1. It’s played on ice! That’s cool (no pun intended) all by itself. Okay, so Curling is played on ice also and no disrespect to that sport, but for my money I find hockey a bit more exciting. All other major sports are played on solid ground. It’s one thing to play a sport but throw in a sheet of slick ice, a pair of skates and it raises the stakes all that much more.
2. The fast pace. One thing you can say about hockey is that there is a need for speed. In the 1996 NHL skills competition, Mike Gartner completed a lab in 13.386 seconds. That comes out to a little over 29 miles per hour! Of course players are not always skating that fast, but for brief moments they are. In addition, the action in hockey is almost non-stop. No delay, while a new play is called, no time wasted for a pitcher to throw the ball, no slow dribble down the court. Our guys are constantly skating, hitting, shooting and basically “flying” around the whole time they’re on the ice. What other sport substitute’s players on the fly? Now combine this fast pace with getting your body smashed up against the glass. Sound pretty scary and intense? Well this leads me to my next two reasons.
3. The physicality. Hockey combines the hitting of football with high paced action. You really can’t compare how exciting a fight is between to players with any other sport
4. Player Toughness. In hockey, players get hit with pucks or sticks to the face and keep on playing. They get it stitched up and you’re back out on the ice. Players even play with broken fingers or broken noses. Broken jaws? They wire them up and wear a cage on their helmet. Most athletes are tough, hockey seems to just take it too another level.
5. The fights. Come on, this is a no brainer. What other sport can players get away with fighting? We never want to see anyone get really hurt in a fight, but there is something about it that is just so entertaining and noble about a player defending and protecting his teammates. It’s an exciting part of the game that I don’t think should ever be taken out.
6. Slap Shots. Seeing a player hit a puck at 108 mph? Sounds pretty darn awesome right? Yeah well it happens in hockey especially with Zdeno Chara’s powerful shot which does reach up to speeds of 108 mph. You wonder how players have the courage to clump in front of the net as a slap shot goes whizzing by their shoulder.
7. Golatenders making acrobatic saves. Have you seen some of the amazing saves, NHL goaltenders make? These guys are flexible and have fantastic reflexes. These players can slide from one side of the net to the other in a second if it means saving the puck. Throwing your body in front of a slap shot? Yeah, that’s basically their job. I seriously hold a lot of respect for goaltenders for performing the way they do.
8. Power plays. Power plays tend to bring out the best in everyone. Players become desperate to not let the puck in the net. Guys dive on the ice to block slap shots. They skate faster and harder. Everything becomes that much more intense during a power play which makes an already exciting game even better.
9. The tradition. Hockey has one of the strongest senses of traditions in all of sports. Kids in Canada and up North in America tend to grow up playing hockey outside on a real frozen lake. It’s a right of passage for a young hockey player to clumsily lace his skates in the numbing cold on the bank of some frozen pond. Eventually they graduate to indoor rinks and organized play, but a freshly frozen pond always has a certain allure to a hockey player.
10. Your Florida Panthers! Without hockey there would be no Panthers and we would be left bored and depressed during the Fall and Spring so thank goodness for this wonderfully entertaining sport!
Thanks for reading and all comments are appreciated!
Follow the Rat Pack on Twitter: me @chrissaay44, Frank Rekas @TheRatTrick , David Lasseter @davidlasseter , Josh Luecht@joshluecht, Patrick McLaughlin @PatrickRattrick, Scott Mullin @GreatScottsman, David Rodriguez @davidbub_2, Paige Lewis @RatTrickLewiz Gabby Kiger @gabbykiger, and Adam Reid@AdamReid. Also, please join our Facebook Fan Page and hit the like button, send us photos, and make some comments