Welcome

Welcome to your top ice hockey source online! Take a moment to look around and find out why!
How to Play Ice Hockey : How to Stop and Quick-Start in Ice Hockey

I think I've just seen another miracle on ice ...

The National Hockey League is back on one of the major American broadcast networks. Some would call that a miracle in itself, but I'm taking higher ground. Specifically, I'm referring to the quality of the broadcast. It's one of the best-produced sports programs I've seen.

Kudos to NBC Sports!

America is a difficult market for hockey. It may be the world's fastest team sport and it may encompass many attributes of skill and strength that should appeal to the American fan, but many regions in the USA have little or no local influence or infrastructure of any significance for the sport. That means any national broadcast package must overcome a series of complex perception issues, not the least of which is in attracting casual sports fans to even try viewing it. Some wags contend that the only real NHL fans are only found in their arenas --- explaining why the capacity percentages for NHL games are higher than in any other sport --- but, as a fan myself, I consider that a lazy observation.

I will agree that, more often than not, one has to actually attend a hockey game to become a fan. Therein lies the problem with most of its television broadcast packages in the USA. To date, they have not accurately captured the essence of the game, which would offer new viewers a reason to become fans. For example, only baseball can rival hockey in aural effervescence --- the sounds of sticks clapping the ice or shooting the puck, of hardened steel blades cutting ice, of the puck pinging off goal posts, of humanity crashing into each other and/or the sideboards --- and usually, that means you have to be there to truly absorb the experience. Once you do, the odds are strong that you'll be hooked on hockey, too.

This is a factor that American television networks never seemed to fathom. At least, until now. NBC's geeks have found a way to mike the rink so the sizzle of hockey's sounds are finely captured and the production crew has made sure that this audio element be made prominent throughout the game. The effect was absolutely visceral.

NBC's broadcasters have a dual challenge in describing the action so as not to insult the intelligence of avid hockey fans while doing so in a manner that won't confuse viewers new to the game. They accomplished it with aplomb, literally talking to two audiences simultaneously and seamlessly, using what's becoming a lost art in American sportscasting: selecting their terms judiciously and sparingly.

Meanwhile, the studio broadcasters worked from a bright-but-subtle, well-designed set and deployed the same discipline. The anchor, former Philadelphia Flyer goalie Bill Clement, is often reduced to a shill when he hosts the NHL's cable package on OLN. However, on NBC, he was excellently understated, allowing his analysts to be themselves rather than talking heads and giving each discussion point only the time it needed, letting each message sell itself to each viewer. It will be interesting to see if NBC keeps that set outside, at the skating rink adjacent to their New York headquarters. It's the ultimate visual aid, of course, and Clement's obvious effortless abilities on it not only allows him to more smoothly elaborate an aspect of the game, by inference the new viewer can identify with skating as an activity available to everyone.

I never thought I'd see the day when an American video production of a hockey game was actually better than its Canadian counterpart, but NBC did it. Comparatively speaking, hockey broadcasts in Europe are basic and banal, but those countries are more attuned to the game and actually seem to prefer that sort of presentation. The Canadians are rightfully viewed as being state-of-the-art when it comes to televising hockey. Any true fan will confirm that Hockey Night in Canada is a Saturday night rite of respect to a game that, on many occasions, can count 25% of that nation's population among its audience.

And yet, the NBC production was crisper, often with more unique but very useful camera angles that provided perfect sightlines to the puck and any action around it. They integrated graphics into the action that far exceeded anything I've seen anywhere else. Some simple additions, such as drop-downs logging the shift time of a particular player, aid an avid fan's awareness of unfolding team strategy while also enlightening the new viewer as to how quickly player changes occur and why. Better yet, the graphics were never obtrusive, allowing viewers to check them at their discretion (as opposed to 'demanding' their attention by 'scrolling' data while action is occurring).

It's hard to believe this came from the network that, 30 years ago, gave us the late, unlamented Peter Puck. That was the cartoon character NBC invented during their first, unsuccessful attempt to broadcast hockey. The last feature hockey needed then, or now, is a reversion to kids' programing in the midst of a sportscast that wants to be taken more seriously by the adult American market.

It's also good to see technology deployed in more refined terms. That wasn't always the case. When they had the national broadcast package, Fox Network's attempt to follow the puck with a ridiculous 'virtual tracking path' --- derisively termed the 'sperm' puck, as that's the image it resembled --- overshadowed the action, and combined with its morphing robot graphics presenting scores, hockey was trivialized to serving as a backdrop for ersatz video games. New viewers only remembered effects, and avid fans got tired of trying to look past all that to see if a real game happened to be in progress.

Many experts have thought that the advent of HDTV would be a boon to hockey, as the wider screen would enable more action to be portrayed. Perhaps NBC is preparing for that imminent change in broadcast standards. If so, they deserve high praise for their foresight and higher praise for their preparations. They're making the experts look good with their predictions.

And speaking of preparations, the NHL is surely an early benefactor of NBC being the American outlet for the Winter Olympics, of which the hockey tournament is a major feature. The network is no doubt honing its cast and crew for that coverage, too. Given what they've already shown, hockey fans in America will be scanning their listings for NBC as opposed to any other available alternative, and sports fans in general will have no better opportunity to finally see why hockey is worth their attention.

During the 1980 Winter Games, in Lake Placid, when the USA's team of collegians shocked the Russian juggernaut of professionals in the Upset of All Time, broadcaster Al Michaels uttered his famous, "Do you believe in miracles? Yes!"

It's taken 25 years, but we can believe again. Only this time, it's the coverage. NBC has gone for hockey gold and we're the winners.

How long does it take to learn ice hockey GOALIE?

i wanna start ice hockey this summer, but i decided to start practicing now. how long do you think it will take for me to learn ice hockey goalie?

i have 5-6 months, do you think thats enough to be a decent goalie?

It's almost impossible to offer a definitive answer to your question. Ice hockey goalie is arguably the most difficult position in sports. It requires excellent balance, lightning quick reaction times and excellent hand eye coordination. In general, it's possible to become an average recreational goalie in that amount of time given lots of practice, but it's highly dependent upon the athleticism of an individual.

I've seen guys take up the position and play very well in 6 months to a year and I've seen others take up the position and still look uncomfortable after several years. So, the bottom line is that there are two major factors to consider. First is your innate athleticism and second is your willingness to work. If you're pretty athletic, willing to spend five hours on the ice weekly and more off the ice honing your skills, you have a shot at being a fair recreational level goalie. However, if you're looking to become a competitive youth team goalie, you're going to be hard pressed to make a team in that short amount of time.

Latest ice hockey items:

Hug Flight Ice Hockey Pucks Bulk 100 Hockey Pucks per Case Official 6 oz New, 1958 59 Parkhurst24 Ian CushenanCanadiens RC, HOCKEY SKATES BAUER VAPOR 6 SIZE 55 USED, ITech Ice Hockey Shoulder Pads Youth Medium Used, 1959 60 Topps21 Larry PopeinRangers, 1959 60 Topps30 Jack EvansBlack Hawks, 1959 60 Topps52 Forbes KennedyRed Wings, VANCOUVER CANUCKS Team Autographed Full Size stick Sedin Bros Nalsund Frameworth, PETER FORSBERG Autographed Quebec Nordiques NHL Puck Colorado Avalanche CSI, BRYAN TROTTIER Autographed Signed Full Size Stat stick NY Islanders HockeyInk, Nikolai Khabibulin Signed GAME USED stick Tampa Bay Lightning Flyers Wives, PHIL ESPOSITO Autogrpahed Framed 8x10 Photo Boston Bruins NY Rangers Frameworth, CHRIS CHELIOS Autographed Full Size stick Red Wings Chicago Montreal HockeyInk, 1959 60 Topps61 Ed LitzenbergerBlack Hawks, 1969 70 OPC177 Frank St MarseilleBlues, 2013 14 ARTIFACTS HOCKEY JARRED TINORDI GREEN EMERALD ROOKIE RC ED 99 170, 1969 70 OPC222 Frank Mahovlich All Star, Alexander ovechkin upper deck victory rookie, 1969 70 OPC93 Joe WatsonFlyers, New Jersey Devils Starter Black Stitched Blank Hockey Jersey Sz Large plus Bonus, 1979 80 OPC230 Mike BossyIslanders 2nd card, Chicago Blackhawks Zephyr Flash II Flat Bill Strapback Hat NHL Baseball Black, 1979 80 OPC50 Larry RobinsonCanadiens, 2013 14 ARTIFACTS HOCKEY ANTTI RAANTA ROOKIE RC ED 899 RED206, 2013 14 ARTIFACTS HOCKEY BEAU BENNETT ROOKIE RC ED 999 154,