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John Edwards

My first ever hockey game. Tips?

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Hi Everyone, 

 

I've never watched hockey before but I'd really like to get into it, so I'm taking my girlfriend to the game this saturday against the Canadians. I have a few questions for all you die hards.

 

1. Do people tail gate? If I bring food and beer will there be a community of other people doing the same in the parking lot?

 

2. Are there any canes chants or unspoken rules I should know of?

 

thanks everyone,

 

John

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Awesome, John.

 

1.  Do we tailgate?  Boy I could tell you some stories.

 

Well, those of us that are left do!!!  Keep in mind there is a basketball game on Saturday so the parking lot's might be a bit of a mess with traffic up to 4 pm or so.  You shouldn't have any problem finding other folks to tailgate with though.  Most everyone welcomes anybody that happens to walk up so don't be bashful about doing that.

 

2.  Other than being respectful and not yelling stupid stuff during the anthems, not really.  Y'all should pick up on the in-game chants pretty quick. 

 

When you enter the arena, you can pick up free line-up sheets at any of the Eye stores which has the players numbers from each team and their individual statistics.  Usually there is somebody right at the entrance handing them out.

 

It's a fast game and is best viewed live.  Hope you have a really great time and fall in love with the sport, the team needs all the support we can muster.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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Tailgating?  Are you talking to me?  It's a national pastime here in Carolina.  As coastal said though, Saturday's basketball game earlier is going to mess up the festivities.  I was planning on starting about 2 PM, but the lot will still be full then.  They "advertise" the lots opening at 4PM, but if you know how to move a traffic cone, then not so much.

 

Don't go to or from your seat while the puck is in play.  If you need to go pottie, wait until a stop in play to get up. 

 

Hockey is the best sport to watch live.  So much goes on that you don't see on TV.  Glad to have you aboard.

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So first and foremost, I'm assuming you are not THAT John Edwards - but seeing as you're obviously in or near Raleigh - and that you've mentioned your "girlfriend" - I just had to ask  :lol:

 

Your post suggests you may not have seen much hockey at all, so:

 

"Offside" is called when any player of the team that is moving the puck toward the opposing goaltender crosses the blue line BEFORE the puck does. That's true even if the puck-carrier himself gets turned around and happens to drag the puck into the offensive zone after his skates are in (although that particular occurrence is pretty rare). Offside doesn't result in a player doing time in the penalty box, just a face-off outside the blue line where the infraction occurred.

 

"Icing" is when a player sends the puck from the side of the center (red) line that he is defending all the way down the ice, without it being touched by any player on either team. No penalty, but in this case the face-off comes all the way back to the offending team's end of the rink, and the offending team is not permitted to change any players until the face-off has occurred. This gives the other team a slight advantage, b/c they get to put fresh troops out with a chance to control the puck in the offensive zone.

 

The rest of the infractions will be pretty self-explanatory or obvious (tripping, slashing, hooking, delay of game) because they carry penalty time, are announced, and are timed on the scoreboard.

 

The other thing I can tell you is that a great way to quickly get up to speed - literally - is by concentrating on the puck. There is a whole lot going on away from the puck, and once you get a feel for how quickly the game moves, you can start to look for those things. But for the first period or so, try just focusing on the puck. If you do - and if you've ever watched any hockey on TV and found it hard to follow - you will find that watching on TV becomes MUCH easier after you've seen a live game and become really aware of the speed at which this game is played. That is what blows most people away when they attend a game, and while it will amaze you no matter where your seats are, it really knocks your socks off if you are within 15 or 20 rows of the ice.

 

Enjoy the game, John! 

Edited by top-shelf-1

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You will also notice that the players on the ice are constantly changing.  Forwards change in groups of 3 (lines), defenseman in pairs (pairings).  Normally, an individual forward line or defensive pairing is only on the ice for around 30 seconds before heading back to the bench.

 

Coaches send out their lines and pairings to attempt to get better players from their team on the ice against lesser players from the opponents team, or to match up the right players from their team against certain players on the opponents team.  It's often to referred to as line-matching, but it's a big part of the game strategy.

 

Kind of explains a lot of the other stuff going on Top was referring to.

 

I would recommend getting to your seat at 6:30pm to see the warmup skate.  All kinds of stuff to see and hear.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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You will also notice that the players on the ice are constantly changing.  Forwards change in groups of 3 (lines), defenseman in pairs (pairings).  Normally, an individual forward line or defensive pairing is only on the ice for around 30 seconds before heading back to the bench.

 

Coaches send out their lines and pairings to attempt to get better players from their team on the ice against lesser players from the opponents team, or to match up the right players from their team against certain players on the opponents team.  It's often to referred to as line-matching, but it's a big part of the game strategy.

 

Kind of explains a lot of the other stuff going on Top was referring to.

 

I would recommend getting to your seat at 6:30pm to see the warmup skate.  All kinds of stuff to see and hear.

Coastal is right, and you might also enjoy just watching the benches for maybe five minutes of clock time, because line changes alone pretty much put a night at the ballet to shame  :D

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The other thing I can tell you is that a great way to quickly get up to speed - literally - is by concentrating on the puck.

Regarding watching the puck, even just doing that can be difficult and frustrating to someone new to the sport.

 

I’m reminded of when my neighbor was over at my house when I was watching the Canes one time and he knew very little about hockey and was getting so frustrated because he was losing track of the puck but he could tell I didn’t have any problem.  He said, “I don’t understand hockey, how you can enjoy watching it as I can’t even follow the puck!”

 

He was a huge football fan, so I said, "When you’re watching football and it's 4th and inches and there’s a quarterback sneak.  You never see the football, but you’re sure he made the first down.  How do you know?" 

 

He said, “Well, you can tell by the offensive line, how they got a good push forward.”

 

“O.K.” I continued, “the running back has the ball in his opposite arm from your viewpoint, you can’t see the ball but you’re sure he fumbled. How?” 

 

“You just know, you see guys scrambling on the ground, diving in and so on, so he must have fumbled.”

 

“Right!” I said. “You don’t see the ball, but you know what’s going on because you know the game and understand the plays and positioning and everything.  It’s the same with hockey, when you have that comprehension, losing sight of the puck will be no different than losing sight of the football!”

 

It was a light bulb revelation for him.  He hasn’t become a huge hockey fan, but did gain an appreciation from that exchange.  

 

The best advice I can give is patience, take it all in and this fast, seemingly disorganized frantic game will slow down as you gain more understanding.  Maybe start by just watching the Canes powerplay, they move plenty slow...but I digress...

 

I wish our team was better as attending a home win makes for a much better experience, but make the most of it!  Enjoy!

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You probably know this, but just in case -

 

I'd advise your girlfriend to dress warm, you don't want to have a situation where she gets cold, you know, at your first game and all.

 

She might even think about a hat of some kind, scarf, and some gloves just in case.  Depending on your seat location, it can get chilly in there.

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So first and foremost, I'm assuming you are not THAT John Edwards - but seeing as you're obviously in or near Raleigh - and that you've mentioned your "girlfriend" - I just had to ask  :lol:

 

 

My first thoughts as well,lol. Seriously John, The game of Hockey is the best game of all sports to watch live. Very Very fast sport that will keep you interested throughout the game (most of the time). I think you will be amazed at the talent of the players with their skating ability and the accuracy of their passes. Be sure to take advantage of the tailgating as the concession stand pricing will have you hitting the ATM for more sheckles. 

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Enjoy the game, John!  I wish i could watch a hockey game for the first time again - i was still toddling at my first so i don't remember it at all.

 

One thing i perhaps do differently when i see a game live is that i don't fight to follow the puck - i tend to watch one player, whether he has the puck or not.  Sure, i'll glance over to the puck here and there, but i enjoy watching a one-person perspective because it's fun watching how he positions himself based on what's happening around him - gives a good feel for what goes on in a broader sense.  I'll usually do this for the entire shift - which, as stated above, usually lasts ~30 seconds.  Then when he goes to the bench, i'll start on another player. Yeah, i'll miss things doing this, but at the same time i'll catch things that other people are missing - there's plenty to watch.  And even there, when you watch a game that way it doesn't take too long to figure out who the more-dynamic players are and you find yourself gravitating to them.  That way you not only see the dynamic players when they 'do something dynamic' such as score or hit, but you see what they do for 15 seconds leading up to it to get themselves in that position.

 

Either way, again, i hope you enjoy it.  And i hope the Hurricanes show up - if they turn in an effort like last night, you probably won't be too impressed.  Unless you spend your time watching the Canadiens, that is!

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I think if you concentrate on trying to follow the puck too much, you miss a lot of what is happening.  There is usually plenty to see all over the ice.  You need to keep up with the puck enough to keep up with the game, but if something big happens (like a goal), it will be replayed on the video. 

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Hey everyone, thanks for all your tips. They came in handy. Here are my first impressions of hockey. 

 

A. I'm not THAT John Edwards. I've heard he's a pretty nice guy though (once you get past him having a love child while his wife battled cancer). 

 

B. First the positives: Hockey is a great sport, especially when viewed live ,and I definitely plan on coming back. I love the fast paced nature of the game, the lack of ticky tack penalties that are ruining the NFL, and the grit of all the players. If I lived near a rink I'd learn how to play.

 

C. The negatives: It feels like whoever controls the game screens and music is stuck in the 90's, which coupled with the lack of attendees, gives off an amateurish vibe as if I'm at a minor league baseball game not a professional match between two televised teams. Seriously, big bombastic words like "noise," with power-point '07 transitions? Who is that hyping up? 

 

D. Overall I enjoyed my experience. It doesn't beat a Panthers game, but it's a great time and I've gained an appreciation for Hockey, the Canes, and all the fans. I'll be back.

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Happy to hear you enjoyed the hockey experience and to read your comments. When the arena is full and the fans are rocking there is no need to pay attention to scoreboard prompts. Caniacs know when to make noise.

 

You saw a good high energy game for your first trip to PNC for hockey.

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Yeah talk about picking the right game. I mistakenly thought you went to the NJ game and was about to say nice knowing you. But last night's game was about as good as it gets right now. The key being right now. Sure the Panthers are on fire right now and the Canes are in their nadir. When the house is full and the team is playing well? Even that hokey stuff on the Jumbotron seems to work, and the place can absolutely rock. Just writing that brings a little tear to the eye. Anyways,  all I can say is this. One day, far away, when next the Canes make the playoffs. Go to one of those games. You'll be hooked.

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So first and foremost, I'm assuming you are not THAT John Edwards - but seeing as you're obviously in or near Raleigh - and that you've mentioned your "girlfriend" - I just had to ask  :lol:

 

Your post suggests you may not have seen much hockey at all, so:

 

"Offside" is called when any player of the team that is moving the puck toward the opposing goaltender crosses the blue line BEFORE the puck does. That's true even if the puck-carrier himself gets turned around and happens to drag the puck into the offensive zone after his skates are in (although that particular occurrence is pretty rare). Offside doesn't result in a player doing time in the penalty box, just a face-off outside the blue line where the infraction occurred.

 

"Icing" is when a player sends the puck from the side of the center (red) line that he is defending all the way down the ice, without it being touched by any player on either team. No penalty, but in this case the face-off comes all the way back to the offending team's end of the rink, and the offending team is not permitted to change any players until the face-off has occurred. This gives the other team a slight advantage, b/c they get to put fresh troops out with a chance to control the puck in the offensive zone.

 

The rest of the infractions will be pretty self-explanatory or obvious (tripping, slashing, hooking, delay of game) because they carry penalty time, are announced, and are timed on the scoreboard.

 

The other thing I can tell you is that a great way to quickly get up to speed - literally - is by concentrating on the puck. There is a whole lot going on away from the puck, and once you get a feel for how quickly the game moves, you can start to look for those things. But for the first period or so, try just focusing on the puck. If you do - and if you've ever watched any hockey on TV and found it hard to follow - you will find that watching on TV becomes MUCH easier after you've seen a live game and become really aware of the speed at which this game is played. That is what blows most people away when they attend a game, and while it will amaze you no matter where your seats are, it really knocks your socks off if you are within 15 or 20 rows of the ice.

 

Enjoy the game, John! 

 

Late to the party but thought I'd chime in based on my own experience in picking up hockey much later than all of the other major sports. 

 

One thing I'd add is appreciating how important it is for the team on defense to clear the puck from their own end without Icing it.  Or, conversely, for the team on offense to keep the puck in their own end when the defense is trying to clear it. Because of the Offside rule (as nicely summarized above), if the team on defense sends the puck back to the other side of their blue line, everybody on the offensive teams side has to retreat back into the neutral center zone before they can attack again.  It makes the opposition completely restart their attack and relieves the pressure when a team is attacking on offense.   

 

I also came to appreciate how important it is to get the puck into your opponents defensive zone without going Offsides and the "mini battles" at the blue line to make it/ prevent it from happening.  Their are times when a team carries the puck into their offensive zone and immediately scores (usually on "breakaways"), but more often than not it's kind of a two part process.  First gain entry into your offensive zone and then eventually score the goal. 

 

During my years of very casually watching I never really appreciated the importance and nuances of the different hockey zones. 

Edited by LakeLivin

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