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What do you think of hockey with no fans?

Do you miss the people banging on the glass?

Toronto Maple Leafs v Columbus Blue Jackets - Game Four Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images

Now that you’ve had a week of it, what do you think of the no-fans NHL presentation?

There’s a few new things, like the grey coverings of the stands:

Arizona Coyotes v Nashville Predators
Members of the Arizona Coyotes staff retrieve a puck that flew in to the stands in the second period against the Nashville Predators.
Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

About those stuck pucks:

Then there’s the swearing. If the Sportsnet broadcast is bothering to censor the players and coaches quoting Four Weddings and a Funeral, I’ve not noticed.

But NBC sure is, and they’re doing it by playing the audio backwards at times. I can tell you truthfully that is makes Mike Milbury better. But they accidentally buggered, er, ballsed up, er, ruined the ref’s calls:

The real issue is the fake crowd noise. For me, it’s just become noise, and I think I’d rather just hear the unadulterated game sounds. I have seen one game like that, a KHL game in March, and it’s eerie at first, but that fades.

The fake crowd sounds have overlapped the anthems in odd ways, and are noticeable only when they conflict heavily with the feel of the game. They seem to get louder at weird times too.

For the record, I really don’t miss people banging on the glass. I don’t miss “kiss cams” or the tendency of some broadcasts to find young women to put on screen every time they pan the crowd. I don’t need to be reminded of who they think their audience is. I know, okay!

I do miss seeing the parents of the players, little kids transported with joy, the couples in opposite jerseys. But overall, the game is engrossing without a soundtrack telling me how to feel. Maybe that’s because the Leafs really know how to make you feel... uh, things.

So, what do you thing? Is this good? Or do you really miss the fans?


Do you miss the fans in the stands?

This poll is closed

  • 65%
    No, it’s fine the way it is.
    (194 votes)
  • 34%
    Yes, it’s dull.
    (102 votes)
296 votes total Vote Now

Now, no matter how much you’re okay with the broadcast as it is, what do you miss?


What do you miss about a "normal" game?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    The really loud music that makes your ears bleed.
    (8 votes)
  • 16%
    Ref you suck chants.
    (44 votes)
  • 36%
    Crowd calling the penalty.
    (95 votes)
  • 43%
    Being there.
    (115 votes)
262 votes total Vote Now