I went to the Kings-Blackhawks game with one of my Canadian friends. Its always more fun to watch hockey with someone who actually understands what they're seeing.
I learned today that hockey's much more about playing the percentages than I had thought. Sometimes, an attacking player will flip the puck into the far corner even though he had just stolen it and may have a shooting opportunity just so his team can do a line change. And a goalie will strategically guess where to block especially if his vision is impaired by teammates.
Did you know that the 2nd best hockey league in the world, is the US developmental league? Not the Russian KHL or the Swedish league, etc. How interesting that the best players on the planet ply their trade here and yet, so few Americans are found on each NHL roster. I think I remember it being something like 12% of the NHL are Americans. But hey, we boast the best goalie in the world in Ryan Miller. He's got the best save %, according to NHL.com.
Surprisingly, I also learned that out of a 60 minute game, even the fittest hockey players only play 20-25 minutes of every 60 minute game. That makes the scoring achievements of Ovechkin and Crosby even more impressive. However, it does make the game a little less appealing. Imagine if Kobe or Lebron only played 20 minutes of each 48 minute game. And imagine if they kept going in and out every 2 minutes.
On this night, American Patrick Kane and the Blackhawks were dominant and outshot the Kings 37-17, winning 3-0. We also got to see a typical hockey fight where both guys grab a handful of jersey with the left and swing wildly with the right. Still not sure of the reasoning behind letting the fights go on...
Honestly, though it wasn't a great game, I left wanting to see more hockey.