NBA & NHL Playoffs Excitement Builds
Americans love their sports. There’s no doubt about it. And excitement peaks at the end of the season. It’s that time of year when nothing beats going to the playoffs and finals. The thrill, the fast pace, the speed that players revel in when charging down the court or soaring across the ice to drive the puck towards the goal. An adrenalin rush fills the air, and fans get rowdy cheering for their favorite players – kings of the court or heroes on ice.
If you’re a fan, you don’t want to miss the end of the season. The players’ camaraderie is palpable, and you’ll feel that team spirit grow when you gather a bunch of fans and head to the playoffs. Group travel is the best way to get there. Fun multiplies by the numbers depending on the size of your group.
Charter a vehicle – whether a motorcoach, party bus, mini bus or limo. Let the game fest begin the minute you step inside the vehicle.
The regular NBA season is winding down and the playoffs begin Saturday, April 14 and end on Monday, May 28.
According to Sporting News1 the teams that have secured their spots in the 2017-2018 playoffs as contenders are:
Eastern Conference: Raptors, Celtics, Cavs, 76ers and Pacers
Western Conference: Rockets, Warriors and Trailblazers
More spots remain to be won and it’s narrowing down to which teams will claim them.
The Eastern Conference is more predictable as far as figuring out which of the teams left are most likely to qualify. The Heat looks like it has the best chance and is maintaining a lead over the Pistons. The majority of The Heat’s games are against teams that have already been eliminated from the playoffs.
The Western Conference has a tighter race for teams vying to fill the spots. The Spurs, The Thunder and Jazz are all possible. The Nuggets and Timberwolves game is a big one to watch.
Houston Rockets Set a Franchise Record
Click 2 Houston2 reported that the Houston Rockets secured their home court advantage for the whole NBA playoff season. Recently, when they beat the Suns and when the Toronto Raptors lost to the Boston Celtics, their wins to losses ratio sealed the numbers for them. It’s the Rocket’s first time in franchise history to close out with home court advantage. They made it 62-14, with six remaining games — a franchise record.
Here are the dates the NBA has established for the playoffs. So, keep them in mind when making your plans:
Rosters set for NBA Playoffs 2018, 3 p.m. ET
NBA Playoffs 2018 begin
NBA Early Entry Eligibility Deadline (11:59 p.m. ET)
April 30/May 1
Conference Semifinals begin (possible move up to April 28-29)
The NBA Finals will begin on Thursday, May 31 and end on Sunday, June 17.
The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin on April 11 and fans are getting excited! Two favored teams to win the Stanley Cup are (according to USA Today3) are the Predators and the Bruins. You can’t top the Predators’ defensive team and also most of their players have remained healthy, which is always a challenge and especially in hockey, which is known for being such a rugged sport. The Predators were this year’s Vezina Trophy favorite and a highly ranked offensive team.
The Bruins have a lot of star players that make them a formidable opponent, including Patrice Bergeron, Zden Chara, Brad Marchand and Tuukka Rask. They beat Tampa Bay Lightning 3-0-0 and have strong statistics in the areas of goals for, goals against, penalty kill and power play percentages.
A sleeper team to watch is the Blue Jackets, which have Seth Jones as a powerhouse defense player and look out for their offense as well because they’re steadily getting stronger and stronger.
The Sharks also have dominating players, such as Evander Kane and Brent Burns along with their goalie Martin Jones, whose .925 save percentage in 32 playoff games, is impressive. They are anther sleeper team to keep your eyes on.
The playoffs consist of three teams in each division and two wildcards in each conference.
As of the beginning of April, the following NHL teams have made the playoffs4.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Toronto Maple Leafs
Vegas Golden Knights
The NHL season ends just a few days before the Stanley Cup playoffs begin, and the Stanley Cup finals will wrap up in June.
Start making your plans for the games while transportation is still available. You don’t want to miss out and there are a bunch of reasons why chartering a bus is your best option.
Why a Charter a Bus Is Perfect for Catching the Games
When heading to the playoffs, there are a number of advantages to booking a bus:
Stress-free travel. Forget about hassling with congested traffic, waiting in a long line of vehicles for parking places or dealing with unexpected detours and other delays. Your professional driver has access to the fastest and best routes and will drop you off right in front of the door. Relax and enjoy the ride while you chat with family, friends or fellow fans.
Safety first. Hands down, motor coaches are the safest form of ground transportation in the nation. Statistically, there is no safer way to travel to a game. All drivers are professionally trained and certified. They are experienced at driving groups and know the ins and outs of safe drop offs and pickups.
Designated driver. With a professional driver at the wheel, you already have your designated driver and don’t have to worry about assigning one. How many times have you gone somewhere and missed out on the fun because you were the DD? Or worse yet, you saw your DD having a few drinks and then had to rethink how you and others in your group would get home.
Go green. Charter buses are the most eco-friendly means of traveling on the road today. Their carbon footprint is even less than hybrid cars, when you calculate the number of persons per mile traveled. Charter a bus and you do your part to help save the environment.
Timing. When a group of people arrives in separate vehicles, life often gets confusing — some get lost, some arrive late, and others have a long trek from parking to the venue. What is it like when you don’t have to worry about timing your arrivals so everyone can meet up? It’s a relief. No waiting for stragglers or stress over delays. You’re one happy group, ready to get seated and go crazy over seeing your team win. The right timing helps put priorities in order. Going to the playoffs should be exciting and fun — and you can keep it that way.
Cost-effective travel. Charter buses are extremely affordable and in a group, everyone shares the costs, which makes it a very cost-effective way to travel.
Reliable vehicles. Our mechanics constantly maintain our vehicles to keep them in tip top shape and running order. You know you’re in good hands and that you’ll arrive and return home without problems or wear and tear on your personal vehicles.
Choosing the Perfect Vehicle
What size is your group? Peruse our extensive fleet, and you’ll find the perfect vehicle is waiting for you. Perhaps your group goes beyond family and friends and you’re also bringing a “brotherhood” of fans. We have motorcoaches at US Coachways that seat up to 57–60 passengers and they still provide you with plenty of legroom, a restroom and comfortable seating.
If your group is mid-sized, you would do better renting a mini bus, which can hold anywhere from 24–35 passengers. You’ll still ride in comfort with high back bucket reclining seats. And if you prefer, you can ask for a bus with amenities like CD-DVD players and drop-down TVs.
If you’re looking to party along the way, a party bus is right up your alley. You can party in an atmosphere of fiber optic lighting, surround sound music, and posh perimeter seating. Enjoy a few beers or cocktails from the wet bar. Party buses can seat between 24-40 passengers.
For smaller groups of 10–20 passengers, we have stretch limos, which also come with impressive amenities, such as fiber optic lighting, televisions, surround sound systems and crystal bars. Plan your trip to arrive in style!
Book Your Charter Bus for the Playoffs Today
US Coachways is one of the nation’s leading charter bus companies, offering service to travelers throughout the country. We provide transportation for day trips, overnight trips, special events, and long-distance travel. Our rates are competitive, and in fact, we even offer a price match guarantee. We’re excited about helping you plan the details of your event. Find out more by calling our toll-free number at 1-855-287-2427.