When the NHL Playoffs begin April 13, Canada’s national pastime will be pervading our everyday lives. To prepare you, here are the best movies to get your hockey mind in the mood:
MVP (Best Overall): Slap Shot (1977)
Nothing has captured the rough-and-tumble life of hockey as well as Paul Newman leading the Charlestown Chiefs and those bloodthirsty Hanson Brothers. Based on a real 1970’s semi-pro team called the Johnstown Jets, Slap Shot is the Wayne Gretzky of all hockey movies.
Most Sportsmanlike: The Rocket (2005)
This inspiring biopic about legendary Habs star Maurice Richard is remarkable for noting the struggles of a determined Francophone player in the NHL’s brutally fierce early days. It earned nine Genie Awards, including Best Actor for Roy Dupuis.
Most Improved (with time): Sudden Death (1995)
Sure, it may not be a hockey movie per se, but with Jean-Claude Van Damme trying to halt a terror attack during the Stanley Cup finals, Sudden Death is definitely worth revisiting. Besides, any movie featuring a three-minute fight scene between the Muscles from Brussels and the Pittsburgh Penguins mascot can’t be that bad.
Player’s Pick: Miracle (2004)
“I love (Miracle) simply because its a huge moment in hockey history,” said Vancouver Canucks forward Mason Raymond of the dramatic retelling of Team USA’s gold-medal win in the 1980 Olympics. “That movie shows everyone what hard work, team work and a bit of luck can give. It should be mandatory for all future hockey players to watch that movie.”
Top Prospect: Goon
Directed by Michael Dowse (Fubar) and starring Jay Baruchel from a script he co-wrote, this comedy about a bouncer who finds his calling as a hockey goon recently wrapped filming in Winnipeg and will undoubtedly cinematically reclaim the game for Canada when it hits theatres later this year.
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