Thanks to a seemingly endless supply of timeouts and planned TV stoppages, the final minute of an NBA game can unfold during the course of a reading of War and Peace. There are timeouts to advance the ball, timeouts to set the defense, and timeouts to draw up an offensive play, among other things. There are intentional delays of game by defenses on inbounds plays and rolling passes that prevent the clock from starting. To reach that one moment of buzzer-beating drama, one has to endure an hour of ennui.
In the NHL, the final minute of a close game is the quickest, hottest, most contested minute in sports. Power-play situations and pulled goalies mean a typical five-on-five game could shift to a scenario as lopsided as a six-on-three edge for a club with a a two-man advantage and its goalie pulled. The stakes are high and the risks are higher as defensemen pinch in 50 feet and inundate the goalie. Bodies, sticks, skates, pads, pucks, and emotions fly, swipe, bang, careen and swing all over the ice in a moment with the chaos of a riot and the coordination of a symphony.
Plus, an NHL game is 60 minutes with two intermissions that often concludes in the same time as a 48-minute, single-halftime NBA game. If you want to see plenty of Flo, the Progressive Insurance lady, watch the NBA. If you want to be exhilarated with minimal commercial interruption, try the NHL.