Sun Aug 07 12:57pm EDT
(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
None other than SO'B (Shane O'Brien(notes)). Shane was drafted by the Ducks in 2003 with some guys named Ryan Getzlaf(notes) and Corey Perry(notes). I love/hated him when he was with the team. He's a nasty, gritty player that fit right in with Burkie's truculence requirement; however, Burke's patience wore thin and he was later traded to Tampa Bay in 2007.
His "WHAAA? Who me?" face to the refs is classic. If it were up to O'Brien, he'd win the Lady Byng every year. And really, how awesome is it that when he's traded away from Vancouver, the line everyone comes up with is "Well there goes the Roxy." Not to mention his reaction in the press to every trade (or anything negative that happens to him) is like a bitter ex-girlfriend passive aggressively posting about the breakup on Facebook.
2. Other Than Your Own, the Team You Can't Help Rooting For
Unlike my good buddy and fellow Ducks fan Earl Sleek from Battle of California, I will never EVER cheer for any of the other California teams. I like being the only team in California with a Stanley Cup (and yes, Kings and Sharks fans, I am going to remind you of that until the day I die because you still won't have a Cup by then). Frankly, when Los Angeles and San Jose met in the quarterfinals of last season's playoffs, I was hoping for a giant sinkhole to open up and swallow Staples Center and/or HP Pavilion.
Anyway, I was born in Pittsburgh, so it has to be the Penguins. I get asked a lot why I'm not a Pens fan. My answer is simple — did they make an epic trilogy of movies when I was a child? Nope. On a random side note, my parents met then-Penguins defenseman Randy Carlyle while my mom was pregnant with me. He told my mom that her future baby was going to be a hockey fan. Next to putting Corey Perry on the penalty kill, that's one of the smartest decisions he's ever made.
3. Favorite Fight or Brawl of All Time
Joe Thornton(notes) vs. Ryan Getzlaf — Game 6, 2009 WCQF. This would seem like a homer pick if I didn't think Getzy got his ass absolutely handed to him. It wasn't the prettiest fight of all time, but it was a hell of a boost to a Ducks' crowd that hadn't been that loud since we won the Cup. I was at Honda Center for this moment and I spilled half my beer - a cardinal sin, I know - screaming "GO HULKZLAF!!" (Hulkzlaf is Getz's alter-ego when he plays out of his mind with physicality and offensive prowess.)
Never in my hockey life have I wanted someone to get the crapped kicked out of them as I did Brad Richardson that day. No one lays a hand on Teemu Selanne and there tends to be retribution to be had for doing so. Yet, the last thing I wanted was for Teemu to be doing the punching. Those beautiful 40 year-old hands! Going into the playoffs, the sight of his hand connecting with Richardson's face made me nauseous. Some say the technique Selanne uses to keep his hands in perfect condition was the inspiration for David Duchovney's character in Zoolander.
4. Hideous Looking Hockey Jersey that You Secretly Love the Most
These throwback Habs jerseys are awesome. Looking at them instantly makes my eyes cross to find the image hidden in the Magic Eye puzzle.
5. Favorite Hockey Cliché
"When you put the puck on the net, good things are going to happen." I haven't perused the rulebook in a while, but isn't that's the object of the game? A close second reaches across all sports: "You play to win the game." Say whaaa? I'm a Generation Me kid, I thought it was all about having fun …
6. The Injury You Couldn't Stop Staring At (Non-Skate Lacerations Only)
Probably when Ryan Getzlaf got hit in the face with the puck last season. I gauge how bad an injury is by the amount of time it takes to clean the blood off the ice afterward. This one took a while. When he came back from IR (or as we call it on the blog, Hogwarts) he was left with a nifty scar.
7. Your Favorite Cheesy Hockey Reference in Popular Culture
As a proud baby of the 80s, my favorite cartoon growing up was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The character Casey Jones is a former hockey player turned vigilante crime fighter. In the critically acclaimed 1993 movie, Casey Jones is referred to by Michelangelo as "Wayne Gretzky on steroids".
8. Your Favorite Terrible Hockey Card
This isn't a hockey trading card per se, but it's hilarious. The fact that someone made this makes me feel like there is at least one Red Wings fan out there that I could beat up.
9. What do you secretly respect Gary Bettman for?
For allowing the NHL to put itself out there by way of HBO's 24/7. That series introduced the game to a whole new audience. To those not intimately acquainted with the game, it challenged their preconceptions that hockey is nothing more than a violent sport.