Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hockey is confusing and long.

I watch a lot of sports. I only blog about the Mets and baseball but I am a regular viewer and follower of most other US sports at the college and pro level and a few international sports as well. Pretty much the only sports I don't follow are auto racing and Hockey. This is the story of my attempt to fix that, at least on the hockey end.

Growing up I didn't really know anything about Hockey and no one I knew seemed to follow it. I know that Rangers won the Stanley Cup while I was living in NY and remember not only not caring but actively thinking that it was weird how little people seemed to care about the fact that a local sports team won a championship. Later in life I lived in places where hockey was popular and once a year I would say I was getting into hockey, watch it for twenty minutes, then give up. Well this year I am trying again and blogging about it, largely because the baseball off season is so slow right now and I need something to write about.

The Hockey season began today and so far I have watched two games. A Pennsylvania Derby between the Penguins and the Flyers and a Rangers - Bruins game, which I assume is a rivalry since it between Boston and New York but I really don't know. As I type this I am catching the end of a Montreal Canadiens and Toronto (no idea) game, it features charming plugs for CBC police procedurals airing after it ends. So far I would describe my first experience of all day hockey watching as confusing and I hate to say it.. boring.

Hockey is a really, really long game. Interminably long. I mean, it has two half times and the clock seems to stop constantly. After watching Hockey for eight hours my first recommendation is that they should get rid of one of the periods, three seems excessive. It is also really hard to follow, half the time it seems the camera operators have trouble finding the puck, what luck do I have? I know that at one point they made the puck colored on TV so people could see it. Apparently this was unpopular because they don't do it anymore, but I am not sure why.

In general I have no idea what is happening on the ice half the time. Let's begin with I do know about hockey.
  • I understand the essential basics. I know the puck goes in the net and what not.
  • I know that their is icing and off-sides and that one of them involves the blue line, I have no idea what either means, what the penalty is or how you commit these offenses. I used to turn it off in NHL 94 so I never learned.
  • I know their is fighting and from what I can tell it is against the rules but also seems allowed. This is very confusing.
  • I know the LA Kings won the Stanley Cup but aren't expected to repeat. I don't understand why the Canadian teams don't just dominate this sport.
  • Unlike NHL 94 the real sport dosen't appear to have the "one timer" or the ability to do the thing where you skate from behind the goal and score easily.

That's about it.

As the season moves forward I will continue to watch and try to understand this mysterious and confusing sport. Maybe by the end I will be able to understand icing...


  1. Just like the other major leagues in the US, the players don't have to be from the city they're playing for, which is why Canadian teams don't dominate. Even if it was like that, it's not like Americans are completely useless at hockey.

  2. Yeah that makes sense, it just seems like the Canadian teams should have some kind of edge at their National past time.

    Also isn't it interesting that US Hockey teams are so successful but Canadian teams playing other sports (Basketball, baseball) are generally amongst the worst franchises. Even though they are generally not staffed by Canadians. I wonder why that is...