I have been to many sports events over the years, but there is nothing like the crowd at an NHL game. In the regular season, hockey fans are a passionate bunch. During the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, the excitement levels soar to ridiculous levels. There is nothing quite like attending an NHL playoffs game in person.
When my family lived in Southern California, the Anaheim Ducks and the LA Kings were just a short drive away. Now that we live in Portland, Oregon, we have to cheer from the comfort of our couch, which is why throwing the best NHL viewing party has become so important to our household. Enterprise Rent-A-Car helped us kick things off by sending a hockey party pack (thanks!). Enterprise Rent-A-Car is an official sponsor and supporter of the NHL and its teams. You could say that they love hockey just as much as we do.
So how do you throw the best NHL Stanley Cup Playoff viewing party? Here’s a few tips:
- Feed your passion - Hockey might be played on ice, but don’t let that stop you from firing up your grill. If you can’t tailgate at the arena, you can still cook up some burgers and steaks in your backyard.
- Play a game - When you attend in person, the pregame hype can really get you enthused for the game. The crowd is always on their feet when the players take the ice and the boom of the announcer’s voice becomes hard to hear over the cheering fans. At home, you can hold your own pregame warm up by stacking a few plastic cups and letting the kids play some broom ball. It is a fun activity for everyone and a great set up to the main event.
- Buy a round - When you invite friends over, beverages are an easy item so assign as a BYOB. Sure, you could tempt fate and trust your friends to bring over a side dish. But just like everyone has their own favorite team, everyone has a beer they think is the best. Have your friends bring their brew of choice and be prepared with a cooler of ice to keep the drinks cold.
- Get loud - One of the biggest differences between watching a game at home and seeing it live is the absence of the roaring crowd. This, my friends, is your convenient excuse to buy some powerful speakers. Turn up the volume, rattle the windows, and cheer on your team.
- Big events need a big screen - When people watch hockey on TV for the first time, they usually have trouble following the puck on the screen. The fast pace of the game can make it difficult to follow the action on a smaller screen, which is why a larger TV is the ideal. The big screen will not only make viewing easier, but will also make it easier to imagine that you are in the stands, cheering on your team.
If you think you know who will win and want to earn bragging rights, you can play Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s Hat Trick Challenge on NHL.com. You can play daily to try to predict what happens on the ice or create private leagues and compete against your friends.
Giveaway: In honor of last year’s Stanley Cup Champions, we’re having an LA Kings themed giveaway for a hockey party pack of your own. All you have to do is leave a comment below with the name of your favorite person, place, or thing with “King” in the name. We will pick one lucky winner randomly from all entries submitted by 11:59 pm PT on Friday, May 31, 2013.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car and the NHL provided me with a gift package to host my watch party as a thank you for writing this post. However, the views and opinions expressed here are purely my own.