To be honest, I don’t know much about ice hockey. I know it’s extremely dangerous and violent, though. I mean, Clint Malarchuk had his throat slit whilst playing for the Buffalo Sabres in 1989. He was fine, though. His trainer reached into his neck and pinched his jugular shut until help arrived. Sorry, I should’ve slapped a content warning on that fact. I hope you’re not eating. Could be worse, I suppose. Goaltender Abie Goldberry caught fire during a game in 1930. He had a box of matches in his pocket when the puck hit them, setting them and him on fire. Ironically, considering he was surrounded by ice, it did take them a while to put him out. He was also fine, although the same can’t be said of a spectator at a Boston Bruins match in 1979. This incident led to the Plexiglas screens being installed. Bruins player Mike Milbury got involved in a brawl between the players and the fans. Mike wasn’t a happy bunny with one particular spectator, so he tore said spectator’s shoe off and beat said spectator with said shoe. Of course, all this is a terribly sad way to start a blog post, so I’ll end this paragraph by telling you about my favourite ice hockey team. The Fussy Puckers. Marvellous. Just marvellous.
I don’t like the word ‘goaltender’. You don’t ‘tend’ a goal, do you? You tend a garden, for God’s sake. Anyway, like most people in Britain, I hate ice hockey, which is ironic, because we invented it. British soldiers serving in Canada, to be exact. However, like the billion and one other sports the Yanks and the Canucks have stolen off Britain, they can have ice hockey. I could take you on a guided tour of the rules, but there so damn many of them. All you need to know is that two teams, on skates, twirl around on some ice trying to get a puck, a small rubber disc thing, into a net. It’s a lot like football, in that regard. Except in ice hockey, the occasional fight breaks out. And that would never, ever happen in football. Ahem.
The game itself evolved naturally from a variety of other stick sports, most invented in the UK between the 18th and 19th centuries. Despite the British origins, Canada made ice hockey its own. Montreal, to be exact. Much of the modern game was developed there. It was at Montreal’s Victoria Skating Rink where the first indoor game was played, on March 3rd of 1875. It soon took hold of America, too. In fact, Boston’s Matthews Arena is the oldest ice rink still used for ice hockey in the entire world. It opened in 1910 and was home to the Boston Bruins for four seasons. The curiously named Boston Bruins. That said, the National Hockey League also has teams named the Senators and the Penguins. Have you seen the penguin on the Penguins’ badge? It has human hands, for crying out loud!
The Stanley Cup is the most prestigious award in the game, so I’m told. It was named after a former Canadian Governor General, Lord Stanley, who donated the original trophy in 1893. It’s been on many adventures since then. It’s been used as a cereal bowl. One time, it was left by the side of a road. It was even lost in 2010 on a flight from New Jersey to Vancouver, although it was safely recovered by Air Canada. Nice of them. It’s even been thrown into a swimming pool, and that wasn’t the first time it found itself getting a bit wet. In 1905, several drunken players from Ottawa Silver Screen kicked it into the Rideau Canal, which then froze overnight. Still, could be worse. After the Toronto Maple Leafs won it in 1962, they ‘accidentally’ threw it onto a celebratory bonfire. How do you ‘accidentally’ manage to do that, I wonder…
Ice hockey fans do enjoy throwing things, whether it be a precious, precious trophy onto a huge, huge fire, or a punch or two, or even an octopus. Yes, fans of the Detroit Red Wings, those mad bastards, throw octopodes onto the rink during the playoffs when they score. This bizarre tradition dates back to when it took only eight wins to win the Stanley Cup. And an octopus has eight legs. You see, this would never happen in Britain. We would never throw away a perfectly good octopus. I mean, sure, it’s dead, but still – oh, did I not tell you the octopodes are dead? Ah. Yeah. They’re dead. I mean, Detroit isn’t that barbaric.
Those of you aspiring to be a GOALKEEPER in ice hockey may want to reconsider. One goalie claimed recently that bits of rubber fly off the puck during games, travelling down the throats of the goalies, into their tummies. Yes, goalkeepers in ice hockey eat the puck. Although not deliberately, of course. You may wonder if there are any side effects to this puck eating. OF COURSE THERE ARE! We’re not supposed to eat bloody rubber! As one, sigh, ‘goaltender’, put it recently: ‘I have found a high correlation between puck consumption and terrible, terrible diarrhoea.’ I hope you’re not eating…
What are my thoughts on ice hockey? You know, it just doesn’t do it, for me. And I’m even less interested in it knowing I could get hit in the face with a flying squid. But it’s hugely popular, and you know, whatever makes people happy and all that. I shan’t spoil your enjoyment of your little game, nor shall I insult it.
But if you don’t mind, I’m heading to the snooker hall next door to watch a proper sport…
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post. You can leave a comment and/or like this post below, or by clicking the title on the top of this post if you are on the ‘Archives’ page. Likes and follows greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Please feel free check out the latest posts from my other blog:
The Indelible Life of Me
New Post Every Saturday
Click Here to Read the Latest Post