Ya just gotta love hockey.

Well, another hockey regular-season has come to an end, and I think I have watched more hockey this year than any other year in my entire life, and a large portion of that is due to the help of the NHL Network :)  The NHL Playoffs get underway tonight, with Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang in the lineup for the Pittsburgh Penguins (let’s go PENS!) as they face off against rival Philadelphia Flyers … what more could a hockey fan ask for?  Well, to photograph it – of course.

Photographing hockey is one of the more difficult things I’ve tried shooting (besides little children who always want poke the front of my lenses).  I recently shot two games for the Oregon Outlaws Hockey Club, and had a blast.  I was able to shoot from wherever I wanted, which helped me in getting to areas people don’t normally see from in hockey games.  I love shooting from the bench, that’s one of my favorites.  You do have to be on the lookout for flying pucks and sticks though.

Here are a few of my images from the games I shot with the Outlaws.  They won both games by a wide margin, so the guys were having a lot of fun.  The first picture here is of a Bob Johnson quote from when he coached the University of Wisconsin Mens Hockey team from 1966 to 1981.  “It’s a great day for hockey”.  Yes Bob, it’s always a great day for hockey.

And now for the action:

This was possibly the coolest shot I took during these games.  This one-timer ended up going top corner, near post, on an absolute ROCKET shot.  The player completely biffed right after it, as he put all his might and frustration into this shot.  And as you can see, his skates are actually off the ice… taken pre-biff.

For all the photo nerds here, all images were edited in Adobe Lightroom 4.  A few also touched up in Photoshop CS5.5.  For these games I shot with a Canon 7D with a Canon 70-200 f/2.8L (non IS) and a Canon 40D with a Canon 35 f/1.4L lens.

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