With the regular season coming to a close for both the NBA and NHL, sports fans will be forced to make some seemingly tough choices about which games to watch in the coming weeks. If you want to maximize your quality of life this postseason, consider these five reasons why you should go with hockey over basketball.
Photo: Francois Lacasse / NHLI / Getty Images
1) They always play on hard mode. When the Stanley Cup is at stake, players skate faster, hit harder, and lay it all on the line. A hockey player can be struck in the face by a skate and get 41 stitches between his lip and ear without missing a shift, because there’s no time for Novocaine in the NHL playoffs. Over on TNT, a leg cramp can bounce a basketball player into the locker room for the rest of the game.
Photo: Cal Sport Media / Lando
2) Sidney Crosby, the LeBron James of hockey, will be chasing his second Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins. If you want to watch anyone play hockey this postseason, you want to watch him. He’s been hailed as the “Next One” since he was 13-years-old, and he’s in his prime now. Crosby has won it all before without even leaving the city that drafted him, and he's going for it once again.
Photo: Cal Sport Media / Landov
3) The Chicago Blackhawks are the defending champs. Any team looking to take Lord Stanley’s Cup is gonna have to take it away from these guys. The Hawks have won the Cup twice in four years, and are looking for back-to-back championship seasons. With all the wear and tear in the NHL playoffs, that’s an unbelievable task. If you took all the flopping in the NBA and replaced it with fist fights, you might begin to understand how much harder it is to win back-to-back championships in the NHL.
Photo: Robert Mayer / USA TODAY Sports Images
4) If there’s one team capable of pulling off a huge upset, it’s the Colorado Avalanche. These guys are your prototypical underdogs. With Patrick Roy behind the bench now as head coach and rookie Nathan MacKinnon breaking a Gretzky record and becoming a superstar before our very eyes, these guys are the new kids on the block that everyone’s jealous of. If they run into the Blackhawks in the playoffs, they’ll have a good chance of beating the defending champs, as they’ve gone 4-0-1 against the Hawks this season. Over in the NBA, you can barely count on underdog teams to win a single game, let alone dethrone any champions.
Photo: Len Redkoles/ NHLI / Getty Images
5) Beards. How could we talk about the NHL playoffs without mentioning their legendary beards? Although b-baller James Harden’s beard is one of the greatest of all time, the NHL still has the best beards in sports. Ever since the golden days of hockey, it’s been customary for the players to grow their beards while chasing Lord Stanley’s Cup. The beard is the symbol of battle; it’s the moment man becomes beast, and it’s the face of NHL playoff hockey.
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