Ovechkin gathers the puck in the neutral zone, quickly turning
his glare up ice, towards the opposing
goalie. He is by himself, not a defenseman within 15 feet. His
skate blades begin to take a quicker pace, trying to seize the
opportunity for a breakaway. Ovechkin pushes the puck out away
from his body, keeping control of it with only one hand on his
Bauer hockey stick. Upon reaching the blue line, he smoothly
puts both hands back on the stick, bringing the blade and the
puck with it to his right side. Now 10 feet in from the blue
line, Ovechkin picks up his left leg slightly behind him, and
puts his 210 pounds of weight on his right side. With a simple
flick of the wrist, he sends a snapshot towards the net. It soars
past the goalie’s left side, his glove hand, without a
reaction. The rubber puck hits the back of the net and the play
is over. Ovechkin has scored one of his first goals in
So we assume the next question is: Who the heck is Alexander Ovechkin? Heis the new phenom of the Washington Capitals’ hockey team, that’s who.
Not many people from
Why is this? Is it because of the extremely low media coverage it receives from American newspapers? Is it the fact that people see it as a game for Canadians only? It is hard to tell, but while most people don’t follow hockey, a few do. When senior Zack Hall was asked if he missed hockey, he replied with a very quick answer of “Yes, I missed watching the highlights. I don’t understand why people don’t like hockey.”
Maybe this is a clue as to why our student body doesn’t care about the NHL. Maybe it is because games can often go a long time without producing anything worthy of a highlight reel. But then why do we like baseball, a sport in which players don’t even move for nine tenths of the game? We guess hockey just seems to be a foreign concept to most people.
When a freshman was asked if he followed hockey, he bounced back with a sharp, “No, I don’t.”
When walking around the school in our hockey
apparel, we often get strange and foreign looks, like we are
aliens. Most kids in our school can’t even name the
The media often portrays hockey as a brutal sport with thugs in place of hard working athletes. There could be nothing farther from the truth. Hockey athletes are the hardest trained out of all four professional sports, except for maybe football. When we ask people around school what they think about hockey, they often reply with blind answers brought upon them by the media, like senior Marco Almanza who said, “Hockey takes no skill, and only brutes play,” and senior Sean Nannery who said, “Only big dumb guys play hockey.”
Hockey is really a game of beauty. It has stylish moves, fast skating, hard hits, and even a good fair bout now and then. Some other people have different concerns about the beauty of hockey. When a senior girl, Pamela Kryschtal was asked if she missed hockey, she gleefully stated, “Yes, hockey players are hot.” It isn’t quite the definition of beauty that we would put with the sport, but, oh well.
So this year, we are challenging you to go to a game and try to have a little bit of fun. Absorb the sport, and see if you like it afterwards. Most students who despise hockey have never even been to a game. They have no basis for an argument. And don’t just watch a game on TV. It is a completely different sport live. It seems faster, more real, more intense. And while you’re there, look for Ovechkin. We are sure he will dazzle you with more moves.