With the NHL in a lockout and currently not playing games, I’ve had to find other ways to get my ice hockey fix. I play in a men’s league once a week, I play NHL 13 a few times a week courtesy of EA Sports and now with the start of the AHL and college hockey seasons I can watch some entertaining and competitive organized hockey.
What to do if there are no games on TV and I don’t have my own game to play in? Or when my thumbs hurt too much from typing these amazing articles and playing entirely way too much NHL 13?
Well, thankfully Hollywood has blessed us with some thoroughly entertaining movies involving the sport of hockey. Here is my list of my top-5 favorite hockey movies and I know not everyone will agree with me. But, like Happy Gilmore, not everyone makes the cut. Also, please feel free to click the title of the movie to be taken to YouTube and watch the movie’s theatrical trailer.
#5 - Sudden Death (1995)
Coming in at number 5 is “Sudden Death” starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. This movie is quite the hybrid of a film. It has plenty of great hockey scenes and JCVD running around killing terrorists while defusing bombs and doing all sorts of other activities (sorry no spoiler alerts here) in the Pittsburgh Penguins old ice rink which was affectionally referred to as “the Igloo”. I guess you could argue this is an action movie based around a hockey game but if you don’t think it’s a hockey movie feel free to write your own top-5 hockey movies because this is mine. Either way if you like hockey and over the top action movies, “Sudden Death” is for a you.
#4 - D2: The Mighty Ducks (1994)
Yes, it’s a sequel and not the original but sorry in my opinion, this is one of those times where the sequel is better than the original. In this sequel coach Gordon Bombay has left his position as head coach of the Minnesota youth hockey team, the Mighty Ducks, to play hockey in the minors in hopes of making it back to the pros. Gordon’s comeback ends however when he suffers a knee injury and is forced to give up playing hockey. Luckily he’s pegged to coach team USA during the Junior Goodwill Games in California. Obviously he selects a team consisting mostly of his old team the Ducks, but some new players are chosen from around the country and their over the top personalities reflect where they come from. The Ducks, I mean team USA, dominate the tournament until they run into the bigger, stronger and often cheap/dirty team Iceland led by an ex-NHL player who has the reputation of a goon. Needless to say this movie is a classic and if you haven’t seen it well then you’ve either been in jail or don’t like to watch good movies.
#3 - Goon (2011)
This movie is absolutely hysterical. From the minds that brought us “Superbad”, came the often ridiculous but always funny “Goon”. This movie stars Sean William Scott aka the Stiffmeister as a bar bouncer named Doug Glatt who is the black sheep of his family and is stuck working a job he hates. Lucky for Doug, he has a special talent of his own. Apparently he is a really good at taking a beating, but even better at dishing out a vicious beating. One day his friend drags him to a semi-pro hockey game and after the friend taunts a player to the point the player enter the stands to engage Doug’s friend in a fight. But Doug lays the guy out with a ferocious head-butt and a healthy dose of right hooks. The next day the coach calls and from there a hockey enforcer or goon (depending on how you feel about fighters) is born. This movie has laughs, outrageous one liners and absurd fight scenes. Some say this movie is insensitive and it represents everything that is wrong with hockey. But I say those people missed the point of the movie and don’t understand hockey or what it means to be on a team. They’re also probably the same people that give out trophies to teams that finished in last place. Either way, if you haven’t seen this movie you should and then you can decide for yourself, if in fact you can stop laughing long enough to form an opinion.
#2 - Youngblood (1986)
This cult favorite gets bonus points since it was released the year I was born and it doesn’t hurt that it’s a hockey movie starring Rob Lowe and the late but always great Patrick Swayze. Lowe plays a young gun, American-born hockey player by the name of Dean Youngblood who in an attempt to impress pro scouts decides to play for the Canadian based and fictional, Hamilton Mustangs. Swayze is the captain of the team and he’s quite the character who causes a lot of shenanigans and dishes out some great one-liners. It’s not all fun and games for Youngblood and company however as the dirtiest player in the league, a bearded monster who goes by the name of Racki has them both in his sights. Youngblood is all finesse and Racki is all power so it turns out to be quite the test for Dean who must prove he can play the physical game and hold his own in a fight before he can continue on his journey to the big leagues. Complicating things is a love affair between Dean and his coach’s daughter that leads to some obvious tension between Dean and his coach (another one-line machine). This movie is summed up in one gem uttered by Dean’s older brother when he’s dropping Dean off at the Mustangs home rink, “Don’t take any (bleep) from them canucks. To them, you’re just another wetback, crossing the border to play their game”.
#1 - Miracle (2004)
“Do you believe in miracles?!? Yes!” Finally we’ve come to my all-time favorite hockey movie that is filled with unreal hockey action, lighthearted moments and it is still able to give me the chills every time I watch it even though I know how it ends. Disney’s “Miracle” stars Kurt Russell as the 1980 team USA hockey coach, Herb Brooks and tells us the amazing true story of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice”. For those not familiar with the story, Team USA, made up of a group of amateur hockey players handpicked by Brooks, go on to beat a seemingly invincible Russian team against all odds during the 1980 Winter Olympics held in Lake Placid, New York. Russia was a juggernaut and this game was one of those rare times in sports when a game was more than just a game. It was a distraction for a nation that needed one. America was a nation that needed something to get behind and cheer for when things weren’t going so well around the world, as well as home soil. It’s a must-see for any American-born hockey fan and I like to think almost anyone can appreciate this classic underdog tale.
So there you have it ladies and gentlemen, a list of my top-5 favorite hockey movies of all time. Feel free to comment below or hit us up on Twitter @TooManyMenOTS or on our new Facebook page (www.facebook.com/TooManyMenOnTheSite) to let us know what your favorite hockey movies are!