Like many sports fanatics, numerous items on my bucket list are dedicated to sporting events. One of the items on this list was attending an NHL game. Living in KC makes this more difficult as I refuse to go to a Blues game, because, you know, St. Louis. So, when I traveled to NYC in December, I knew a hockey game was required. Luckily, I am #blessed with enough money to buy highly sought tickets to the big Devils-Rangers rivalry game.
…in an alternate universe. I work in education, hence I settled for $12 tickets to the Islanders, who were playing the Ottawa Senators on the same night. I felt right at home with the vibe of the team and fans similar to the Royals pre-2014, (poor rankings, included!) The New York Islanders are affiliated with the Missouri Mavericks, so my choice on who to root for was clear.
The Islanders play in Barclays Center, a gorgeous arena located in Brooklyn.
Barclays was also home to this incident in 2013.
Upon arrival, I was one of the first 10,000 fans. My reward was an Islanders ugly sweater t-shirt. Probably the best souvenir one could bring back from New York. Who needs an “I ❤︎ NYC” shirt when you get this?
After recovering from the shock of beer prices and deciding I would valiantly survive without alcohol, I climbed what felt like a mountain to our nosebleed seats.
Now I won’t give you a full recap of the game; anyone could do that. I will give you some details a NHL newcomer realized for the first time.
1) It’s cold
I mean, I know they’re playing on a big block of ice, but I was wearing a fleece jacket and still froze. Gloves, stocking caps, even a light coat would’ve been helpful. That ugly sweater t-shirt isn’t saving you now. Don’t think you’re too cool for warm clothes if you head out to a game. Dress warm, fam.
2) Zambonis all the time
I’ve watched NHL games on TV before, but I never really watched them. It was more of a background noise unless someone scored or a fight broke out. So, I was surprised to see an intermission between each of the three periods, with each intermission 17 minutes long. Watching the zambonis do their thing is almost therapeutic, but 17 minutes is just long enough to become distracted by the latest drama on Twitter. It’s definitely not the fast-paced game I thought it was. That being said…
3) Hockey is a lot better in person
Although I whine about the intermission length, hockey is way more exciting to watch in person. Even though the Islanders didn’t play too hot (they lost 6-2), it’s still an intriguing game. You can actually follow the puck in-person! Even if a team sucks, they still fight! And the Islanders atmosphere made the game worth it—the stadium filled with chants of “Yes! Yes! Yes!” in the stereotypical Brooklyn accent heard on TV.
Now that I’ve had a taste of the NHL, I’m dreaming of the day it comes back to Kansas City. Until then, I’ll be thinking about how glad I am I don’t have to pack on a subway like sardines with every drunken KC fan after a game.
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