Ice hockey: Let’s talk about it. (Time permitting we can also scat sing about it.)

Beware Steve Harwell and his sweet siren song: There are a lot of perks to a lockout-shortened season, one of which being fewer “meaningless” games. (GET OUT OF HERE NOVEMBER ISLANDERS/CANADIENS GAMES! I WILL STRIKE YOU WITH MY BROOM! SCOOT!) On January 27th, the biggest meaningless game was skipped: the NHL All Star Game. Take that, super patient and perpetually fucked over Columbus fan base!

Were you bummed out there was no 2013 NHL All Star Game? Of course you weren’t. All star games suck eggs. The NHL All Star Game in particular. HOW DID THE NHL GET DENIS LEARY TO PRE-RECORD A VAGUE MESSAGE ABOUT THIS YEAR’S  GAME? IT MUST BE A BIG DEAL! IS THAT DAVE COULIER WEARING A RED WINGS JERSEY? IT IS LIKE ALL THE STARS HAVE BEEN PLUCKED OUT OF THE SKY! SORRY AURORA BOREALIS, WE NEED THEM STARS! That said, I used to get ridiculously excited as a kid to watch the skills competition. Like, spill Tahiti Treat all over my treasured Legion of Doom sweater excited. Have you ever wanted to see Geoff Sanderson do puck handling drills on Saturday night? Apparently I did. I’d never miss it. What crazy thing was Sergei Fedorov going to say after getting third place in the hardest shot competition? Something like “ha ha, well I tried to my best”, Sergei?  You’re such a cut-up! Hey NHL All Star Skills Competition, did you get my letters about playing Brooklyn Bounce non-stop during the entire thing? You did? Fantastic! (God, I am just inherently lame.)

I’ve grown to hate the skills competition as I’ve gotten older and not just because regular season games now get decided skills competition style, hyuck grumblebumblemumble old man mutter why aren’t things like they were when I was eight and the crushing weight of my failures had yet consume me grumblebumblemuble. It’s the Breakaway Challenge that really bums me out. Y’know, the fancy shootout goal competition. It’s supposed to exciting and flashy, but it’s just oppressively dull. Remember when Alex Ovechkin wore a hat and sunglasses during it and people flipped the fuck out? I think they had to cancel school for two weeks because no one one could imagine a man skating AND wearing a hat and sunglasses. I have multiple Squirrel Nut Zippers songs in my iTunes library and even I find the NHL to be hopelessly square.

And it’s worth…the pa-ya-ya-ya-in: Speaking of square, for reasons I can’t 100% explain, I have a special place in my heart for CBC’s megacorny Hockey Night in Canada montage songs. Holy shit do I turn into puddle of hoser grease as soon as “The Chance May Never Come Again” or  “Shoot Out The Lights” comes on. It’s like I’m riding on the back of Winfred Laurier’s ghost when the “And the game belongs…to the swift and the strong” bit kicks in.

Intellectually, I know these songs are overcooked hyperCanadian dad rock, but I can’t help myself. “The Chance May Never Come Again” doesn’t come around anymore (because…I dunno, The War, I guess?), but I still tear up every time check it out on YouTube.(Plus it sounds like Bert Raccoon’s playing the electric guitar, which is a major selling point. STAND BEFORE THE GIANTS *guitar squiggling* YEEEAAAAHHH!

Additional hockey music note: Joe Satriani’s “Crowd Chant” is weapons grade horrible audio barf and should be thrown directly into the sun. Knock it off, hockey DJs.

Attack on memory: This column has really turned into “Hey! Do you remember the remembering of memory things that happened before the present”, hasn’t it? Apologies. Anyway, just a reminder to NEVER watch highlights of goals before 1988. Those clips are incredibly difficult to watch. All the goaltending in those highlights just looks batshit crazy. Have you ever watched an Oilers-era Gretzky highlight package? 95% of the goalies employ a technique that’s either a) slowly moving their left leg or b) somehow facing their own net and collapsing into a skeleton heap when faced with a blueline wrist shot. It is fucking impossible to sit through. I feel like Krusty watching the Harlem Globetrotters when I see those highlights. HE”S SPINNING THE BALL ON HIS FINGER! JUST TAKE IT! I’m pretty sure for most of the late 70s and early 80s, the Adams Division only had slowly decomposing scarecrows playing goal. Shoo pesky goalbirds!

The countdown to Snatch Game begins: How do you cool cats (Meow! *guitar noise*) feel about the new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race? Based on episode one, I’m rooting for Jinkx Monsoon and Ivy Winters. Should be a fun year, although it probably won’t top season four. (I could be wrong on that. May need to RuPaulogize later if necessary.)

Have a fun hockeying this week.

Hang out with Dan on Twitter or in the comments. He has a portable radio and a lot of money riding on this year’s Puppy Bowl.