Should I watch Hockey?

So I have seen the Men’s and Women’s US and Canada teams play each other. I was freaking out. I haven’t been that excited over a sporting event in a while. I am gonna do all my power to see the rest of the Men’s schedule, but this begs the question…

Should I watch more hockey?

I was excited! Shot after shot after shot. So close, so many times! The constant motion, the ebb and flow. Is this what hockey is? Is this what I’m missing out on? Or is this just the best teams in the world playing each other and the games being good because of that?

Hockey dopers help me!

that sums it up pretty much. Men’s hockey is the best of the best, NHL hockey is a bunch of unskilled goons with a sprinkle of skilled players that are exciting to watch. I recommend at least trying NHL hockey to see if it’s at least decent to your liking, but it’s not exactly Olympic hockey. We need more Americans watching the sport so it doesn’t become a nonfactor between all the other major sports.

That’s the general idea… NHL Hockey is not as fist-in-your-throat day-to-day as Olympic hockey is, but watching two rivals play will still get your blood pumping.

in NHL there are actual fist fights and a whole lot more dirtier plays that require suspensions than what was seen in the Olympics. If you like fisticuffs and good old fashioned goonery you might like NHL a whole lot more. But I doubt it, most newer fans prefer the skill and flash over the grit and thug tactics that slow down the game considerably. Another thing to note is NHL playoffs is best of seven series. A lot less desperation when the series start and a lot more when the series is tied 3-3.

I can’t tell your location, but if you possibly can, get to a live game and sit as close as you can afford. The thing the television cannot convey is how fast the game is and how quickly these huge guys can move up and down the ice.

I have not forgiven the NHL and the NHLPA for the strike lockout in 2004/2005, which is why I go nuts when there’s Olympic hockey to be watched.

Hell, yes.

You can start with the playoffs this year, and see if you want to slog through the rather long regular season later.

I’ll second the go-to-a-live-game-right-away motion.

I’ll third it. I well remember my Dad taking me to Leaf games at Maple Leaf Gardens when I was a child. Made me a hockey fan for life, and a Leaf fan* to boot. Yes, get thee to a live game–go!

  • Yeah, yeah, I know. At least I’m old enough to have seen the Leafs win the Stanley Cup.

I was wondering this too. I watched the men’s US vs Canada and it was the most I’d enjoyed sporting event in years. It was also the first hockey game I watched that wasn’t part of a movie about waterfowl. So I’ve been thinking, “Is this what hockey always is? Have I been missing out on this my whole life?” I’d like to go see a Thrashers game, but I’ll have to find someone to see it with. So I’ll echo the OP and ask is regular hockey at all close to Olympic hockey? If it is the sport just found a new fan.

Sniff. I didn’t know you cared.

Playoff hockey can be just as exciting as the Olympics. Especially if your team only makes it in once every four years…

Regular season NHL hockey is kind of hit-and-miss, IMO. If you get to watch two great teams, like Washington vs. Pittsburgh, or Chicago vs. Detroit, etc., there’s a good chance of seeing a great game.

Conversely, if you’re watching a couple of crappy teams, or teams that struggle to regularly score goals, it can become a bit of a chore. When two teams that can’t score are playing one another, there’s generally a lot of scrambly play in the neutral zone (the area on the ice between the blue lines.)

One thing to remember is that Olympic rinks are bigger (200x100) than NHL ones (200x85). The extra space opens up the game and makes it beautiful. But regardless of the surface good teams make for good games.

Except for this year. They’re playing on NHL ice.

I thought they’d widen it some how… damn. Stand corrected BUT regardless of the surface good teams make for good games.

Yes, watch more hockey! I’ve played hockey for 20 of the 26 years I’ve been alive, so I might be a bit biased. :slight_smile:

When you have two skilled teams that are really motivated and trying hard it is very entertaining. As a general rule NHL playoff hockey games are faster and more intense. Though, there are plenty of regular season games that are played just as hard. Just before the Olympics, there was a game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals that pitted two of the best NHLers against each other - Crosby (Pittsburgh/Canada) and Ovechkin (Washington/Russia). It was a fantastic game to watch that ended up being decided in overtime.

As was suggested above, go to a game! It is a completely different experience. People sometimes complain about not being able to follow the puck on TV. That won’t be an issue at all when watching a live game. If you live in a non-hockey dominant market you should be able to get some really good, cheap seats.

The NHL plays on smaller, tighter rinks. Takes some of the pace and flair out of the wide open game you seen in the Olympics.

Again, these Olympics are using the same sized ice. The larger ice is one of the most overrated aspects of Olympic hockey: the excitement is due to the skill of the players, not the ice surface.

I am with everyone else in the thread so far. Going to a game is a different experience than watching one on TV, especially if you can get close. And playoff hockey is an order of magnitude more exiciting than the regular season stuff, at least approaching the sort of stuff we’re seeing in the Olympics. The skill level isn’t as high - we’re basically watching all star teams at this level - but the teams are more used to playing together, since it’s their full time job and they’ve been doing it for the past hundred-ish games between the preseason and regular season.

One other comment, hockey (at least as much as any other sport, and more than most) benefits hugely from watching it in HD. It’s still not as good as being there, but it’s a really big upgrade over SD.

I do have a minor league team near me (Indianapolis Ice…do they still exist?), and I used to live in Ft. Wayne with the Komets (a very good team in their own right). I always enjoyed going to Komet games, although it never happened too often. I was mostly talking about TV…maybe I will sometime if there’s nothing else on…

The answer to your question is yes, you should watch! I agree that you should go to a live game if you can. For a non-cable game coming up soon on TV in the US, Detroit and Chicago are playing the Sunday game on NBC on March 7. NBC’s broadcasts aren’t the best IMO, but I think both of those teams are a lot of fun to watch. You might want to check the rosters so you can recognize the players by their numbers.

Indy has a fairly new junior hockey team, they are not pro but the level of play can be pretty good in this league , the players are from 16 to 20 years old.