We're rapidly approaching the Coyotes season opener against the Vegas Golden Knights. The school year, especially on my side of the pond, is just getting started. I’m heading back to university to start my MA in History. The ice is going down and training camp is just around the corner. Hockey is so close we can almost smell it. Hockey fans all around the world are gearing up for the start of the NHL season.
Here are my three steps for preparing for the NHL season as a UK based fan:
- Master day napping
- Invest in an industrial coffee machine
- Cry a lot.
The typical Arizona Coyotes home games start at 3 am, although Arizona doesn't have daylight savings, so timings vary, (stupid Arizona).
Between periods, intermissions and advert breaks, my bed time ends up being about 6 am. Keeping up at least semi-regularly – and making that subscription fee cost effective – requires a lot of strategic napping, careful planning, and functional sleep deprivation.
Careful planning that starts in the pre-season.
Syncing the Arizona Coyotes schedule with my calendar and highlighting games I can watch – obviously the afternoon games, but the East coast away games too; a five hour versus an eight-hour difference can make games much more accessible. And four hours of sleep instead of one is certainly noticeable the next morning.
There are other preparations, too, if less related to geography.
Making sure I have my Oliver Ekman-Larsson jersey on hand and it’s as fresh as it can be, especially after a summer in storage.
Turning on Twitter notifications for the team are a good idea, too, particularly for games I can’t watch live - they make for a useful basic recap on the bus.
Before the first game there are things to do - acquire appropriate snacks, a sturdy location for my laptop in case I fall asleep mid-game (Editors Note: Can confirm, she does this.), Twitter and a flask - flatmates get a little bit cranky if you keep waking them up acquiring more coffee. A pair of thick curtains for those daytime naps and my lucky blanket and I’m good to go.
Now I’ll probably have to add a notebook and pen to the mix.
So that’s my preparation for the hockey season: working out the time differences, ingesting probably too much coffee and settling in to watch some good hockey and silly o’clock in the morning. The only thing left to do is make sure all my morning alarms are set up and ready to go, the volume is turned way, way down and try not to fall asleep during the adverts.
Are you an international fan? How do you prepare for the NHL Season when it comes to games being at odd hours of the night/day for you? Share your experiences down below!