Hey! We made it! After a 113-day lockout, the NHL has returned and will drop the puck for the first time since June 11 when the Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup.
We're all excited to have the NHL back in our lives. Our nights through June are now booked and we can go back to debating headshots instead of disclaimers of interest. Now we have excuses to drink except for, well, you know, the normal ones.
Your friends at Puck Daddy would like to enhance your Opening Night experience, especially since it's going to be an all-day one with games kicking off at 3 p.m. ET and going all the way until early Sunday morning. Stock up the fridge, gather 'round some pals and settle into your couch and favorite La-Z boy chair.
After the jump, what to keep an eye out for today to help increase your beverage-to-hand ratio.
• For each weird facial contortion by Darryl Sutter caught by NBC's cameras.
• For each penalty minute in the Penguins-Flyers game.
• Every time it's incorrectly referred to as the "2012-13" NHL season.
• If you feel uncomfortable after hearing something Pierre McGuire said about a player.
• Any time a player being interviewed drops a cliche. (Better stock up.)
• When someone refers to an 82-game season as a marathon and a 48-game season as a sprint.
• Anytime someone utters the phrase "hockey is back".
• For every time a player goes to the back with a groin injury, er, sorry, "lower body" injury.
• Anytime a fan is shown with a sign celebrating hockey's return.
&bull For each staged fight that breaks out.
• Anytime a fan is shown with a lockout protest sign.
• If Don Cherry hates on Russians during his first "Coach's Corner" of the season.
• To recover from seeing whatever retina-damaging suit Cherry wears.
• For every Steven Stamkos or Evgeni Malkin goal.
• For each potentially suspendable offense.
• Every time Bob Cole mis-identifies a player.
• Any mention of an asterisk.
• Anytime an announcer makes a mistake and blames it on the lockout.
• If Cory Schneider gets pulled for Roberto Luongo.
• If Donald Fehr or Gary Bettman are in attendance at any game. (CHUG: They're sitting together.)
• Any time an exciting game and overtime has to be decided by a shootout.
• If the Winter Classic cancellation is mentioned.
• An announcer offers a play on words based on the lockout "He went from a work stoppage to working for that goal yuck yuck." (We're looking at you, Paul Steigerwald.)
• If "#hockeyisback" is painted somewhere on the ice in every arena (Ugh).
• Any mention of Guy Serota or the NHL Podium.
• Someone laments the cancellation of the All-Star Game.
• If NHL Center Ice or GameCenter Live blacks out a game you want to watch and you have no idea why.
(Ed. Note: Puck Daddy, of course, in no way endorses abuse of alcohol, consumption of alcohol by anyone under the legal drinking age in their region and, without a doubt, the operation of an automobile or any machine while under the influence of alcohol. These games are listed for entertainment purposes and we don't take responsibility for any result of their application. To sum it up, don't be a knucklehead and have fun!)
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy