While I’ve previously written about the significance of hockey to Canada, the abundance of hockey stories of late seems greater than usual and so caught my attention. Maybe it’s because as regular season NHL play winds down, sports writers and others with commentary to share on some slice of the hockey world feel pressed to get their pieces wrapped up before the post-season dictates a more focused narrative. Among the more interesting stories I’ve seen in the past couple of weeks is one from the March 1 edition of the NY Times on the rough-and-tumble Ligue Nord-Americaine de Hockey. That Quebec-based league, which is not well known below the border, averages about 3.2 fights per game as compared to about 0.6 fights per comparatively tame NHL game.
A more amusing hockey-related matter that also popped up on my radar recently is my learning about “Score: A Hockey Musical”, which sets to gleeful, comedic song the unexpected rise of a teenage hockey phenom and in the process has some fun with Canada’s obsession with this icy sport. Although the film was shown at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and opened in Canada this past October, it has not had wide theatrical release in the U.S. as best I can tell (if it’s been released here at all). Too bad — from the trailer and other material on the movie’s official website “Score” looks to a good light-hearted romp. One of the promotions for the was a National Anthem Challenge in which contestants submitted renditions, suggestions and variations for Canada’s national anthem, the diverse results of which can be seen here. The trailer shows a small clip of the main team doing a goofy synchronized dance on the rink to the film’s theme song “Hockey — The Greatest Game in All The Land”, while the video posted above is of a performance of the same song at the TIFF and includes a rousing drum line intro as well as the lyrics.