Top Five Reasons NHL Hockey is the Best Game in Town
NHL injury updates from the Western Conference
© Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

People pay crazy amounts of money to watch sports live and on television. Games entertain us and give us a great amount of enjoyment. With more games to watch, the more exciting our weekdays and weekends become.

The NHL hockey season picks up shortly after the NFL football season begins and about when the MLB baseball comes to an end. Hockey gives us something to look forward to during the weekdays as the football season mostly dominated by Sunday and Monday, in a package that’s second to none.

Non-Stop Action and Excitement

Without a shot clock or long moments between plays, hockey is the one sport that can offers non-stop action for long periods. With player Connor McDavid pushing 20mph+ on the ice and pucks traveling over 100mph, there certainly isn’t a faster game to be found. The relatively small confines of the rink and players changing on the fly accentuate the action making hockey second to none in terms of continuous, non-stop playing.

Add in that in hockey, anything can happen at any given moment and you have a sport that will keep you on the edge of your seat all evening even more so if you bet on the games. NHL betting adds another level to the excitement, and there are numerous ways you can bet on your favorites to win, online, or at your favorite sportsbook.

Traditions, Superstitions, and Codes

Founded in 1917, the National Hockey League is over 100 years old. That much history has begotten some of the best traditions and superstitions in all of the sports. From odd pre-game rituals to playoff beards, hockey is a sport bursting with customs and codes.

One of the most-known superstitions is the decision teams face after winning either the Conference Finals. When presented with either the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl or the Prince of Wales Trophy, the victorious team Captain decides whether to touch the trophy or not touch it. The tradition (or superstition) lies in the belief or disbelief that touching the Conference Trophy decreases a team’s chances of winning the Stanley Cup.

Players to have some oddball beliefs. Long time Maple Leaf goalie and Vezina Trophy winner Eddie Belfour refused to let anybody except for himself touch any article of his equipment. Joe Nieuwendyk would eat two pieces of white toast with peanut butter before every game. In the extreme, Hall of Fame netminder Glenn Hall used to induce vomiting before every game, believing he’d lose unless he lost his pre-game meal before taking the ice.

Odd as these may sound, these superstitions and bizarre traditions set hockey apart from all else.

Players and Coaches Control the Game Flow

In most other major sports, games are often decided by the referees or umpires, paced by innings, shot clocks, and play clocks. Hockey is the only major sport where the players and the coaches define the tempo. Teams can speed it up, slow it down, or shake things up with big hits or by dropping the gloves. It’s the only sport where the athletes truly control the tempo of the game, which to a spectator makes it much more entertaining to watch.

The Lingo and the Jargon

From “top shelf” to “tumbling muffin” and “bar down,” if you’ve ever spoken to a hardcore hockey fan or player, you know how hilarious hockey jargon. Players can go “coast to coast like buttered toast,” lose their “chiclets” (teeth), or “ride the pine.” There are “grinders,” “playmakers,” “plumbers,” and “pylons.” Eye turning “rockets” (girls) in the stands behind the glass and a “Gordie Howe Hat Trick,” which means you’ve scored a goal, gotten an assist, and dropped the gloves to fight.

No other sport boasts a vocabulary as robust and rich as hockey.

The Best Playoffs

The NHL playoffs are, without a doubt, the most grueling and physical of all the major North American sports. Sixteen teams make the postseason, which is four-rounds of seven-game series coming on top of a grueling seven month of the regular season. Players play through all types of injury, and benches shorten, meaning star players are tasked to play longer and harder. No playoffs test athletes greater than the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

There is little doubt that the nature of the game, the speed, the action, the players, the playoffs, and all the tradition makes Hockey the greatest sport on earth.