August 27, 2011
(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
Of course there are several players I love to hate, but I'm sure you don't want me to list the entire Bruins lineup. So instead, I'll just say that I suppose over the years, Jarkko Ruutu(notes) is the guy I most wanted to see some kind of payback dealt to. It's the smile as he backs away from someone wanting to pulverize him.
I can understand how Maxim Lapierre(notes) grates on people the same way, but he was a Hab so I cut him some slack. Brad Marchand(notes) seems to be picking up the torch that Ruutu is leaving behind, but his smile doesn't measure up.
2. Other Than Your Own, The Team You Can't Help Rooting For
I'm funny that way. I've never been able to have any kind of soft spot for any other team. The Calgary Flames were nice to me once when I asked for something, but mostly, I dislike all of them. However, I could say St. Petersburg SKA in the KHL. I have a strong connection with this Russian city and saw SKA play several times, before the KHL existed.
3. Favorite Fight or Brawl of All-Time
I was at Maple Leaf Gardens one night in the 1960's when John Ferguson and Eddie Shack squared off several times. They were head-butting each other, and both teams emptied their benches and the crowd cheered and booed and threw things, and it was all quite lovely.
I also enjoyed seeing Mario Tremblay and Bobby Schmautz in 1978 dance and shadow box and look threatening, and when Schmautz was least expecting it. Tremblay popped him square in the nose. There's a great old photo of it out there somewhere as fist hits face and Schmautz's eyes are wide open like he'd seen a ghost.
4. The Hideous-Looking Hockey Jersey You Secretly Love The Most
I've heard people complain about the Minnesota Wild jersey but I really like it. The ones with the old-school lettering on the crest.
Far and away though, the most hideous hockey jerseys are the European ones plastered with ads. I've never gotten used to seeing these, almost need shades when looking at, and maybe this is cheating, but I don't secretly love these at all.
5. Your Favorite Hockey Cliché (terminology, traditions, announcer-speak, etc.)
There's one tradition I'd like to see back again — players from both teams doing like they did years ago- sitting in the penalty box together after a set-to on the ice. Imagine. Maybe the less-than-brave wouldn't be so anxious to mix it up if they had to continue socializing with angry opponents for a couple of extra minutes. I'm partial to Habs goals being announced. And how can I forget the night Bob Cole dramatically announced that Doug Gilmour had taken a big dump at center ice.
6. The Injury You Couldn't Stop Staring At (Non-Skate Lacerations Only)
I saw a junior player in Powell River become paralyzed for life after accidently slamming into the boards, and when the Pacioretty hit first happened and they were tending to him on the ice, it was all I could think about. My wife crying didn't help either.
7. Your Favorite Cheesy Hockey Reference in Popular Culture
A hockey reference in everyday life? "Scoring" is always good. "Dangle" makes me slightly uneasy. And if a big, strapping teenager has his baseball hat on backwards and wears floppies, he's probably a hockey player.
7a. Your Favorite Terrible Hockey Card Or Hockey Action Figure.
A 1974 Jacques Lemaire card with him in a Buffalo Sabres uniform, a team he never played for.
I can only imagine the jokes in the Habs dressing room at the time. (Photo via Shoebox Legends.)
8. Finally, What's The Thing You Secretly Respect Gary Bettman For The Most?
I respect Gary Bettman for his, uh, nice suits.