Me being a Canadian, you may have guessed that I love hockey. It is a popular Canadian stereotype that Canadians are born to like it; and in fact, many people in Canada do enjoy the game of hockey, especially this time of year. But like most stereotypes, it doesn’t hold true for everyone.
Mid-April signifies the start of hockey playoffs in North America. Teams play a gruelling 82 game regular season to vie for a chance to lift the Stanley Cup at the end of the championships in Mid-June.
The games are more competitive and intense. The fans are louder and more numerous. The beer somehow tastes better. It is a mixture that must be felt to truly appreciate. It gives me goose bumps just thinking about it.
Living in Japan makes it much more difficult to take in the playoff atmosphere that I grew up with in Canada. We are set 13 hours ahead of Toronto and New York (EST). This can make beer drinking and cheering feel wrong during the morning hours here. Unfortunately, this is likely why it isn’t popular to see games at sports bars or foreign establishments around the country. However, I have found some ways to participate in the fun; and you can too.
I check scores on www.nhl.com. They also post a surprising amount of: news articles, pictures, analysis, statistics, video interviews and highlights. Hockey and beer go hand in hand, but while finding Canadian beer is a big challenge here, American or your preferred easy-drinking beer will suffice. If you are interested in watching full games, there are only a few options. You can subscribe to NHL GameCenter. It is available worldwide, in English, at a cost of less than 3000 yen per month. If you are interested in a cost free option, you can stream games online from a variety of shady websites. However, do so at your own risk.
Despite all the drawbacks, there is potential to enjoy the spirit of Hockey, all the way across the Pacific.
Good luck and happy hockey watching!
- hold true – prove to be / be the case（当てはまる）
- playoffs (n) – championships（プレーオフ）
- gruelling (adj) – tough and tiring（激しい)
- vie (v) – try to win（争う)
- the Stanley Cup (n) – the championship trophy in the NHL
- goose bumps (n) – the small bumps on the skin, due to excitement （鳥肌）
- atmosphere (n) – the general surroundings and feelings in a place（雰囲気）
- participate (v) – join in（参加する）
- suffice (v) – serve the purpose（満足させる）
- subscribe (v) – sign up for（契約する）
- shady (adj) – crooked, fishy（怪しい）