You won’t see any in-store power plays or body checks from avid hockey fans shopping for doorbuster deals the afternoon of Black Friday this year. The majority of fans plan to watch the Discover-NHL Thanksgiving Showdown™.
In a new survey of 800 hockey fans released by Discover, 73 percent said they plan on watching the Boston Bruins take on the rival New York Rangers. Eleven percent said they plan to shop, while 9 percent said they plan to record the game while they shop and watch it later.
Regardless of whether they are watching the game or not, a healthy majority of hockey fans think the Rangers don’t stand a chance against the Bruins. Nearly two-thirds, 62 percent, said the Bruins will beat the Rangers in this historic match-up between two of the National Hockey League’s (NHL ®) Original Six™ teams. Only 20 percent believe the Rangers will win.
Fans Love Hockey on Black FridayJust as football is synonymous with Thanksgiving Day, hockey on Black Friday has created a loyal following as well. In fact, 31 percent of hockey fans prefer hockey on Black Friday. And what if there was hockey on Thanksgiving Day? If it was a rivalry game, nearly half, 48 percent, of all hockey fans are willing to hold off on the turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy if they had a chance to see their favorite NHL team play live. Hockey Rivalries Help Define the Sport and Family Ties Discover’s survey asked hockey fans various questions related to rivalries, and fans definitely feel rivalry games are more significant than non-rivalry games. Seventy-percent of hockey fans are either somewhat or much more likely to watch or attend a rivalry game versus a non-rivalry game. Only 25 percent said they would watch a game regardless of the matchup. Other results about rivalries include:
- 37 percent of hockey fans think the historical significance between teams is the most important factor in determining an NHL rivalry. Twenty-five percent said geographic proximity, while 13 percent said number of times a pair of teams met in the Stanley Cup Playoffs ®.
- 31 percent think the Chicago Blackhawks versus the Detroit Red Wings is the NHL’s best rivalry. Coming in second place was the Pittsburgh Penguins versus the Philadelphia Flyers at 17 percent. The New York Rangers versus the Boston Bruins finished third at 16 percent.
- 47 percent said a friend
- 28 percent said their sibling
- 17 percent said spouse or significant other