It’s rarely a good thing to be on the bench at the buzzer signaling the end of game or ice time. There have been times where I was thankful for it but these instances have been few and far between. One of these exceptions includes those games where it was so chippy that you just knew there was a pretty good chance of a war erupting in the last shift. While I know lots of guys relished this, it was never my thing. Another exception is those games where we were already getting our doors blown off by the other side so bad (ie. losing 7-0 would qualify) that the thought of going out for more punishment made the bench option seem quite solid in comparison
As a rule though, you always want to be playing. As the game winds down, we all want that one, last shift. One more chance to score, to help hold on to a lead, a little more fun before the official end. My winter league is civil and so are my regular pickup games so there’s no chippy stuff to worry about like there was when I was younger. I have always loved almost every shift and would rather end things on the ice than sitting down.
The absolute worst however, is when you finish on the bench in a shinny game when you are fresh and ready to go one more time. You sit (or sometimes stand, with that being the body-english of the hopeful-for-one-more-shift) praying for that holy-grail, daily double of hockey life – a few extra minutes from the rink attendant and teammates on the ice who are willing to demonstrate as much nobility as a hockey player can and come off the ice before the buzzer so that those on the bench can have one more shift.