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Sharks Gameday: Hockey culture

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Wild fans won't shut up about their unique "hockey culture." What do they mean?

Beautiful Minnesota!
Beautiful Minnesota!

If there's a single theme every angry, whining pile of words Minnesota fans dump on our comments here, it's that Minnesota has a unique "hockey culture" that California hockey fans just do not understand. The proper response to this runs the gamut from "laughing in their fucking face" to "feeling sorry for the kind of dipshit that is inspired by pee-wee hockey games".

Hockey, for all it's beauty and excitement, is not a complicated sport. There are nuances about some rules, and the more you watch hockey, the more you can appreciate the kind of strategies and off-puck play that makes good hockey possible. But at its heart, hockey is about skaters trying to put a rubber disc into a net, and goalies trying to prevent it. You don't need to have grown up in a hockey commune to understand this.

But let's see what the Google says about the phrase "hockey culture is..."

  • damaging youth hockey players' futures and putting the integrity of our game at risk
  • rife with doublethink: on the one hand, we overlook violence; on the other, we argue that it is required
  • saturated with distinct codes, nuances and social structures that define players' identities and decisions [ed: no fucking doy, academic]
  • at its most dubious
  • that you do not stand out
  • slowly changing
  • that we're just a bunch of average guys that hang around each other a lot, and if anyone steps out of line you've got 19 other guys in the locker room that will bring him back into line [ed: Shawn Thornton, of course]
  • much more intense in Canada and the passion and pride for the game woven deep onto the social fabric of the nation
  • somewhere where you can find a good competitive game where everyone is having fun
  • something that goes on behind the scenes
  • such that even New Englanders and Swedes, after a few years of inhaling North American Zamboni fumes, will come to adopt a Manitoban prairie lilt, and speak in run-on sentences of cautious optimism
  • so large, and I think girls should embrace all parts of it
  • based on what we refer to as friendship
  • stressful for anyone, and even more so for junior hockey players where the stakes are high and minds and bodies are still developing
  • destroying our youth player's futures
  • so alien to my day-to-day life in London
  • so humble
  • very centralised around the rinks [ed: no way!]
  • very strong in this rink
  • still set by those who adhere to a version of 'manhood' that belongs in the 1920s

So great, Minnesota. Glad you like it so much. I'll stick to being a fan of the game of hockey.

Wild @ Sharks

1:00 PM Pacific

Prediction: an afternoon game against a tedious opponent is going to be as awful and uninteresting as an average Wild fan comment. Nothing but deflection goals and icings.