Last summer I wrote a series of posts called Why I Love Hockey which were all about uh, why I love hockey. If you're ever bored, they're all tagged with "Why I Love Hockey," and some of them are some of my favorite things I've written here. When I check my blog stats, the popular posts of course fluctuate a lot, but one that's almost always in the top five is the post I wrote for that series about Lindy Ruff.
But when I sat down and made a list of things that I loved about hockey, there were some things that weren't really meaty enough to get a whole post out of so I put them to the side and forgot about them. Until now! So here are some quick, short reasons I love hockey to take you into the weekend:
Stick tapping. Stick tapping is awesome. When guys tap their sticks for a good fight or play, it always makes me smile and when guys tap their sticks in some kind of tribute it always, always makes me tear up. One of the most touching things in sports.
Players head-butting the goalie after a win.
Fun, melodious foreign names that just roll off your tongue. I always call Saku Koivu by his full name just because I like saying it.
First career goals.
Goal celebrations where the teammate looks even happier than the guy who scored the goal.
Goals by defensive defensemen. Hank and Toni's annual goals make me happy no matter how the rest of the game went.
Goals by Andrew Peters. It's crazy but when he does score, it's usually a pretty darn nice goal.
The traditional team photo with the Stanley Cup and how it looks exactly like a photo a kids' team would take with everyone piled on top of each other, ear-to-ear grins and pointer fingers raised.
Preseason practices. Everyone's happy to see each other and a whole new season is in front of us.
Teammates fishing pucks out of the net for a teammate who just scored a monumental goal of some sort.
Ryan Miller's half circle spin as he leaves the ice.
Traditional markets griping about non-traditional markets and non-traditional markets griping about traditional markets.
Doug Allen singing the anthems. I hate when it's not Doug Allen.
Skaters kicking the puck to their sticks.
Photos of guys leaning over so far they're on the sides of their skate blades.
Car horns honking "HONK! HONK! HONKHONKHONK!" across Buffalo after a big win. Back when we didn't have a car we had to leave a game as it was going into overtime or we'd miss the last bus to Hamburg. But we knew what the outcome was as soon as the horns started up.
Stupid puckbunny signs and Stanley Cups made out of aluminum foil.
Come from behind wins.
Backhand shots for goals.
Slap shots in the shootout.
The mind meld of a large crowd that boos, cheers, oohs and ahhhs together.
Hope that this is the year even when that hope is misplaced.
Hope that this is the year especially when that hope is misplaced.
(Have a great weekend.)