Well, hockey fans, the best time of the year has arrived: playoffs. 16 of the best teams in the National Hockey League will face off for the elusive Stanley Cup, meaning lots of hockey to watch at all times from now until June. While playoffs are very exciting and suspenseful, everyone could use a little more fun in their lives.

Why not take the excitement off the TV, and into your living room? Even if you’re not a hockey fan, I’m sure you enjoy a good drinking game, so this even works for you. Thus, I present to you, the NHL Playoff drinking game.

The Main Players

playoff season

Photo courtesy of bleacherreport.com

Every time a goal is scored by one of the league-leading goal scorers, shotgun a beer. In case you don’t know the famous faces included on this elusive list, here they are. At least, the ones whose teams qualified for the playoffs (Sorry, Boston Bruins).

  • Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals
  • Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks
  • Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars
  • Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks
  • Vladimir Tarasenko of the St. Louis Blues
  • Stephen Stamos of the Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars
  • Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins

O Captain, My Captain

playoff season

Photo courtesy of therangerzone.com

The 16 teams that have made it into the playoffs wouldn’t be where they are without the dutiful leadership of their captains. Cheers to the league chiefs, and drink once every time a goal is scored by a team captain.

Playing Dirty

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Take a shot every time a player gets sent to the penalty box. To the same effect, drink to celebrate the start of a power play. Or, if you’re supporting the opposition, drink to celebrate the end of one.

What’s Your Name Again?

playoff season

Photo courtesy of HNGN.com

While there are a lot of players in the NHL who are very well known, there are also a ton of players who when we hear their names, we look just about as confused as Dustin Byfuglien here. There are 23 players on each NHL team give or take, so there’s no way you know all of them. Playoffs bring out the best in players, so take a shot when a player you’ve never heard of before scores a goal.

Somebody Hit Somebody!

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Fights are one of the most entertaining aspects of hockey. Every time a fight breaks out, keep on drinkin’ until it’s over.

Sharing is Caring

playoff season

Photo courtesy of sports.yahoo.com

Everyone loves a good partnership. Every time an assist is credited, each person gets to pick someone else to drink. Share the wealth!

Pull the Goalie

playoff season

Photo courtesy of Blackhawks.NHL.com

When a team pulls their goalie, it’s usually a last-ditch effort to put another attacker on the ice in hopes of securing one more goal before time runs out. Take a shot every time a team pulls their goalie, because that usually means they’re about to lose.

Extra Hockey, Extra Fun

GIF courtesy of giphy.com

Games get especially exciting when they go into overtime. Finish your drink to celebrate the new 3-on-3 overtime rule, and to celebrate getting a little extra game time.

What Just Happened?

playoff season

Photo courtesy of Russianmachineneverbreaks.com

Sometimes in hockey, weird things happen. But in playoffs, anything is possible. Drink anything and everything you can find if a goal is scored by a goalie (which has happened less than 15 times ever), or if someone gets hit so hard that the glass breaks. Or, you know, anything else that isn’t on this list and might seem especially special.

There you have it. Playoff hockey really is something special, so you might as well combine it with something else special: partying with friends! May your team go far, and may you never stop chasing the dream. #BecauseItstheCup

Bonus Fun: To add to the fun, drink every time announcers mention that this is the first season since 1969-1970 that not one Canadian team has qualified for the playoffs. So much for Canada being the land of hockey, eh?

Gif courtesy of giphy.com