(Ed. Note: Our series "Puck Daddy's Guilty Pleasures" features puckheads from all walks of life answering questions about their own hockey-related guilty pleasures. Have a suggestion for a "Guilty Pleasures" guest blogger? Hit us on email. Enjoy!)
Today's special guest: Harrison Mooney, Puck Daddy's newest associate editor and the Poochy to Wysh and Leahy's Itchy & Scratchy. If you're into short bursts of wit or tweets about peaches, you can follow him on Twitter at @harrisonmooney.
The Player You Most Love To Hate
My team is the Vancouver Canucks, so I hate anybody who has ever contributed to their failures and, since they have quite a storied history of failure, that's a lot of people to hate — some former Canucks, even. But there is nobody on God's green earth that makes me want to hurl a television at my television like Dave Bolland.
The Sedins are kind and gentle creatures. They just want to do nifty things and use telepathy to communicate. Is that so much to ask?
No, it isn't, but Dave Bolland comes at them mercilessly, slashing their shins and their wrists, getting away with heinous acts of aggravation, causing infuriating turnovers, starting rushes back the other way, and scrunching up his vile little face like Templeton from Charlotte's Web after he scores goals on the counterattack. He's so damn effective it makes me sick.
It also makes me stress eat, which might be what actually makes me sick. Either way, in a perfect world, Dave Bolland would make many fewer appearances.
Other Than Your Own, The Team You Can't Help Rooting For
Before the 94' Cup run hitched me to the Canucks forever, I was a Penguins fan by way of the Minnesota North Stars. In May of 1991, when I was five, I cheered for Minnesota for about three games, after watching them beat up on the Edmonton Oilers in the Campbell Conference finals. But, when they were getting their asses handed to them by the Penguins in the Cup Final, I slyly switched teams, which allowed me to celebrate two consecutive Stanley Cups as a Penguins fan.
Smartest thing I ever did. Now that I'm a Vancouver fan, I may never taste victory again.
These days, I have no logical reason to cheer for the Pittsburgh Penguins (not that I did back then, but I was five), especially after the universe conspired a few years back to give them their third once-in-a-generation superstar in three generations. Still, the 1991-92 Penguins impregnated me with the love of the game, so there's a certain connection I feel to the fathers of my hockey baby.
Favorite Fight or Brawl of All-Time
Is there anything as glorious as this line brawl between the Canucks and the Blackhawks from a few years back?
Dustin Byfuglien starts everything by running into Luongo like he's piloting a boat while intoxicated. Then everyone goes nuts.
Kevin Bieksa and Ben Eager get into an incredible scrap, with involves more cheap bodyslams and shirt-ripping than a WWE women's title match.
Duncan Keith puts Alex Burrows in a headlock, and Burrows responds by putting Duncan Keith's hair in a headlock.
Meanwhile, Shane O'Brien goes absolutely batcrap, and when Brent Seabrook and the official -- working in league, for some reason -- can't get him to calm down, the official slewfoots him (at 1:53).
It is perhaps the finest moment in hockey's best active rivalry.
The Hideous-Looking Hockey Jersey You Secretly Love The Most
There is nothing so hilariously stupid as when an organization decides to put cartoon characters on jerseys. That in mind, the original Mighty Ducks' third jersey is the pinnacle of excellence. And if the St. Louis Blues had ever actually gotten to wear this hideous jersey, and somehow, Cool Cat had made it onto the front, I'd be wearing it right now.
Still, the finest hockey jersey the world has ever seen is this extra special, St. Patrick's Day Milwaukee Admirals jersey, which features some sort of schizoid, hockey-playing leprechaun pirate skeleton cartoon on the front.
I see a creature in conflict. Considering what this thing is, and what he looks ready to do to that pile of gold, there's a lot of different motivations at play here. You'd think the pirate and the leprechaun in him would be a little more hesitant to scatter that gold with a howitzer.
Your Favorite Hockey Cliché (terminology, traditions, announcer-speak, etc.)
I love when Jim Hughson says a player "smeagoled" by another player when he narrowly evades a check along the boards. I take it to mean that the player nearly bit his opponent's finger off trying to get the ring, which means Alex Burrows is the only player in recent history to actually smeagol anybody.
The Injury You Couldn't Stop Staring At (Non-Skate Lacerations Only)
After the brawl I shared a few questions back, I think it's clear that I enjoy a good fight as much as the next guy, but this tilt between Adam Deadmarsh and Ed Jovanovski is the reason I'd be fine if fighting was legislated right out of the game. This one's haunted me since 2003 2000. Jovo's just flailing away, and when he connects with a couple a wild haymakers, Adam Deadmarsh's career is effectively over.
Deadmarsh played a few more seasons after that, but he was never the same, and after another concussion forced him to miss the season before the lockout, he never came back. Nobody much talks about Deadmarsh these days, but if this scrap doesn't happen, he might still be playing.
Your Favorite Cheesy Hockey Reference in Popular Culture
I'm a big fan of the scene in Chasing Amy where Ben Affleck is fishing for information about Amy's sexual history during a minor hockey game and fight breaks out.
It's maybe the most painfully obvious visual metaphor in the history of film, but you have to give Kevin Smith credit for comparing the disclosure of sexual history in a new relationship to a hockey fight. It's an apt contrast, as both are seen as important measures and neither really are anymore.
Finally, What's The Thing You Secretly Respect Gary Bettman For The Most?
All glory to the Hypnotoad...
Harrison also runs the Canucks' blog Pass it to Bulis.