If you’ve been following my blog up until this point, you’ll notice that I’ve included major league sports and when their season starts. If you haven’t noticed by now, New Yorkers take their professional sports very seriously, so I felt obligated to include an overview of these season openers so you’re fully prepared!

ice hockey

The next sport I’ll be touching on is hockey (basketball will be covered in the next article). This sport is notoriously known as a winter sport since it’s played on ice, so it’s only fitting that the teams play during the cold months. Every once in a while a game will be played outdoors (in a geographically cold area, of course), but for the most part, these games are played indoors inside large arenas. Even though it’ll be indoors, the venue itself will stay quite chilly, so if you find yourself ever attending one of these games, be sure to dress appropriately!

New York City has two professional hockey teams, and you might notice depending on where you are in the city that the island itself is pretty divided when it comes to their fanbase! A great way to practice your English in this instance is to start up a friendly conversation with someone who is clearly a fan of one of the teams and pick their brain about an upcoming game, their favorite player, or why they love hockey so much. For the most part, you’ll probably find that New Yorkers are pretty easy to chat with as long as you stay friendly, so make sure you smile and approach gently! Here’s a quick rundown of the two famous New York City teams as well as some helpful lingo so you’re confident with the basics before heading out to catch one of the games!

  1. New York Islanders, Barclays Center, Brooklyn

This team has been in action since 1972, so while they haven’t been around as long as other teams in the country, they’ve still made quite a name for themselves over the years. With their colors at royal blue, orange, and white (similar to the New York Mets baseball team if you remember!), they’re hard to miss on the ice, especially since they have 4 Stanley Cups under their belts (which is the ultimate championship win, like the World Series for baseball or the Super Bowl for football). While the team has struggled over the past 30 years or so, their spirit is still alive, as you will very easily see in their fans! Be sure to make your way down to Brooklyn this winter to check out a game for yourself and interact with the passionate fans!

  1. New York Rangers, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan

It could be argued that this team is slightly more popular in fandom than the New York Islanders—but never say that to an Islanders fan of course! Founded in 1926, the New York Rangers are one of the oldest teams in the league, existing as part of the Original Six teams along with the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, and Toronto Maple Leafs. Since the team considers their home venue Madison Square Venue, you’ll find it quite easy to run into Rangers fans if you’re anywhere close to Times Square or Penn Station. With their colors as blue, red, and white (like football’s New York Giants), the Rangers match the number of Stanley Cup wins as the Islanders at 4, but they’ve also seen more recent success over the years, which tends to show a spike in the team’s popularity when they’re playing well. Since the team is more locally based in the city, it might be easier for you to track down a game to attend. Again, don’t hesitate to initiate some English practice by striking up conversation with some Rangers fans, and ask them about their favorite players or even what their favorite snack is at the concession stands.

Terms to know:

  • Biscuit: this is simply another word for the puck
  • Fighting: you’ll notice this is very common and actually encouraged during a game, so worry not if it happens
  • Goal: if the puck enters the net, this will be shouted from the stands in celebration

Category : How to Learn