The Los Angeles Kings have been providing some great drama on the ice, landing in the Stanley Cup Final and stealing Game 1 in New Jersey. But hockey has been a reliable, if underappreciated, source of drama on the screen, too. Yes, there's "Slap Shot," about the laughable, lamentable Charlestown Chiefs, often regarded as the best sticks-and-pucks movie of all time. But not everyone agrees.
Here, then, are five choices for the best hockey movie of all time. Read the arguments, then vote in our poll.
"Miracle" (2004) -- Gavin O'Connor did something novel when he cast his dramatization of Mike Eruzione's upstart squad from the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics. Instead of finding actors and teaching them to play hockey, he found hockey players and taught them to act. The result is a thrilling, true-to-life depiction of what it's like to deke, check and dipsy doodle. Also, you get Kurt Russell in plaid as U.S. coach Herb Brooks.
"Slap Shot" (1977) -- Racy, outrageous and occasionally even poignant, "Slap Shot" defined not just the hockey movie but sports films in general. But is it the best of all time or just an R-rated comedy ahead of its time?
"Goon" (2011) -- OK, so it's not the first movie to turn a sweet man into an enforcer. But in telling of the transformation of nice-guy Doug Glatt (Sean Wiliam Scott) into a hockey goon, Michael Dowse brings his off-the-wall-Canadian charm to the subject of Canadians on the boards.
"The Mighty Ducks" (1992) -- Vote for any of these films. Just not this one. Please.
"Youngblood" (1986) -- A hot prospect on a minor-league team, a wise veteran mentor, a liaison with the coach's daughter. It's "Dallas" with hockey. Also Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze in the same '80s movie.
-- Steven Zeitchik
Photo: A scene from "Miracle." Credit: Disney