The Five (Hockey) Things I’m Thankful For

Suck it, Vancouver.

Yep, that’s right. A typical “What I’m Thankful For” post. I’m an American. Deal with it. I’m just going to get right into it.

1. That I’m Able To Play Hockey

I mean that both physically and financially. I’m fortunate enough to have both the money and able (albeit out of shape) body to be able to participate in the sport that I love. It brings me so much happiness and joy to be able to get out there, exhaust myself, and to make so many good friends. Such a simple thing, but brings so much to my life.

2. Players like Sidney Crosby & Jonathan Toews

The way these types of players play consistently amaze me. Not only are they all-world players, but they play the game right. (Okay, maybe Crosby whines about non-calls too much, but whatever.) They leave it all out on the ice every single game and you can’t help but respect that. They consistently work to make not only themselves, but their teammates better. They can score goals, distribute the puck, play physically and do it all with apparent ease.

3. Goaltending Duels

It could be the national team from Japan and Kazakhstan playing, but if the goalies are trading incredible and improbable saves back and forth, I’ll be glued to the television. No matter what the would-be goal scorers attempt, they’re thwarted time and time again by these out of their skull netminders. I could watch these types of games for hours on end. And when it is in a playoff overtime situation, even better. Which brings me to…

4. Never Ending Playoff Overtime Games

The palpable angst and tension surrounding every little mistake or opportunity is like the most addictive drug created. Whenever a playoff game goes to overtime, I have to turn it on, even if I hate both teams and have zero rooting interest. Seeing all possible combinations of exhaustion, frustration, disbelief and pleading for the end is worth the price of admission on its own. The stark difference of a game winning goal in a third overtime, when players simply collapse to the ice, in comparison to a game winning goal in the first overtime is amazing to see.

5. The Raising of the Cup

Doesn’t matter who wins it, I’ll watch. I’ll get goosebumps. It’ll get a little dusty in the room. I’ll fail to comprehend the sheer orgasmic joy that such a moment brings. A lifetime of work, not only from the player, but from their family and support group, culminating into this singular moment of accomplishment. Each player in succession singled out and allowed the glimmer of the spotlight for at least that brief moment. Feeling the weight of this trophy that has felt so mythical and unattainable for so long finally in your hands. This is real. This is happening. Planting that salty kiss on the tarnished silver of The Grail. Lifting it above your head and everything and everyone around you fading into the background. It’s just you and The Chalice. Then the background fades back in as you hand it to the next of your brothers, cementing the bond that was made in pursuit of this tangible recognition of your lifetime of dedication.

What are you all thankful for?