For the last month or so, the Puck Daddy blog has been running a guilty pleasures series, where assorted bloggers, hockey peeps and others answer questions regarding their hockey guilty pleasures. Since we’re in that hum-drum phase of the summer where hockey is in the air but there’s not much new to report on, I thought that I would share my hockey guilty pleasures with you.
1. The Player You Most Love To Hate
Zdeno Chara. He’s a tough hockey player with a killer shot and the potential to knock any opposing player into the third row.
But there’s a caveat to this answer. I hate Chara the hockey player, but think Chara the person is awesome. His dedication to Right to Play is admirable, and I won’t ever forget him competing in the All-Star Skills Competition while wearing that tasseled Right to Play toque. In this case, Good Person is dueling with Evil Hockey Player, and I’m not sure who comes out ahead.
2. Other Than Your Own, The Team You Can’t Help Rooting For
Vancouver. It has a lot to do with the fact that they came into the league at the same time as the Sabres.
3. Favorite Fight or Brawl of All-Time
I have both a fight and a brawl to mention here. The brawl is obviously the Sabres/Sens brawl from 2007. It’s notable because it encompassed everyone on the ice, including the goalies. Biron & Emery were laughing as they were trying to fight and Lindy was practically having an aneurysm on the bench as he hollered at Brian Murray. It was also Biron’s last game in a Sabres uniform, and what a way for him to go out.
My favorite fight happened this past season when Kaleta fought that guy from Columbus in November. It was memorable just because Kaleta was so dominant and really didn’t give his opponent a chance to respond.
4b. The Hideous-Looking Hockey Jersey You Secretly Love The Most
The Ducks purple “Donald Duck meets Jason” design that they used when they first entered the league. Don’t judge. I was in sixth grade when the Ducks first wore this sweater. It was the height of cool at the time.
5. Your Favorite Hockey Cliché (terminology, traditions, announcer-speak, etc.)
The fact that almost any hockey phrasing can be turned into an innuendo. Phrases like “banging away in the crease,” “going five hole,” “he shoots, he scores,” and a host of other phrases all bring out my immature 12-year-old side.
I also love the handshake line at the end of playoff series and the stick taps on the boards to celebrate/acknowledge a good fight, jersey retirement, past legend, etc.
6. The Injury You Couldn’t Stop Staring At (Non-Skate Lacerations Only)
Gaustad’s cut tendon a couple of years ago. I know it’s a skate laceration, but work with me for a moment. I was at the game where he got hurt, sitting at that very end of the ice, and I just remember wondering how such an innocent looking play could cause such damage. In addition, I think the description used by the doctors post-surgery is what makes this injury so fascinating. I mean, they mentioned that the tendon on his leg could have rolled up like a window shade had it been cut all the way. It’s not every day that you hear injuries described in terms of window treatments. It’s also a very powerful visual that leaves you almost whimpering and clutching your leg in sympathy.
7. Your Favorite Cheesy Hockey Reference in Popular Culture
You go to the box for two minutes and you feel shame and then you are free. – Slapshot
I also enjoy “Ducks Fly Together” from The Mighty Ducks and “This isn’t Junior Pairs ’82!” from The Cutting Edge. I know it’s debatable that the latter is a hockey movie, but in my book, it is. Also, if someone could remind me where I placed my dvd disc of this movie, that would be greatly appreciated.
8. Finally, What’s The Thing You Secretly Respect Gary Bettman For The Most?
The fact that he completely ignores that fans boo him mercilessly. Being able to ignore that level of hatred is an impressive skill.