(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. It will run daily during the month of August. Have a suggestion for a "Guilty Pleasures" guest blogger? Hit us on email. Enjoy!)
1. The Player You Most Love To Hate
Never liked the guy.
For several reasons.
A.) Overlying problem here is he gets too much credit and takes away from Mario Lemieux. No sense in debating this with us. The goalies he played against had the agility level of Christopher Reeve. Goalies were 70 pounds and just kicked at pucks coming toward them. The guy had talent and simply played in the right era with all-stars all around him. Meanwhile, the most gifted player to ever step onto the ice, Mario Lemieux, basically played against Jurassic Park every night, and there was even a stretch in the late '80s where Lemieux had a chair for a left wing.
B.) Loyalty. Or lack thereof.
C.) He tried to be a head coach, failed, and acted like it never happened.
D.) He appeared in a Nickelback video:
E.) He's effeminate.
F.) This quote after winning a game 13-4 against the Devils: "Well, it's time they got their act together. They're ruining the whole league. They had better stop running a Mickey Mouse organization and put somebody on the ice."
How could someone say that about Mickey Mouse? To date, Disney has never responded. Their next big-time ride should be everyone gets to pee on Wayne Gretzky's face.
2. Other Than Your Own, The Team You Can't Help Rooting For
Gun to our head, we'd have to say Winnipeg now. It's good to see hockey back where it belongs. If the Jets franchise doesn't vomit all over itself, it could be the impetus for cities like Quebec and Hartford in getting their franchises back. Dustin Byfuglien sucks.
3. Favorite Fight or Brawl of All-Time
Nothing better than this for us: Mario completely breaking down and owning Todd Krygier. It has everything. It starts with Mario and his patented fall that he'd do. It was like one of those falls an old person does where everyone isn't quite sure they are falling.
Mario slashes Krygier where there's no padding, throws Krygier to the ground, and starts pounding him. This is what we meant when we said before that 66 had to go to war every night. This was in the second period of what eventually became a 4-OT marathon, with Petr Nedved winning it for the Pens. Lemieux was serving pizza to the players during the OT intermissions. The following series was the Eastern Conference finals against Florida, where the Panthers basically tackled 66 and 68 off of every faceoff. That Panthers series was also the coming-out party for the clutch-and-grab era. So disappointing.
4. The Hideous-Looking Hockey Jersey You Secretly Love The Most
Dallas Stars, circa who cares.
Google "Female Reproductive System."
5. Your Favorite Hockey Cliché (terminology, traditions, announcer-speak, etc.)
The hat trick. There is no sense in us explaining what a hat trick is and what it compels hometown spectators to do. Just good stuff.
6. The Injury You Couldn't Stop Staring At (Non-Skate Lacerations Only)
This is when players getting concussions was fun.
We also enjoy watching Mike Ribeiro almost die on the ice.
7. Your Favorite Cheesy Hockey Reference in Popular Culture
As Pens fans, this is too easy.
In the trailer, they completely change the voice of then-color-analyst Paul Steigerwald, and you can actually see a shot where there are no fans in the stands. We're also pretty sure that some Asian actor stood in for Jaromir Jagr. Luc Robitaille was a Penguin for about 3 minutes, and he somehow was granted hero status in this film that will stand the test of time.
Believe us when we tell you that you couldn't go to Mellon Arena without a "Sudden Death" reference in your back pocket ready to be brought out at the appropriate time.
7a. Your Favorite Terrible Hockey Card Or Hockey Action Figure.
"Hey, it's me -- Gordie Howe. This is actually a game photo. No one is around me, and the overall talent of the league is pathetic. I'm going to score unlimited goals against scrubs, and people will idolize me forever."
8. Finally, What's The Thing You Secretly Respect Gary Bettman For The Most?
Simple. For conspiring with NBC to bring the Cup to Pittsburgh.
- Mario Lemieux
- Wayne Gretzky
- Mickey Mouse
- Todd Krygier