By Casey Drottar @cdrottar19 on June 8, 2014
When it comes to the NHL, there are just some teams you need to watch anytime their games are on. Whether it be a talented roster, an intense arena atmosphere or a combination of the two, these teams can be defined as electric. Even if you're a casual hockey fan, these 10 NHL teams will get your adrenaline pumping.
The Rangers may not boast a roster full of highlight-making scorers, but they do play team hockey as good as anyone in the league. And sitting between the pipes is arguably the most talented goalie in the NHL, Henrik Lundqvist. His otherworldly ability, coupled with the allure of playing at the world’s most famous arena, make New York a great team to watch live.
Even though they were league bottom-feeders two seasons ago, new coach Patrick Roy has taken this club and made them a thrill to watch. An abundance of young talent, combined with Roy’s aggressive coaching style has the Avalanche among the most entertaining clubs in the league. Many believe Colorado will have trouble duplicating this year’s success, but they sure will be fun to watch regardless.
Hockey is a sport where one player won’t make you an immediate contender. That said, the Capitals’ main superstar is reason enough to tune in. Alexander Ovechkin is one of the NHL’s best offensive players, and can turn on a scoring exhibition immediately. Also, Washington’s arena atmosphere is one of the league’s most underrated. They may have missed the playoffs this season, but as long as Ovechkin is on the team, the Caps are worth watching.
Anyone who thinks hockey can’t catch on in Southern California clearly hasn’t watched a Ducks game. The Honda Center is one of the loudest arenas in the league, and a team with top-level talent (Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf) gives the fans a lot to cheer about. And with rookie sensation John Gibson, dubbed by some as the future of American goaltending, coming into the picture next year, you’ve got a compelling viewing experience on your hands.
Philadelphia’s token toughness takes effect both on the ice and in the crowd every time the Flyers play. The team is loaded with players who can score finesse goals right after punching the opposition in the face. And the Flyer faithful do their best to make Wells Fargo Center an arena opponents fear. They may have spent years looking for a marquee goalie, but they have enough talent at the rest of the positions to make the Flyers must-see TV.
I’m of the belief that the Kings’ roster boasts the highest amount of well-rounded players in the league. Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty may not be as well-known to the casual viewer, but they’re the kind of game-changers that make flipping the channel out of the question. Oh, and having America’s top goalie, Jonathan Quick, doesn’t hurt either.
When you have Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, two of the NHL’s elite talents, its reason enough to watch. Each can take over a game at any second, and each makes it very obvious when they do so. And say what you want about Pittsburgh fans, they’re as boisterous as the biggest diehards out there.
America’s first NHL team is still one of the most entertaining draws you can ask for. There’s no transcendent talent, a la Bobby Orr or Ray Bourque, on the current roster. Instead, the Bruins are made up of skill players who have no issue making their opponents black and blue. Expect your fair share of punishing hits any time these guys are on TV, each one cheered on by a Boston crowd that holds its own against any of the league’s loudest.
If this was based solely on pre-game ceremonies, Montreal would win in a landslide, as the Canadiens turn it into a spectacle. The Bell Centre gets so loud your TV shakes. Montreal also boasts a roster built for fast, high-scoring hockey, which makes for quite an entertaining viewer experience. On top of that, the Canadiens have a playing style that involves getting under the opposition's skin, which almost always leads to fireworks.
The amount of talent Chicago boasts is almost an unfair advantage over the rest of the NHL. Jonathan Toews is incredible, Patrick Kane is a scoring machine and Duncan Keith is one of the league's best defenseman. These three help make up one of the most complete teams in the NHL. The United Center crowd makes playing in Chicago a daunting task for any opponent. And you have to love their goal song. Isn’t that right, all citizens of Vancouver?
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