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Hockey Live Stream: Where to Watch NHL Games and a Beginner's Guide to the Sport

Ice hockey is one of the most popular sports in the Western Hemisphere, with most of its fans concentrated in the United States and Canada. It shouldn't come as a surprise given the fact that all the teams that make up the National Hockey League come from these two countries.

For European or South American observers, the sport's huge popularity may come as a bit of a mystery. However, once you delve deeper into the intricacies of this game, you'll soon realize that its fast-paced action and relatively simple rules can draw in fans of other disciplines, such as soccer or basketball. After all, each one of these sports entails two teams battling it out to get a ball (or a puck) into a goal (or a basket) as many times as possible.

There are plenty of reasons to fall in love with hockey: the dance-like dribbles on ice, the fierce competition that oftentimes results in very real violence, and a season-long rivalry culminating in the Stanley Cup NHL Playoffs. Millions of fans follow the games, whether it is through live NHL streams or on network television, which makes the sport very profitable for access providers and sponsors alike.

If you want to get into hockey, but aren't sure where to start, which teams to follow, and what exactly are the rules of this game, you've come to the right place! Our beginner's guide will provide you with all of that information, on top of letting you know where you can stream NHL live without spending hours on finding a working link!

Live NHL Streaming: Where to Watch and Other Tips

Not too long ago, network sport TV channels were the only way to gain access to live NHL games. However, with the rise of online live streams and the increasing popularity of high-speed internet connections, streaming has proven to be a far superior option for watching the games, as well as other content related to the sport.

At JokerLiveStream, you will find plenty of free, working links to National Hockey League games on every single matchday. If you're looking for a link to an NHL game tonight, look no further! Contrary to other live stream websites and network television, JokerLiveStream isn't limited to the most popular games of the day -- if you're a fan of a hockey league from some other country, such as Russia or Finland, you'll be able to find it here, as well. Treat it as your one-stop-shop for any and all of your hockey-related needs.

Sometimes, however, you may wish to watch live games with commentary in your native language. In that case, your best bet would be a live stream service provided by your local TV network. In most countries, these companies have applications that allow you to use their services after creating a subscription-based account. This might be the only way to access live streams with some of the more obscure languages.

Finally, when it comes to the time of the streams, NHL games are being played at various hours of the day. Keep that in mind when scheduling your watch party, especially if you live in Asia or Europe -- there is no bigger bummer than missing an NHL live stream because you forgot to take time zones into account!

Ice Hockey: Basic Rules

Regardless of whether you're planning to watch NHL, your local league, or national games only, you won't have much fun supporting your team unless you get familiar with the rules of the sport. Thankfully, the basics aren't too complicated, and you should be able to yell at your screen in disagreement with the referee in no time!

Each game lasts 60 minutes and is divided into three 20-minute-long periods, with 20-minute intervals between each period. A draw at the end of the game results in overtime.

The most fundamental rule you need to know if you don't want to be baffled by the events on the rink is icing. Icing happens when a player shoots or otherwise propels the puck across the entire rink, from his own half all the way to the other end. This is disallowed but doesn't result in a penalty. The ref will simply call for a stop in play and make the two teams face-off for the puck in the offending team's zone.

There are also offsides. Offside occurs when the attacking player reaches the attacking zone before the puck does. If that happens, it results in a face-off in the rink's neutral zone.

Penalties are the most severe form of punishment a hockey referee can call. They are divided into three categories: minor, major, and misconduct. In the case of a minor penalty, the punished player has to sit out two minutes in the penalty box, weakening their team for that period. They can return to the game early if the opponents score a goal while they're out. A major penalty is pretty much the same thing, except the offending player is out for five minutes without the possibility of an early return. Misconduct penalties are called only for the most egregious offenses and results in the wrongdoer getting kicked out of the game for 10 minutes.

National Hockey League: Divisions and Teams

The NHL is divided into two conferences: Eastern and Western. Each conference is also split into two divisions: Pacific and Central in the Eastern Conference, Metropolitan and Atlantic in the Western. The top eight teams from both conferences then go on to compete in the playoffs which will determine the winner of the Stanley Cup and the best NHL team of the season. The NHL season typically lasts from October till June.

There are currently 30 teams in the NHL. 23 of them come from the United States, while the remaining 7 represent Canada. Despite the American teams being in the overwhelming majority, the most successful club in the league is the Montreal Canadiens, with a whopping 24 Stanley Cup wins to their name.

The Bottom Line

So, there you have it -- everything you need to know to fire up an NHL stream and let yourself get hooked on the excitement of professional hockey games. If you're not from North America, and you find yourself a bit lonely in your passion for the NHL, don't worry -- most countries and cities across the world have communities of fans dedicated to this league. Just find your local supporter network -- you'll fit right in, and will always have someone to watch the games with, discuss the latest results, or argue over referee decisions.

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