Why I Love Hockey and You Should Watch It Too

November 15, 2023
Jonathan Mintz

Memphis, Tennessee, United States

Class of 2024

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It’s December 10th, 2021, about 11:00 PM. I am holed up in a bathroom because Memphis is under a tornado watch, and I am very bored. So, I turn my phone on, open Hulu, and try to find something to watch. I end up settling on Canucks vs. Jets, a hockey game. I’m fairly certain the last time I watched hockey was the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but for some reason, I turned the game on. The Canucks and Jets have traded goals all game, but the scoring goes quiet at three apiece midway through the second.

The tornado watch lifts, and I can leave my bathroom, but I’m not paying attention. My only worry is whether my phone has enough battery to finish the game. The third period ends, and the teams are still tied, so the game goes to overtime. After a fast-paced 3 on 3 overtime period, the game is still tied. Enter the shootout. With their very first penalty shot, slumping Canucks star Elias Petterson fakes left, then curls his stick around the goalie and taps it in; a move known as the Forsberg! If it wasn’t about 12:30 AM, I probably would’ve screamed (actually, I probably did scream). It was amazing! But it isn’t over. Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko makes a fairly simple save on Jets winger Kyle Connor’s attempt before Canucks forward J.T. Miller nearly ricochets a shot into the goal off of Jets goalie Eric Comrie’s skate. Demko and Comrie's trade save once more, which sets up Jets forward Pierre Luc Dubois for a do-or-die shootout attempt. As boos rain down from the Canucks crowd, Demko dives for the save, and the Canucks win! From that moment on, I have been HOOKED!

You should be, too.

First off, while most of this applies to everybody, the first point only applies to Americans because ESPN+ is only available in America. Assuming you’re in the US, hockey is, by far, the easiest sport to watch. ESPN+ gives you access to every single out-of-market game live, and you can watch full replays of every in-market game a few hours after they end. It’s amazing! Plus, you can get ESPN+, Disney+, and Hulu for only $15 a month with ads, which is cheaper than Netflix without ads. What a bargain!

Second, hockey is really interesting! It’s one of the only sports that force you to learn how to move. Movement is an incredibly important part of sports like basketball or football, but you never describe somebody in that sport as a “good runner” because everybody knows how to run. But, in hockey, since you must learn how to ice skate, the term “good skater” is incredibly common. I think that facet of the game makes it incredibly interesting. I can go play a pickup basketball game, and while I’m not good, I can play basketball. However, since I can’t ice skate (there’s not even an ice rink in Memphis, Tennessee), the only way I can engage in hockey is through watching it.

Third, it’s so exciting! Since substitutions are allowed at any time, even during play, every player sprints for their entire ice time, creating an incredibly fast-paced match. Between massive open-ice hits and nasty one-timers, there’s no shortage of moments that’ll get you cheering. However, that’s not all the excitement hockey has to offer. Whether it’s realizing a winger is in the perfect position to redirect a pass into the net or a long pass from a defenceman that starts a fast break, hockey always finds a way to get you out of your feet.

Lastly, I just want to say that you should watch the Canucks. We’re an exciting team behind our big three of Captain Quinn Hughes (who is Jewish!), Superstar forward Elias Pettersson, and Goalie Thatcher Demko. This year, we’ve gotten out to our best start in franchise history, 8-2-1, but you probably wouldn’t even be called a bandwagon because we kinda have an over 50-year-long history of pain.

Quinn for Norris! Petey for Hart! Demko for Vezina! Tocchet for Jack Adams! Go Canucks!

Jonathon is an Aleph from Memphis who likes songwriting, speedcubing, and photography!

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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