10 Facts Every Fan Should Know About The NHL
If you call yourself a hockey fan, or plan on calling yourself a hockey fan, then you’d better know the following ten facts about the National Hockey League.
1. The Basics
Two teams, six on six, attempt to score on one another while skating on ice. They hit a rubber puck around using their hockey sticks in an attempt to score on the opposing team’s net. If you don’ t know this much, then you don’t know what hockey is.
2. The History
Most believe that the indigenous people of Canada created a version of the game centuries ago, using crude wooden hockey sticks. British soldiers picked it up in the 1840s and introduced a few rules to it. In 1910 the sport was popular enough to warrant the founding of the National Hockey Association. They became known as the National Hockey League in 1917.
3. U.S.A. vs. U.S.S.R.
At the height of the cold war, these two nations met in the semi-final at the 1980 Winter Olympics. Now known as the miracle on ice, this game was a classic example of David vs. Goliath. In this rare instance, the U.S. was David. Nobody loves rooting for the underdog (or against the Russians) more than the Americans, making this game an instant classic. David beat Goliath, by the way, but if you’re a hockey fan, then you knew that already. (Thank you Don for the correction)
4. The Hanson Brothers
These three childish goons, who acted as violent enforcers on their team, will always be known as three of the most memorable figures in hockey history. By the way, these guys aren’t real. They are characters in the greatest hockey movie ever, “Slapshot”, which also happens to be one of the greatest sports movies ever.
5. There’s Fighting Allowed
Hockey has a few rules about rough play, such as not allowing players to hook others with their hockey sticks. They even have a penalty box where players are sent for disobeying the rules. Except unlike most sports, hockey encourages fighting. If players have beef with each other, they can settle it with fisticuffs.
6. The Power Play
When a player is penalized he must leave the game for two minutes as punishment, leaving his team a man short. This results in the opposing team trying to take advantage with a power play, which tends to be an offensive onslaught on the other team.
7. The Greatest Player Ever
Known as the ‘Great One’, Wayne Gretzky is often called the Michael Jordan of Hockey. Not true. Jordan was the Gretzky of basketball. Gretzky scored 1,062 goals in his professional career, won three gold medals with Canada, won four Stanley Cups as well as 9 Hart Trophies (the NHL version of the MVP), 8 of which he won in consecutive years.
8. Most Dominant Franchise Ever
The Montreal Canadiens have won 23 titles. The Toronto Maple Leafs come in a distant second with 13 titles. Those Canadians sure know how to play.
9. The Fiercest Rivalry
Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens. These two teams have played one another more than any other two in the history of the NHL, including a mind blowing 32 playoff series, of which the Canadiens have won 24.
10. Who Won Last Year’s Stanley Cup?
The Los Angles Kings were the 2012 Stanley Cup champions. What makes them so special? The fact that they barely got into the playoffs at an 8 seed, then proceeded to wreck havoc on their way to their first title.
If you call yourself a hockey fan, then you better know these ten things about the NHL.
Share with friends:July 17, 2012