The goalie crease in Olympic hockey – at 11 feet – is three feet wider than in the NHL. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip )

With the NHL taking a break for the Sochi Olympics, the debate of which version of the sport is better has begun.

At first glance, there are discernible differences – most noticeably the rink is wider in the Olympics – that have made the game more appealing for some viewers.

Here’s an infographic from CBC that lays out all the rules that make each style distinct.

And if you’re on Team Olympic Hockey, USA Today offers 11 reasons why it trumps the NHL:

But not everyone appreciates the NHL bashing. Comedian Bill Burr, a noted hockey fan, weighed in on Twitter and on Sirius XM’s the Opie and Anthony show.

Transcription via ChicagoNow:

The people who like Olympic hockey annoy me. Because they’re always comparing it to the NHL, which they don’t watch. And NHL hockey is infinitely better.

[Olympic] rinks are bigger, there’s no fighting, the talent is way less. I like how there’s like three NHL guys on each team, for the most part, other than USA and Canada….

And then they start making suggestions on how to make the NHL better, and they talk about the NHL like it’s still 1975. “With all the bench-clearing brawls and the stick work!” Mike Wilbon said that… “The stick work.”

What are you talking about? Like they’re out in the faceoff sticking it in each other’s eyes… Once every five years there’s an incident. And then all those guys who don’t watch hockey, they pile on….

It’s stupid. We’re all hanging on to 1980. It’s not amateurs anymore, the Cold War is over. It’s done. It’s finished. It’s boring. 

So which is better, Olympic hockey or the NHL?


More Olympics news

Russia eliminated from Olympic hockey tournament