There are a few differences between Daily editor-in-chief-to-be Ed Ngai and I that you should know about. I’m a Sharks fan; he’s a Canucks fan. My team just swept his in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I can’t help but write about the NHL right now, but he’s so sick of hockey that he probably won’t even read this column, despite my effort to include (poke fun at?) him in this paragraph.
Everybody’s new favorite Shark is one hell of a hammerhead.
Few NHL players hit like Raffi Torres. Maybe it’s his 6-foot, 225-pound frame, or his puck-hawk instincts, or his penchant for throwing an elbow every time he checks an opponent, but he’s the definition of a hockey player that you hate playing against—and you love to have skating on your side. Plus, he just looks mean.
Teammates and referees simply sat back and watched, letting the players fight it out, bare-knuckle style without helmets or gloves, for what felt like several minutes. And meanwhile, the 17,000 strong crowd bayed for their blood. Was I the only person who felt deeply uncomfortable about this?
The NHL has consistently been the odd black sheep of the “big” American sports leagues. The NFL owns Sundays, the MLB is the official league of “America’s pastime” and the NBA is where amazing happens. The NHL? Truthfully speaking, hockey has lacked a catchphrase in the modern Internet era.