If you’re like me, early and mid-April is among the most exciting times of year to be a sports fan. But it’s not because of the return of baseball; it’s the fact that the NHL playoffs are about to begin, and playoff hockey is awesome.

Just in time for the run for Lord Stanley’s Cup (Ahem. Go Rangers.), we’ve put together a list of four excellent online destinations for hockey coverage. Whether you’re bananas for the sport or just want to dip your toe in the water (or on the ice, zing), these will all help bring you up to speed. Game on!

  1. The Puck Podcast

Puck Podcast

Hosted by Eddie Garcia and Doug Stolhand, The Puck Podcast is both professional-sounding and fun – not something easily accomplished. Eddie and Doug are extremely knowledgeable about everything going on with every team, so you’ll get a chance to learn about franchises in other markets and their third-line wingers you didn’t know existed. They’re opinionated (words are not minced regarding the controversial NHL shootout, or concussions and how the league deals with the questionable hits that cause them) and have great chemistry, with an easy banter. The show features audio highlights and clips and is updated regularly; on the technical side, the sound quality is excellent and the editing is seamless. It may go a little too deep for some, but The Puck Podcast is the most in-depth coverage of hockey you can find in podcast form.

  1. Puckin’ Idiots

Hartnell lk Hogan

Probably the funniest hockey website around, poking fun at the sport as only true fans could. Whether it’s the Phoenix Coyotes’ attendance woes or Scott Hartnell mocking a Hulk Hogan-lookalike Penguins fan, Puckin’ Idiots presents the absurdities of hockey in really clever ways. Easily worth a daily check-in.

  1. NHL.com

NHL.com

I originally considered leaving NHL.com off this list because it’s kind of obvious, but the truth is, this site is the best resource for league news, videos and updates. In the past, we’ve covered the NHL’s excellent use of social media, but NHL.com is really the main hub of the league’s online presence. And it doesn’t disappoint, featuring well-written articles, a stunning amount of highlights and layers upon layers of statistics. Essential for staying current with what’s happening in the sport.

  1. HFBoards

The best online community for hockey fans, HFBoards is a message board featuring individual forums for each team, the playoffs, prospects and more. You can visit and get into really interesting discussions with like-minded fans on anything, from should-they-trade-this-guy to help on where to purchase a certain player’s jersey. Most importantly, it’s a friendly place (at least within your favorite team’s board), making for good conversation and community feeling.

 

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