Football is my favourite sport and always will be. There’s nothing quite like following the drama of the beautiful game. Unlike most other sports, it is free-flowing rather than stop-start. There are interruptions but they are few and far between. It is a game that connects people around the world, with English Premier League fans in Africa, La Liga fans in South America, and Serie A fans in the Middle East.

However, since it has become easy to watch NHL games online, I’ve gotten into the sport. And, to my surprise, it is quite incredible. While it doesn’t quite match the excitement and beauty of football, it has its own charms. Even though I’m so far from the action, watching ice hockey has become one of my latest passions.

If you’re interested in broadening your taste in sports, here are 3 reasons to make the NHL your new passion.

Remarkable skill

I am clumsy enough on a football field and find it hard to imagine how professional footballers play at such a high intensity for 90 minutes. But ice hockey is even more of an enigma to me. It doesn’t have the beauty of footballing skills, but the skill required to skate on the ice at such a high speed while keeping control of the puck is simply remarkable.

Every single hockey player requires a huge amount of coordination simply to avoid hitting the boards every time they turn up the speed. And the speed is much higher than that of any other sport that doesn’t involve a vehicle.

It flows

I have always found football far more entertaining than rugby or cricket. In those sports, the game stops every few minutes or even seconds. Most of the time, you’re watching people prepare to do something. The same is true with basketball.

Hockey, however, has incredible flow. There are clashes between players and occasional foul play, but for the most part, when the game is on, it’s on. Penalties are of course a part of the game, but even these happen with little fanfare or disruption. The puck slides from one side to the other at a speed not found in any other game, and the excitement, therefore, does not let up.

The season ends in playoffs

One thing that most football leagues are missing is a playoff format at the end of the league seasons. There are good reasons for this – the point of a league format is that what happens over the course of the whole season is what counts. However, ice hockey has a playoff format that extends the excitement for another four months, and it is insane.

After seven months of regular league games, the top teams enter the most gruelling period. They play off against each other and, as we all know, playoff games are usually more exciting. It’s why we all love finals. So, with NHL, you get the league format as well as the playoffs, giving you the best of both worlds.

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