"Here's a look back at Canada's most memorable hockey-inspired civil disturbances."
Fortunately for the LAPD, Los Angeles Kings fans, having only been introduced to the sport of hockey a few weeks ago, were unaware that they were supposed to riot after last night's Stanley Cup victory.
There's nothing more exciting in sports than a team relocation. We haven't experienced a North American Sports Franchise moving since the Seattle Supersonics became the Oklahoma City Thunder. And although it was a bummer for Grunge City, it all worked out for the best because now they're an awesome team with a college basketball level of excitement! The NHL last experienced the excitement of a franchise move when the Whalers left Hartford for the less Connectictut-y pastures of Tobacco Alley, where they were dubbed "The Carolina Hurricanes." And won a Stanley Cup. I someday hope to bring the beloved Whale back to Hartford myself, once I've saved up the money. [...]
Good morning. I have a feeling this is pretty much how the day is going to go. Enjoy.
What if the NHL banned fighting? Would you consider watching hockey games? Of course not, you're an American. You wouldn't even start watching if, during fights, the players all stripped down to their jockstraps like Michael Ontkean did at the end of Slap Shot (video below!). But should the league ban fisticuffs for the betterment of the image of the game? Eh. Probably not.
I know, I know. The Awl's tagline is "Be Less Stupid." And lots of American sports fans consider hockey, with its violent yet legal ice dance-fighting and hard-to-watch helter-skelter play, to be the stupidest sport in the world (I say, what about chessboxing?). Additionally, this is a strange time to start a hockey column, what with the NHL season more than half over. But here we are: you, smart readers and me, stupid hockey fan. Let's start by taking a brief look at the game's top two players.
When I played hockey as a kid in the '70s and '80s, I used to love watching the Olympics, where the game was faster and less constrained than the National Hockey League version; the ice surface was bigger and there was less tolerance in the international rules for the kind of grabbing, holding, and fighting that used to really slow things down in the N.H.L. I always thought of myself as more of a "finesse" player than a fighter, so the game as played in the Olympics seemed like a perfect reflection of who I wanted to be, both on and off the ice, and I can still summon some [...]
An excellent point: "The photos of the Vancouver riots look like Cardiff on a Saturday night." It's true! This fantastic collection of photos and video from Vancouver last night—you see, Boston won the Stanley Cup? Which is the big prize in hockey, don't you know?—does bear a striking resemblance to any ordinary night of the glassing capital of the world over in Wales. And here is our favorite video from Vancouver.
If you're expecting a traditional NHL Stanley Cup finals preview, the kind of rote sportswriting you can read at ESPN or The Hockey News, then I apologize ahead time for disappointing you. This post is going to be, mostly, a very fawning appreciation of my amazing 2010 Montreal Canadiens, a team I cursed at vociferously on the teevee the entire regular season. Read on about my Habs, Les Habitants, le Blue-Blanc-et-Rouge, Les Glorieux. And, o-kay, I will briefly give my thoughts on the finals match-up between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Chicago Blackhawks.
It was supposed to be a Canada-Russia Olympic final-with a subplot of Sidney Crosby vs. Alexander Ovechkin-continuing an international hockey rivalry that really began in 1972 with the epic Summit Series (a series that made Paul Henderson, and his shot heard round the world, a national hero forever).
But then, the US shocked Canada 5-3 in the preliminary round. "Fluke," every Canadian fan nervously thought, as their team outplayed and outshot the Americans 45-23. However, in Sunday's wonderful gold medal game, coach Ron Wilson's young underdog squad played the mighty, talented Canadians dead even.
That the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins will meet in the Stanley Cup Finals tonight is very fitting. I recently watched the run of "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" on Netflix (great acting, surprisingly bad writing) and it was Bradley Whitford's Danny that didn't want to film a movie in Vancouver. "We’re not shooting in Vancouver. I’m drawing the line on the insanity. Vancouver doesn’t look like anything. It doesn’t even look like Vancouver. It looks like Boston, California." That was maybe the one laugh-out-loud line for this former New Englander. It's nice to think that Boston has a West Coast Canadian Dopplegänger. The Vancouver Canucks have [...]
Awl pal Katie Baker-Bakes looks at "a sports scandal so bleak and bizarre that it makes the Tonya Harding affair seem like a polite misunderstanding." It's pretty disturbing.
The regular season's over! Let's have a brief but heated discussion of the eight NHL post-season series, some of which will be much briefer and less heated than others. Thanks to my NHL Center Ice subscription, I've seen every team play at least a couple of games. I will combine this amateur scouting with my sublime knowledge of the game to make pointless guesses as to which eight teams will move on.
Has anyone done one of these yet where Hitler is outraged that it's been 24 hours since some kind of "significant" event and there hasn't been a Downfall parody of it uploaded to the Internet yet? Because that could be kind of funny. Anyway, here ya go. [Via]