On Wednesday, April 10, the puck will drop for night one of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Here, 16 hyper-motivated teams with a willingness to grow an uncomfortable amount of facial hair, will duke it out to have their names etched into one sport’s most iconic trophies.
Blood will be lost, teeth will get knocked out. Injuries will be ignored, stamina will be tested. Coaches will get stressed, players will have shortened tempers.
As much as we think about what those competing for a Stanley Cup will go through night after night, sometimes we forget about what happens to fans along the way: sleep deprivation, regretful personal hygiene, damaged furniture, etc.
For the NHL fans who really let it all hang out during playoff time, here are some tips on how you can survive four rounds of heart-stopping action.
Pick Your Poison
With 16 teams going at it in round one, there are multiple games to choose from on a given night. Chances are if your club is playing, that’s the game you’ll stick with. However, when you choose to venture outside that box, it’s important to find a match up that fits your fancy. If you’re a fan of run-and-gun hockey, select a game with two teams who move at a break-neck pace. If you like rough and tough hockey, pick a series with two fearlessly physical combatants. With so many options, the last thing you want to do is sidle up to a snooze-fest.
Drink in Moderation
Many us need a few adult beverages to make it through a game. However, with the Stanley Cup Playoffs usually lasting in or around two months, you must pace yourself. Don’t become too booze sick before summer truly gets going.
Find Time to Sleep
Whether you’re committing yourself to a straight-up evening double-header or a multi-overtime marathon of a game, it’s recommended that you find a way to catch some sleep when and where you can. One trick is to set your phone alarm for 15 minutes during intermission and mute the broadcast. To ensure your cat nap doesn’t rob you of watching some late-game heroics, pick the most obnoxious alarm ringtone you can find and crank it up.
For whatever reason, some really intense hockey fans like to take their superstitions to the next level at playoff time. Sometimes this results in showering less, not changing socks and underwear every day, or – like the players on the ice – not shaving for an elongated period of time. Remember, these guys on the ice won’t do better simply because you think your boxer briefs are charmed. On behalf of your family, friends, co-workers, and team: keep it clean.
Win and Lose with Dignity
As sports fans, we should all be used to winning and losing. No matter how much winning, or losing, your team does during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, handle either outcome with dignity. Don’t be that person who breaks a coffee table or sets a cop car on fire after a series loss. Also, don’t be that person who obnoxiously celebrates victory by over-chirping everyone within earshot. Be passionate, but please, let sportsmanship guide you.
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