Some select quotes:
While it is true that no professional sport is as ill-suited for television as ice hockey — even in HD the puck can be difficult to follow, the speed and flow of line changes and late-rushing attackers are impossible to track, and the great, sweeping canvas of the ice must be rudely squeezed into a frame far too small to hold it — it is also true that no professional sport is better suited to live viewing.
There’s something about hockey.
You feel it as soon as you walk out of the concourse and into the seating bowl; the chill rises off the ice and ripens the air, filling your lungs and radiating a cool, rousing energy throughout your body. You take a deep breath, then another, and step forward into the light, to behold a gleaming, glistening rink below. Freshly mown fields and polished hardwoods have their charms, but to my eye, neither can compare to the pure, pristine perfection of Zambonied ice. And it only gets better once the game begins.
Hockey is home to grace and grit, to brains and brawn, to prolonged periods of brute force followed by sudden explosions of astonishing elegance. It elevates teamwork and celebrates self-sacrifice. It bestows an annual award for sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct. It inspires awe and honors tradition and does both at once, at the end of each season, when its two best teams meet to win and hold and see their names engraved upon the most hallowed, the most regal, the most revered trophy in all of professional sports.