Since hockey is a sport with a rich and diverse culture surrounding its fans and players, it should come as no surprise that this can lead to some very entertaining moments on social media. Between larger-than-life NHL players, rabid fanbases that see hockey as a religion, and franchises who just understand how to run a social media account, there is no shortage of hilarious Twitter moments to talk about. So let’s dive right into some of the best NHL Tweets of 2018.
Luongo’s Special Diet
After it was revealed that veteran defenseman Zdeno Chara changed his diet to a mostly plant-based plan in order to keep him playing at a high level despite his age, someone had the great idea to ask Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo if he adjusted his eating habits in a similar fashion. If you follow Luongo on Twitter, you knew that the answer was, unsurprisingly, no.
41-year-old Zdeno Chara has adopted a plant-based diet to stay fit.
So, Roberto Luongo, what's your secret?
"Carb-based diet. Lots of carbs. Pasta, pizza, that kind of stuff. I’m Italian."
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) March 28, 2018
If you are Panthers fan, though, you should be happy to let Luongo enjoy as much pizza and pasta that he can after if it helps keep him on the ice. Perhaps if he can lead the team back to the playoffs in 2018-19, they will have to turn all team dinners into Italian night to keep the good vibes going.
Bolts Prospects Gets Meta
If you aren’t a Tampa Bay Lightning fan, you likely do not know about Bolt Prospects, a non-affiliated website dedicated to cover the current prospects in the organization. While the website had turned into a masterclass of fan coverage over the years, their Twitter is also a great source of information about the daily event surrounding the Bolts, gratuitously adorable kitten pictures… And the occasional gem of a tweet.
That Coburn pass started the Forsberg play, but one could point to TB’s decision to draft Koekkoek over Forsberg as the real beginning of that goal. It’d be a stretch.
— Bolt Prospects (@BoltProspects) April 2, 2018
Something about this tweet just works on all levels. It has the right balance dry snark, situational humor and a bit of perfect timing since it happened, of all things, on April Fool’s Day. Even if you aren’t in on the joke, you can still appreciate the comedy of errors that led to the goal.
The Kings Get a New Perspective on Their Loss
After suffering a 1-0 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights in their opening game of the NHL playoffs, Los Angeles Kings fans were understandably distraught. However, as the Kings official Twitter account rightfully admitted, things could have gone a lot worse for them in Game One.
This may be worst thing to happen today.
*checks Flyers score*
Well, things could have gone worse. pic.twitter.com/AbPKKEZVQF
— LA Kings (@LAKings) April 12, 2018
Earlier in the night, the Philadelphia Flyers lost were blown out of their first game against the Pittsburgh Penguins 7-0, which in some ways made the Kings’ 1-0 loss seem like a relative victory by comparison. Even if the Kings would go on to be swept by Vegas in Round 1, moments of self-awareness from their official Twitter like this helped bring some smiles to their fans around the world.
Fan Misses Vegas’ Bandwagon
Speaking of the Golden Knights, it would be unfair to call any fan in Las Vegas a bandwagoner since the team is still brand new and endearing themselves to the local fanbase. However, this doesn’t mean that you still can’t completely miss when you try to jump on the bandwagon.
In some ways, you have to feel a little bit bad for Matthew, because it was likely an honest mistake made by someone trying to get into hockey for the first time. On the other hand, if you aren’t 100% sure about something, just ask Google before you hit send. That way you can jump on the bandwagon and act like you’ve been there the whole time.
Tony X. Learns About FoxTrax
While you may not remember the name Tony X. off the top of your head, you likely heard his story. Back in 2016, he gained Internet fame when he live-tweeted the first hockey game he watched when he stumbled across the sport on TV. That game just so happened to be an all-time classic Game 7 match-up between the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks, which created a fantastic jumping in point to the sport. There’s something genuinely entertaining about seeing someone experience the insanity that is hockey (and its rulebook) in a Game 7 match-up between two titans. If you’re okay with some NSFW language, it still is one of the best Twitter reactions in recent memory.
Two years later, Tony has maintained this new love for hockey and has come to appreciate some of the wackier aspects of the sport… besides FoxTrax.
ok. this might be the worst thing ive ever seen. looks like a star wars battle. pic.twitter.com/R1EMW2DJqD
— Tony X (@soIoucity) May 8, 2018
For those who don’t know or care to remember, back in the mid-1990s, Fox attempted to make hockey easier to follow by having the puck light-up on the TV when it was passed and shot. While the idea made sense at the time due to the low picture quality of standard definition TV’s, the execution left a lot to be desired.
Tony’s dumbfounded reaction is pretty close to the normal when someone first learns about FoxTrax. The video footage looks laughably bad by today’s standards, and as he says, it might as well be a bad Star Wars battle. If you ever want to get a laugh from your friends, though, show them a video of FoxTrax and enjoy the reaction.
Marchand’s Lick Causes Chaos
Unless if you completely shut off social media this playoffs, you are already well aware of Brad Marchands licking episodes and the immediate reaction by NHL fans on social media. Many people found humor in the fairly ridiculous situation, creating memes of the now infamous licking photos.
The NHL, however, was not as amused after it happened multiple times, causing them to release a statement after the last incident. This statement wasn’t just sent to Marchand, though… it was also brought forth to the Winnipeg Jets and Nashville Predators before their game despite neither team having a licking incident.
#nhljets and #preds were warned this morning that licking an opponent may result in a 10-minute misconduct. Rule 75.4 (iii): "Any player who persists in any course of conduct designed to incite an opponent into incurring a penalty." I can't believe this is a thing I am tweeting.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) May 5, 2018
The locker room reaction to this revelation must have been priceless, with players on both sides likely having a moment of dumbfoundedness as they were told the obvious: ‘Don’t lick each other.’ Frank Seravalli’s final sentence in particular sums up the ridiculousness of the situation, as no one expect that to be a tweet when the playoffs started. At least from now on, we will always be able to think back to the great lickgate of 2018 and smile at the absurdity.
Keith Kinkaid: NHL Tweeter of the Year
Unquestionably, the best Tweeter in the NHL this season was New Jersey Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid. He just gets what it takes to be both a man of the people and an impressive athlete all at once. His suave response to Taylor Acorn’s tweet led him to internet fame and a perfect Chipotle date back in March.
Who needs retweets? Chipotle next Wednesday ?
— Keith Kinkaid (@Blockaid1) March 22, 2018
— Keith Kinkaid (@Blockaid1) March 28, 2018
However, this wasn’t Kinkaid’s first moment of Twitter fame this season. All throughout the year, he has grown a following based on his borderline obnoxious use of emoji online. For example:
#njdevils win again behind a tremendous team effort. 💤 w/ huge 3pt night (2G,1🍎). 👃🏼getting scrappy & adding 2🍎. 🥒 w/ GWG & another 🍎. 🤠 & 🏨 adding an 🍎 to their season totals. Let’s keep it rollin!
— Keith Kinkaid (@Blockaid1) February 4, 2018
And yes, there is a fan translation.
I got u…
— Victoria Lawdog (@falconsfan02) December 6, 2017
While it may take the Rosetta Stone to understand Kinkaid’s millennial Twitter conversations, it’s hard not to appreciate a guy who is clearly appreciating the spotlight of his sudden breakout year in New Jersey. One can only imagine what new emoji he will work into his rotation for the 2018-19 season.
Eugene Helfrick is a Tampa Bay Lightning writer who is actually from Tampa Bay. He has written about the Lightning for six years, covering everything from their run to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, to their crushing first-round exit in 2019, to their redemption in the bubble in 2020. While he is happy to talk about just about anything from cows to cars to video games, hockey will always remain one of his favorite pastimes.