Hockey is and always will be my favorite sport. If there was a game on from each of the four major sports, I would choose hockey over them all in a hearbeat. Sadly as most of you know, hockey has really taken a backseat to baseball, basketball, and football.
The lockout was what really hurt the league. Nonetheless there are still many hockey fans out their who love the game and for those of you who are not sure if you are a hockey fan or not or want to soon become one then just read this list and you will have your answer.
10. You Wake Up at 5:30 A.M. for a Quick Skate Before School or a Job You Really Don't Want to Go To
I think most of us will admit that we have done this at one point in our life or another probably when we were much younger). There was nothing better than the first skate on a fresh piece of ice.
9. You Imitated Bobby Orr or Wayne Gretzky When Playing Pond Hockey
These two are arguably the best two guys to ever lace up a pair of skates. The way they played the game was just amazing to watch and you know you always tried to skate circles around your friends and then score an amazing goal at the other end when you played.
8. You Still Call the Phoenix Coyotes the Winnipeg Jets
We all know that hockey just hasn't worked in Arizona. The move was a bold one since the Jets weren't generating enough revenue and the league thought they had to expand to the Southwest.
But we have to face facts, it just hasn't. Attendance is worse in Phoenix now then it was in Winnipeg. There are some people that wont even call them the Coyotes, instead still considering them the Jets. I'm sorry to all those real Coyotes fans out there but you won't have a team much longer so enjoy it while it lasts.
7. You Think Gary Bettman is a Bum and Has to Go
I think most hockey fans would agree that they hate Mr. Bettman and wish he would resign or be fired as commisioner of the NHL.
He was the reason for the loss of the Nordiques and the Jets and the decision to move them was a diasaster. He also killed hockey by not getting a contract with ESPN, instead getting one with Versus which most fans don't even get.
6. You Remember the Days When the Islanders Were Good
Most hockey fans do not know that the Islanders won four straight Stanley Cups from 1980-1983. Sadly, that dynasty is long gone and the Isles have been a very down franchise since. Hopefully they will be able to come back with John Taveras leading them.
5. You Know Hockey Players Are the Toughest S.O.B.'s in Sports
There are simply no other athletes as tough as those in hockey.
A perfect example of this is earlier this year when the 'Canes were playing the Bruins. Eric Staal took a puck right to the face late in the second period. With his team down 6-1 in the third period he came back out and played after getting 20-plus stiches to his face and scored a goal.
If that had happened to a baseball player he would have been out a minimum of six months.
4. You Know There Are No Better Rivalries than Those in Hockey
Baseball could make a case with the Red Sox and Yankess, but they play each other 18 times a year, so not every game is important.
In hockey, you play one team at most six times, and usually a rival only four times, so the intensity is always there. You have Canadiens vs. Bruins and Penguins vs. Flyers.
3. You Know There Are No Better Playoffs than the Stanley Cup Playoffs
The Stanley Cup Playoffs are easily the most exciting in all of sports. Every game keeps you on the edge of your seat, knowing one mistake could either send your team to the next round or make you wait four months until next season. What's better than sudden-death overtime and knowing that the next goal will make or break a team's season.
2. You Never Bet on the Sharks in the Playoffs
I'm sorry to all Sharks fans out there, but I think you knew this one was coming.
The Sharks have been one of the best teams in the NHL (in the regular season) for the better part of this decade, especially since the lockout ended. Yet for some reason they can never carry that play into the playoffs.
For the past four years they have finished either first or second in the Pacific Division but have failed to get out of the second round. When it comes to putting my money on a team to win the Cup, I never put it on the Sharks.
1. You Understand How Great the Stanley Cup Presentation Really Is
Of all the major championships the best championship celebration is watching the winning team's players skate around holding the Stanley Cup high in the air.
Some of the greatest players in the league never got a chance to do this. One of the best moments I've seen was Ray Borque finally winning a Cup in his final NHL season with the Colorado Avalanche.
Borque spent almost his entire career with the Bruins and made the finals twice but lost to the Oilers both times. He finally asked for a trade to a contender which the Bruins gave him. His last year the Av's, he finally won the Cup and Borque was the first to skate around with it.
So there you have it, the ten best ways to know you're a hockey fan. For those of you who want to become a hockey fan, memorize these and you will be well on your way. We need more fans so keep up with the game and whenever you get the chance watch a game when it's on tv.