Women Hockey Fans: Alyson

Meet @Alyson_Lindley!

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Women Hockey Fans: Casey

Meet Casey (@thehazelbelle)!

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How Did You Get Into Hockey?
I got into Hockey from spending time with two of my uncles and their daughters. It quickly became a family thing. There was a period when I stopped watching due to dance (practice conflicts) but I quickly fell back into watching and loving hockey again.

What is your favorite/least favorite part about the sport?
My favorite is the ability to watch the pure athleticism of the game and seeing what it takes to actually play professional hockey.

My least favorite is that the refereeing of the sport is spotty at best; nothing is consistent and sometimes it feels that refs try to take control of the game when they should let the players be the ones to decide how it goes.

Do you follow any other sports?
I follow Football/Soccer second after Hockey, than it is a toss up between Rugby/American Football.

Are you strictly an NHL fan or do you follow other leagues?
I try my best to keep up with the DEL (German Ice Hockey League) the best I can.

What is/are your favorite team(s)?
The New York Rangers. I also follow the Eisbären Berlin (Berlin Ice Bears), it stems from actually watching a Bayern Munich game and on the live stream they had a bit about the team and I got really interested. Than the lock out happened and I started watching more international Hockey. And boom, I kind of fell in love with the Ice Bears. They also have a Lederhosen uniform.

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Do you have a favorite player?
I find it hard to have a favorite player but if I had to choose it would come down to Brian Leetch or Ryan McDonagh. Non Ranger player is Nick Lidstrom and Jonathan Toews.

Do you follow/use/analyze with advanced stats?
No, I do not follow advanced stats. I like what they can show about the player but I feel that it isn’t the end all and be all about individual players. They do have a purposes in the sport though, especially as the sport grows.

Do you have a favorite hockey memory?
2014 Eastern Conference Final, Game 6 at MSG with the Rangers winning. Being there at MSG when it happened was truly incredible and such a rush of euphoria. All the fans hugging each other and throwing up towels in the air, dancing in the hallways, and the Rangers chant at the base of MSG was just shivers up and down the body.

If you could change one thing about how NHL hockey is played, what would it be?
This is such a loaded question because there are some things that the NHL can change, should change, and what the fans of the sport want the NHL to change. I’d change the rule that relates to Video Review, Coaches Challenge, and in regards to Overtime… have it go to a 4-on-4 for 10 minutes to a 3-on-3 for 5 minutes, and than if no one scores a goal both teams should get a point. No one gets the second point.

How has your presence been welcomed (or not) by men – either on social media or at games/bars?
On Social Media; Twitter especially has been very opening for the most part and barely any assholes bother me. It is nice. Twitter seems to be more open to female fans for the most part, whereas Reddit is sometimes a terrible place for female fans, especially female fans who are learning the game and/or have a hard time following the rules and sub-rules of the game (or who sometimes forget about a rule). They bring it up in every post and hive-mind mentality down votes will come your way.

At bars, it is harder to say since I normally stick to my regular bars which are NY Ranger bars or Boston Bruins (When I was in school in CT), and I was left alone when I was there or I was given nice company during the games; never ragged on or belittled except by some really drunk and really rude fans.

How has your presence been welcomed (or not) by women – either on social media or at games/bars?
On Social Media; especially with Twitter it was spilt even in half. Half of females were very opening and welcome; while the other half were harpy-like and very cold (like high school cliquish). I learned very quickly how to handle myself when it came to the fans for the team that I root for. Other Social Media, such as a lovely site on LiveJournal, is a place where I found a safe zone to discuss hockey, where I wouldn’t be seen as a joke because I am still learning the rules and stuff (even after being a fan for a few years).

Reddit is a hard thing to judge because I only found a few females and those there are either 1) Very Much Open and Friendly, 2) If you don’t agree, you’re gonna get down voted, 3) Fuck You, You’re not a real fan because you didn’t know this and you’re a PUCK SLUT; and there is a nice sub reddit for female fans to hang out in when the machoism of r/Hockey gets overbearing.

If you interact with other hockey fans on social media, what are your favorite and least favorite parts?
Understanding that regardless, things are said in heated moments but after that is done… let the comments go. Everyone, EVERYONE says asshole-like things. If you hold it against them, that’s kind of ridiculous. Literally, everyone says something that’s shitty about a team, or a player, or a rule.  However, if it involves family, friends, personal life, and wishing death… then it should be reported and understand that the person who said the thing isn’t the representative of said Teams Fandom. People can’t quite seem to disconnect and realize that it is a game. It’s a harsh learning lesson that everyone goes through, and will continue to learn as they are being fans of the sport.

Is there anything else you want to share on your thoughts on hockey?
Hockey is a sport that is fast, hard hitting, a game of speed and chance with a mix of probability. The game will continue to grow, and we must accept everyone who wants to play or who wants to support the team. Regardless of what the old guard think, newer fans are coming in and changing things. If the sport cannot grow, it will not survive.

Women Hockey Fans: Bryn

Meet Bryn (@Brynnsational)!

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How Did You Get Into Hockey?
I went to a Seattle Thunderbirds game in 2008 with my dad and just fell in love with the sport after a couple times of watching it.

1280px-Seattle_Thunderbirds_logo.svgWhat is your favorite/least favorite part about the sport?
My favorite aspect of the sport is the excitement and thrill watching a game live, or on TV, brings me. Nothing compares to it.

No matter how perfect I think this sport is, my least favorite part is the immediate and intense danger every single player is put under when they step onto the ice to play the game. From stitches, broken bones, concussions, internal health problems, mental health, and, in extremely unfortunate cases, paralysis, I can’t fathom having to know that with every game you play, you are risking your life doing something you have devoted your whole life to.

Do you follow any other sports?
Yes! Baseball is a close second after hockey, and then football. A big fan of both the Seattle Mariners and Seahawks!

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Are you strictly an NHL fan or do you follow other leagues?
My first hockey game ever was a WHL game, so I follow that league closely, also the NHL.

What is/are your favorite team(s)?
My favorite NHL teams are the Vancouver Canucks and Pittsburgh Penguins! Outside the NHL, its the Seattle Thunderbirds, without a doubt. That team is the one that made me fall in love with the sport in the first place and I know I will be a fan for the rest of my life. Seeing the younger generation of hockey players develop their skills and talent while trying to fulfill their dreams of making it to the NHL is so amazing to witness.

Do you have a favorite player?
I don’t think I can choose ONE favorite player of mine. Between the superstars of my 2 favorite teams, from Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, the Sedin Twins, Alex Burrows, Chris Higgins, and Kris Letang, a favorite falls on no one in particular. The Canucks and Penguins, and every player on their rosters, has my appreciation.

Do you follow/use/analyze with advanced stats?
I don’t usually analyze the game with advanced stats or anything like that because I’m more interested on watching what’s going down on the ice, not in the stat book. I just find my self looking at the stats of a certain player or team on NHL.com whenever needed.

Do you have a favorite hockey memory?
One of my favorite memories regarding hockey was getting to witness the era of goalie Calvin Pickard in the Seattle Thunderbirds organization. He holds the current record for saves and minutes played, and was a star. Being at the game where he ended his WHL career was hard, but we can’t wait to see him in the NHL full-time.

If you could change one thing about how NHL hockey is played, what would it be?
If I could change something, I would advocate putting a “warning track” on the ice, all because the players’ and their safety should be #1. If a player knows that once they hit that “warning track” to raise their head, since they have the chance of being hit, it might erase some of the problem of major concussion or worse injuries occurring.

How has your presence been welcomed (or not) by men – either on social media or at games/bars?
I think that my presence as a female hockey fan has been welcomed fairly good by the men fans. Going to so many games, I have become friends with many fans, men included. I can’t recall any experience I’ve had of one of them not accepting me because of being female. We are all here because of one thing, and that’s hockey.

How has your presence been welcomed (or not) by women – either on social media or at games/bars?
Again, I have not yet had a bad experience with any female fans. When looking back, becoming a fan of the sport and watching so many games in person, I have met SO MANY of my really good friends today through hockey. Regarding social media, its like one big family, and if anything, only unharmful jokes are made between others, but that’s only because our allegiances with our favorite teams are different.

If you interact with other hockey fans on social media, what are your favorite and least favorite parts?
Social media is there to interact with others, fans from different fanbases and all. My favorite thing about that interaction is being able to share laughs, news, photos, and just have someone to talk to who likes the same team you do. My least favorite part are the ones who take their teams loss out all over social media (Twitter/Facebook). No team is bound to win every single game in their season. There are going to be losses, sometimes excruciatingly painful ones to watch, but there’s no need to take your anger out on everyone else. No team is perfect. Losing is a part of sports.

Is there anything else you want to share on your thoughts on hockey?
Hockey has changed my life so much, even with the short time that I’ve been watching it. I’ve made many friends, got to watch future NHL’ers grow their skills, and travel to different places, all because of this sport. The world of hockey has seen moments of defeat, tragedy, happiness, and every emotion in between. I cannot wait to see what this sport has to offer to the rest of the world, all the way from junior hockey to the Olympics.