Puck Daddy ran a feature yesterday where their staffers (and some outsiders, like myself) shared a few things they’re thankful for in hockey.

Ryan Lambert mentioned one that I wish I had thought of, because he’s so ridiculously right: afternoon hockey. It’s the best.

As a player I felt the same way. Here are five reasons why days games are superior to night games:

1) The first one is personal, so let’s start there: I’m a non-napper. I just can’t do it. It feels like wasting daylight to me, and I’d rather be doing something. I have one of those brains that just won’t let me stop thinking.

Because of that, I was never as fresh as everyone else. Players sleep for a couple mid-day hours and wake-up rarin’ to go. For me, it really felt like the end of the day, and that’s never a good thing when you’re trying to be at your best.

2) Secondly, I love to get “work” done as soon as possible. I know very few of us look at hockey as a job, but it becomes that over 70+ games. I’d rather do what I have to do – whether that means house-cleaning, blogging, or doing my taxes – as early as possible so I can enjoy the remainder of the day.

3) Getting stuff done early means you get a treat: a free night. This is one of the things that sucks about the hockey lifestyle – you do most of your work on Friday and Saturday nights. By the time the games end it’s after 10 – by the time you do a quick bike, stretch, shower and sign autographs (in the minors, three guys a night are often chosen to do this in the concourse), it’s midnight before you get home. Not exactly a great time to go catch a flick.

I loved being able to watch other teams play too. All I know is, it was nice to have put in that work, and have a night to do whatever you.

4) While the crowds aren’t always the biggest, you always get energetic fans. Fans, unlike spoiled hockey players, usually don’t have the option to nap for three hours in the middle of the day before night games. They’re often coming from work, or just worn down from whatever the day brought.

Day games mean you’ve got fans who have the day off (which probably has them in a good mood to begin with) and they’re usually the diehards, so it just seems like they’ve got more pep than usual.

5) And finally, you feel better the next day. Most of us know how hard it is to fall asleep after a hockey game. You’ve still got that adrenaline going, and your mind is on high alert. The early game gives you time to decompress and let your body get back to normal so you can have a decent night’s sleep. And what a treat that is.

In a few minutes the puck is about to drop on Boston/Detroit, and as a fan about to watch the midday game, I can’t help but think the same thing: afternoon games are awesome. Let’s do this.

Comments (3)

  1. Completely agree on the active mind and adrenaline after a game. Most of the games I ref start after 8 PM, so by the time I shower and drive home, it can be close to midnight. Top it off with homework and class, and it`s tough to get to sleep.

  2. I am definitely NOT a napper. Nothing like 3 roller hockey games in one day starting at 8am and ending at 10pm without being able to sleep in between…ugh

  3. It’s great to read a players take on the afternoon game but as a fan I have to disagree with you. I find most early games to be a snooze fest. It always seems to take awhile for each team to get moving and the games are usually low scoring, and not in the good low scoring game kind of way.. The crowd is generally heavy on the family side. I’ve got nothing against kids but the 5-10 year old the day game attracts are more interested in the jumbo-tron and candy vendor than the hockey. I don’t think you can compare the energy of an afternoon game to the energy of a weeknight against a division rival. I find the day game comparable to a Mon-Wed night game vs the other conferences cellar dweller. That being said, the Bos/Detroit game was pretty damn good.

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