like family.
#2 The players
I love the “3 Stars of the Game”. When I see a player give a puck to a kid after his “victory” skate, it makes me happy. It is so great to see the look on the face of that child. He/she will remember that moment for the rest of his/her life.
Also, how the players react to a loss is noteworthy. The players know it is hard on them to lose, but they understand how the fans feel as well.
The players will tell you that they are disappointed and that they should have played harder, or that they did play hard, but just couldn’t get things done. They know the expectations that are put on their shoulders and they own it, win or lose.
#3 The action
It is not often that I have said a hockey game was “boring” and that is because there is so much action in this sport. Even if the final score of a game is 1-0, usually there is a ton of action taking place.
For example, the game could be a back-and-forth battle with each team spending a good portion of their time in their offensive zone. I have seen it so many times where the Rangers would be in their offensive zone for at least a minute and then the other team comes and does the same thing.
Action can come in the form of physical play too. There could be a lot of fights or hits and this can make for an exciting game, especially if the hits lead to scoring chances.
I do prefer a game that has more scoring that is physical, but I have also seen great games that have low scores with a lot of action. It all depends on what is going on in the game.
#4 The fighting
How many sports do you know that allows its players to beat each other up? Fighting is one of the key elements to the game of hockey.
Fights usually break out for a couple of reasons with one of them being a so-called “bad hit”. If a player doesn’t like a hit to himself or a teammate, he will take it upon himself to go after a player on the opposing team. It is just a matter of sticking up for your team.
Another reason for fighting is when a team is doing horrible. The team will fight to get their fans involved more, adding some excitement.
Fighting does happen in other sports, like boxing where fighting is what they do. Among the four major sports of hockey, baseball, basketball, and football, fighting isn’t expected at all, except in hockey.
In hockey, if the players fight, they get penalties for it and usually, there are no fines.
#5 The playoffs
When the playoffs take place, anything can happen. This is true for all sports, but something about the NHL playoffs is different.
The great thing about hockey is that you don’t have to be in the playoffs to play with that intensity.
An example of this is when the Rangers play the Pittsburgh Penguins. These two division rivals don’t like each other very much. It is easy to see by the way they play.
Rangers-Penguins games are physical and there is usually pushing and shoving going on at least once per game. The same thing happens in Rangers and Washington Capitals games. This is what happens when the teams are fighting for position.
I love this kind of game where the teams battle each other hard. It would be nice to see this kind of play every game, but we all know nobody is perfect and there will be times when a team isn’t at their best.
Sudden death overtime. Who else has this? I love that the league lets the players keep going until someone scores. I wish they would do this during the regular season as well.
Moral of the Story
The whole point is that hockey is awesome. The fans, atmosphere, playoffs, fights, action, pretty much everything about the sport of hockey is great.
I know someone that feels that hockey is too violent and won’t let his kids watch it. It is not just about fighting at all. Fighting is only part of what hockey is about. There are so many other factors to it.
With the Rangers playoff bound, hockey will get a lot more attention, not just in New York. I hope more people, especially kids, just check out some hockey if they have never seen it. They won’t regret it.
I just listed the things I love about hockey. What about you? What do you love about the sport of hockey?