All hockey players are bilingual. They know English and profanity.

-Gordie Howe

As the hockey playoffs start it is incredible to see Buffalo and my friends get all riled up about hockey.  Being from Colorado, I didn’t really experience hockey as a youth besides the Avalanche, so I wanted to ask my good friend and classmate Shawn some hockey questions. Shawn played at Buffalo State College and coaches middle school kids.  His insights are great but his passion, like other hockey fans, are so alien to me.  Here are his answers to five simple questions :

Why do you like hockey so much? 

The speed of the game is the number one thing that drives my love for the game and why I play.  It is the hardest sport in the world to combine all the skills and physical abilities necessary to play it well.  Then add courage, commitment, and teamwork and you have the greatest sport in the world. There is no room for “I” and “me” it’s “us” and “we”.

Is the NHL headed in the right direction?

Yes, they have made steps to accommodate all the issues and have been more proactive than any other league.  They do not have the controversy that other leagues have and have the best players to sell the game.  On concussions, they have led the way for other leagues. It is just now the identification is so much better we can hope to better take care of them in the future.  It’s not that concussions didn’t happen in the past, but that they can now treat and diagnose them better.

Why are hockey fans so loyal?

“I do not have a good answer for this, but I think it’s the feelings that they think they understand a complicated game.  Unfortunately, most do not but they think they do.  There is so much possibility of things occurring in a game: a big hit, fight, goal, added to the speed of the players and the puck. Then you have the cool looking goalie, there is so much to see and it’s completely unpredictable. “

What’s the hardest you ever have been hit?

“Hahaha…Plattsburgh, NY knew it was coming but had to take the hit to make the play.  Got pretty much flipped head over heels and got a few stiches, you got to love it.  I also sent my line mates on a 2 on 1 and drew a penalty for charging.”

Why are hockey players so ugly?

“Hahahah…good question….we love our scares.  Hey if it was easy everyone would do it, but it’s hard and you play the game right no matter who you are. It’s just blood, you won’t die, hell, I think it’s closer to living then sitting in the stands watching.

Until next time,

Take, Care!