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First NHL Game

Lang Whitaker of Sports Illustrated attended his first NHL game,
So, Saturday afternoon I went to my first real NHL game. And what better place to go than Madison Square Garden, the World's Most Famous Arena, to see one of the "original six," the New York Rangers, against the Carolina Hurricanes. Walking into the seating area at The Garden, seeing that huge expanse of gleaming ivory ice, it was a breathtaking sight. Well, it was a mix of the sight and the cold. I was guessing the arena would be chilly, but I also figured by now they'd have a way to cool the ice and keep the building warm. Guess not. What I enjoyed the most about the experience of going to a hockey game was the relative peace and quiet of the game. Go to an NBA or NFL game, and you're assaulted by loud music, flying t-shirts, hopped-up dance teams. There was music at The Garden, but unless you count Sweet Caroline as a club banger, it was like spending an afternoon at a pizza joint with an outdated jukebox. During timeouts (are they called timeouts?) an organ would play, and people would be able to talk to their neighbors. It was as if hockey was saying, Here we are -- love us or leave us. And despite the extended lockout, the fans seem to have come back in full force. They love it.


Lang Whitaker is an American sportswriter who works as regular contributor to SLAM Magazine, a hip-hop basketball magazine and also cover the NBA for SI.

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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