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What Makes the NHL Enjoyable to Watch?

R LSenior Analyst IMarch 29, 2016

Nobody is perfect. A referee makes a bad call and it leads to your team losing a key match-up. It's happened to everyone I assume. You may be able to let it go and believe that the official did the job to the best of his ability.

Many would agree that it's much easier to get upset and shout at the television. Sure, I've been through it and wondered why I continue watching. At times I have even thought about going over to the dark side (Kontinental Hockey League).

Truth be told, I can't do it. The NHL is what I grew up on and I will never leave it. My favourite stars have played here and I can't just cease following their careers. This league has plenty to offer that no other can match.

Here are some things that keep me loyal to the NHL. Call it a laundry list if you will.

  • Henrik Lunqvist headbutting a puck out of play. Yes, he does it on purpose.
  • Alexander Ovechkin. Need I explain?
  • Martin Brodeur flashing the glove.
  • Zach Parise scoring from virtually everywhere.
  • Nikolai Zherdev finally getting the recognition he deserves.
  • The mean style of the Philadelphia Flyers, and of course their penalty kill.
  • Tim Thomas' style resembling former great Dominik Hasek's.
  • Evgeni Malkin quickly taking over the league.
  • Rookie Steve Mason carrying the Blue Jackets on his back.
  • The sensation that is Pavel Datsyuk's stick-handling.
  • Phil Kessel's toe-drag goals.
  • A healthy Marian Gaborik and Tim Connolly.
  • New Norris Trophy candidates such as Shea Weber.
  • Ilya Kovalchuk's one-time blast.
  • From Jussi Jokinen to Wojtek Wolski-the NHL's shootout kings.
  • Zdeno Chara man-handling opponents (cough, cough Bryan McCabe).
  • Sidney Crosby complaining. Hey, it is entertaining to watch.
  • Matthew Lombardi's speed.
  • Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley, and Jason Spezza on one line playing at the top of their game.
  • Mike Green's top-shelf finishes from in close.
  • Patrick Kaleta finishing his checks.
  • Alexander Semin's quick release with the puck.
  • Chris Thorburn's willingness to play any position so long as he's playing.
  • Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane avoiding the sophomore slumps.
  • Chris Chelios staying in great shape to have a shot at competing.
  • Brian Campbell's spin-o-rama.
  • Bobby Ryan finding his potential.
  • Mikhail Grabovski becoming the first of many much needed acquisitions in Toronto.
  • Clutch goals from Chris Drury.
  • Dion Phaneuf flattening a forward.
  • The cycle game between Daniel and Henrik Sedin.
  • Craig Anderson facing 40-plus shots in a game. He seems to excel with more pucks thrown at him.
  • Andrei Markov's slap-pass.
  • Little, White, Russian line (Bryan Little, Todd White, and Slava Kozlov).
  • Tomas Holmstrom fighting in front of the net.
  • Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis wreaking havoc on the penalty kill.
  • Ales Hemsky's presence when he's in the Edmonton Oilers lineup.
  • The Los Angeles Kings playing defense-first hockey. Better late than never.
  • Alexei Kovalev easing his way through the defense.
  • Kris Versteeg getting his chance.
  • Jarome Iginla's willingness to do anything for the better of his team.
  • Ryan Getzlaf, Joe Thornton, and Johan Franzen-big men who can make big plays.
  • Joe Corvo calmly walking the blue line with the puck on his stick.
  • A one-on-one rush from Martin Havlat.
  • Carey Price's cool mindset.
  • Shawn Thornton fighting anyone and more importantly, fighting fair.
  • Dan Boyle resembling a forward.
  • Rick Nash making something out of virtually nothing.
  • A wild atmosphere in Minnesota.
  • Doug Weight, Jason Arnott, and Paul Kariya still lacing them up.
  • Nathan Horton's snap-shot.
  • Shootout moves from Mike Ribeiro.
  • A 6 foot 5 inch Evgeny Artyukhin flying like the wind.
  • Anton Volchenkov's shot-blocking.
  • Roberto Luongo keeping the Vancouver Canucks alive in a game.
  • Mark Streit proving how much of a key he was to the Montreal Canadiens powerplay.
  • Duncan Keith's newly found confidence.
  • Steve Sullivan returning to the game following a lengthy absence.
  • Dennis Wideman becoming one of the game's best all-round defensemen.
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs inability to hold a lead.
  • Derek Roy no longer falling on the ice so much.
  • Combining hits with goals. Nobody better than Dustin Brown.
  • Joel Ward earning a hard-fought spot in the Nashville Predators lineup.
  • Hockey Night in Canada.

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