Happy Hockey Week!
It’s finally October friends, which means it’s time to get back into the ridiculous and rowdy sport of hockey. Here are a few ways to welcome in the “5th season”–it’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Get the Games
If you’re a hockey fan, it’s imperative to watch your team play, bleed and win at least 2 times a week, for the next 9 months. Besides being time consuming, this can be a very pricey, but necessary endeavor. For the past two years, I have purchased the NHL.TV package ($140) and, combined with cable, it’s worked for me, for the most part. Unfortunately, NHL.TV doesn’t include games broadcast on the NHL channel which make up for quite a few games. This year, I’m trying out Sling TV with the NHL channel ($35), which, I just found out, won’t let me watch games broadcast in Canada, which also make up for quite a few games. So, I get about the same amount of games I did before, but different blackouts. In other words, if I really want to see whatever hockey game my heart desires, I’d have to buy cable, with NBC Sports, Fox Sports, the NHL channel as well as NHL.TV, which I’m not going to do because I’m not going to spend $200+ on television each month. So, I will do what I always have done and listen to the radio broadcast when I can’t find a game on the telly. Razor calling the Dallas Stars is a personal favorite of mine, although it won’t be the same without Dave Strader.
Get the Gear
I am always talking about buying hockey gear, mostly because I love to buy fandom paraphernalia. This year, the jerseys changed brands from Reebok to Adidas, which is a good of an excuse as any to buy something for yourself or your fave fan. If you love a sale like I do, the Reebok jerseys for most teams are on sale all over the web, as official resale sites try to get rid of the old and make way for the new. Personally, I’m planning on representing my favorite players all over the league with gear in all colors. I’ve got a Maple Leaf tank top in the mail, a Minnesota Wild Cullen shirsey coming from my Sin Bin sisters in Minny and still can’t decide which Vegas Golden Knights number to get for the game I’m going to in December.
Get That Fantasy Team Together
If you play fantasy hockey, your draft should already be finished and your teams chosen. Now comes the difficult part–keeping an eye on that lineup regularly. That means, checking to see who has games, who is on IR and when teams start their bye weeks. I recently had to drop a player I drafted because his NHL team sent him down to the minors, and I did it with only a few hours to spare before my weekly lineup was locked. Make sure to keep an eye on injuries, scoring streaks as well as droughts, and your team will hold up just fine. FYI, Team Daddy Issues (is me) happens to rank #1 in the Sin Bin Hockey League this fine morn! It will probably be the only time, so let me revel in it, will ya?
Get Game Tickets
Before the season even started, I had already begun to parse out which local games I planned to attend this year. If you are like me and love a variety of teams that are not the local ones, check out the schedules and see who is playing near you and when. I like to buy my tickets from Stubhub or Vivid Seats last minute because prices drop closer to game day. The only exception to my ticket buying strategy has been the Vegas v. Pittsburgh game that is coming up in December. My friends and I are headed to Vegas to see Flower and the Golden Knights face Crosby and the Penguins (whom I am still mad at for going to the WH) and we bought tickets the day they went on sale for an exorbitant amount of money. I’m not even sorry.
Get Together With Friends
On most game days, I watch hockey alone and scream into my pillow. This is due to the fact that games are happening daily and it is impractical to try and go out to watch every game, at least for me. Still, it can be fun to meet up with friends and watch a game together every once in awhile. Not a lot of places show hockey games on their televisions, but the closer you are to an NHL rink, the more likely you are to find a game on a big screen. If you’re more inclined to stay home and scream at the telly, plan a game day at your house and invite a few buddies over. You can even plan a Twitter or Google Hangout date for your and your online hockey pals and chat throughout the game that way. Be sure to grab a six pack on the way home. I can think of few things better than pizza, beer, hockey, and friends.