10. Athletes in shape. Hockey players have the average lowest body fat of any of the professional sports.
9. Fighting is allowed, sort of. People get into fights in hockey and nobody stops them. In fact, people cheer. And the fighters get penalized, but go back on the ice later (in most cases).
8. Skill shooting. Use a wooden stick to fire a little black puck past a guy covered in pads and into a tiny little goal. You try it. It ain’t easy.
7. Love of the game. Hockey players love the game. And hockey fans love the game. And hockey players love their fans, and vice versa. You don’t get that kind of dedication in baseball, football and the NBA.
6. Power plays. You screw up, your team plays down a man for 2 minutes. It’s a Time Out, and it’s exciting. You don’t see man advantages in baseball, football or basketball.
5. Line changes. The ENTIRE BENCH plays. Two minutes of skating is tiring. So to keep everyone fresh they cycle in changes, which pits different players against each other. Strategy at its best.
4. Possession changes. A team gets the puck and immediately turns around and attacks, and vice versa. There are no “downs” or innings, nor is there a shot clock.
3. Stanley Cup. There’s no better trophy in all of sports. Lombardi’s is cool, but you can’t drink out of it. And it’s not called Lord Lombardi’s trophy. It’s called Lord Stanley’s Cup.
2. Canadian teams don’t suck. In every other sport, they do. Don’t tell that to the Ottowa Senators.
1. The last two minutes of the game are awesome. No time outs. No NBA fouling back and forth. The close games have the goalie pulled and they risk a goal to try and overpower the other team. It’s like pulling the outfielders and adding 3 more infielders, or pulling the offensive line to get 8 receivers instead of 5.
It’s the NHL playoffs. And they rule.