My first week dedicated to learning about hockey and the NHL is coming to a close. And it has been awesome! I have watched pretty much every hockey video on YouTube and HockeyFights.com, significantly boosted the visitor numbers of hockey blogs like Yahoo!’s Puck Daddy, The Hockey Writers and The Peerless Prognosticator with countless visits throughout the day, and stalked via social media experts that I would love to just sit and talk hockey with, like Don LeGreca, Pierre LeBrun and John Buccigross. Not to mention the minutes logged in front of the TV watching the playoffs.
As fun as the week has been, there is something missing. And we are going to start to fix that now. The playoff games have been amazing – Montreal’s improbable run, the Sharks’ surprising strong play against the Red Wings, and the speed and power of the Blackhawks have made for edge of your excitement. But I want more. I need more. I need to live and die by an outcome. I need to be seated on my couch wearing a player’s sweater. I need to be angry if the outcome doesn’t go my way. I need to be on cloud nine when it does.
I need a favorite player.
I also need a favorite team, but baby steps for this hockey newbie. I need a player whose stats I can memorize, whose mannerisms I can mimic, whose favorite foods and music can become mine, whose restraining order can have my name on it!
Based on these choices, tell me who my favorite player should be (or leave me a comment with another suggestion).
I imagine it’s not cool for your favorite player to be a goalie unless he is…oh I don’t know…the greatest goalie on the planet and leader of the U.S. Olympic team!
It’s hard not to like Crosby (unless you are a Capitals or USA team supporter). At age 22 he has won a Stanley Cup, a Hart Trophy for league MVP, and scored the gold-medal-winning goal in overtime at the Olympics.
The Magic to Crosby’s Bird, Ovechkin is the NHL’s wild child. A two-time Hart trophy winner, Ovechkin is anything but boring. His goal celebrations have been likened to those of an exuberant soccer player. Off the ice, he has given his cell phone number during a TV interview in hopes of getting a date and is rumored to have punched a rival player’s agent to send a message.
One of America’s top young players, Parise firmly planted himself in American hockey history by scoring the goal with 4 seconds left against Canada in the Gold Medal game @ 2010 Olympics to send the game into overtime. It was probably one of the only times America was collectively cheering a hockey goal of any type.
The only Swedish player on this list, Sedin is special for more than just his amazing play. His twin brother, Daniel, plays on the Canucks as well. A vote for Henrik might also be a vote for Daniel for the uninitiated hockey fan! If not for Crosby and Ovechkin, Sedin would be the poster boy for the league. He also has to get points for being the only player on the list from a Canadian team.
Kane is becoming the face of a revitalized Blackhawk team. Along with incredible skills he also makes news with horrible haircuts (he decided to grow a playoff mullet instead of a beard this playoffs) and got media coverage this off-season for getting into a fight with a cab driver in Buffalo. We like our favorite player to have intensity!
Having grown up on Long Island, one option has to be from the local team. There hasn’t been a lot to cheer about since the days of Potvin, Bossy and Billy Smith, but the 19-year -old Tavares has the Nassau Coliseum faithful hopeful again.