When Do NHL Warmup Start?
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Ice Hockey Warmup: When Do NHL Warmups Start?

Ice hockey includes the NHL warm-ups. When NHL warmups begin, players enter the ice for a brief period of time to get ready before the main game. Players typically warm up in the vicinity of the arena before entering it for an on-ice warmup. Players can become accustomed to the ice during warm-ups, while fans get to watch their favorite players in action before the game.

Time Table Of NHL Games

Time Table Of NHL Games

Each game in the NHL adheres to a defined time allocation plan. The pre-game warmup, which lasts 16 minutes, is the first event that occurs before the start of every NHL match.

The NHL’s 16-minute warmup period begins precisely 31 minutes before the start of a game. The players from both teams enter the field during this time to engage in a number of warm-up exercises and stretches before the game.

The NHL clubs leave the ice at the end of the pregame warmups before they later re-enter the ice for the start of their game.

Although this is the customary pattern, it is fairly modifiable, especially when other events like jersey number retirement are included before the start of the match.

Game Time7:00 pm7:30 pm1:00 pm
Pre-Game Warmup Starts6:29 pm6:59 pm12:29 pm
Pre-Game Warm-up Ends6:45 pm7:15 pm12:45 pm
Start 15-Minutes Clock Countdown6:50:30 pm7:20:30 pm12:50:30 pm
Clock Hits 0:007:05:30 pm7:35:30 pm1:05:30 pm
Anthem Introduction7:05:40 pm7:35:40 pm1:05:40 pm
Opening Faceoff7:08 pm7:38 pm1:08 pm

NHL games often start by 7:00 p.m. local time in any city they are played in. But it can be extended by thirty minutes to 7:30 p.m. in a few instances. 

However, when a matinee game is played, NHL matches can be scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

What Do Players Do During Warmups

What Do Players Do During Warmups

Players engage in a variety of activities during warm-ups to get ready for the match. They start off with warm-up drills and exercises, concentrating more on hip mobility exercises and stretching.

Each NHL team takes up their side of the ice to begin the pregame warmup, starting from the red center line and moving all the way to the other end. Players usually warm up by racing around their side of the ice, and then they begin to stretch their lower body muscles.

Ice hockey players concentrate on stretching because they mostly use their lower body, which helps prevent cramped muscles during play. There are various stretches for the upper body, including cobra stretches.

The next step is for the forwards to practice shooting and stickhandling by taking shots at the goalie from various positions on their side of the ice.

The players then proceed to practice team drills as a whole. Each group on the team benefits from these team drills as they get ready for the game.

Every player on the rink for warmups is aware of their responsibilities. They must perform certain individual and group drills on the ice as part of their training.

Reasons To Attend NHL Warmups

Reasons To Attend NHL Warmups

You can catch your favorite NHL players in action up close during warmups. Visitors are permitted to move down to the plexiglass wall separating the rink from the rest of the arena during warmups.

Hence, regardless of where you are seated, you will be able to see the ice hockey players up close. Newcomers to the sport will also get to benefit the most from it. This is due to the fact that it enables them to distinguish and get familiar with participants.

Also, because of the proximity at that time, you can observe how quickly NHL players genuinely play. As a fan of hockey, the powerful goosebumps I experience when I hear the echo from the puck when it is shot are exhilarating.

I have no doubt that you will like doing it.

Last but not least, debates and trash-talking amongst competing players during pre-games give some indication of what the game may entail.

Some Rules Of NHL Warmups

A player commits a violation if they enter the opposition team’s half of the ice during their warmup. This does not stop them from skating up to the red center line.

In fact, before a game starts, skaters may sometimes approach the red line and engage in trash-talking. It is a component of a strategy to influence the opponent’s mindset before the game.

Also, players do this to warn the opposition side of their intentions to react in response to a disagreement or incident that occurred during their previous matchup.

However, the penalty for entering the area of the ice used by the rival team is a game suspension.

Example Of On-Ice NHL Pre-Game Warmup Stretches and Exercises

Example Of On-Ice NHL Pre-Game Warmup Stretches and Exercises

Skating Across The Ice

This is the basic warmup drill every ice hockey skater performs on the ice. It just involves skating as fast as you can around the edges of the ice. 

This warms up your leg muscles and puts them in a state of activeness. 

Warmup Stretch 1

This warmup is very popular among players in the NHL. This is how you do it

  • Start by kneeling downward, placing your hands on the ground but ensure you look forward
  • Spread your knees until you start to feel the stretch along the muscles around your groins
  • Keep the position for a few seconds

Warmup Stretches 2

Start by standing flat on your back with your stands spread horizontally on the ice. Raise your legs from the ground and spread them wide apart. 

Maintain this position for a while and move on to the next stretch. 

Cobra Stretch

To perform a cobra stretch, lay flat on the ice with your palm placed close to your body as if you want to perform a push-up. 

Use your hand to lift your upper body upward so that your lower body remains on the ground. Ensure your upper body is vertical to the ground and your eyes are facing forward.

Superman Dive

Superman Dive is another warm-up drill that focuses on preparing players for falling on the ice. 

So this is how you perform the warmup. Start by skating on the ice and then diving onto the ice. After sliding on the ice for a bit, stand up quickly and repeat the process.  

Related Post: Best Lower-Body Workout For Ice Hockey Players


During warmup, every player on a team partakes in the warmup. Generally, the pre-game warmup is a fun part of the game, and I would advise spectators to attend. If you have not been to one, I will advise you to attend one and see for yourself how fun it is. 

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