Archive

Kent Russell

13 June 2011

I’ve spent these Stanley Cup Playoffs wondering why I prefer watching Tim Thomas tend goal to pretty much everything else on the ice. The answer would seem obvious to anyone who’s watched the man: he tends goal like no one taught him how. Which, as it turns out, is true: Thomas went to his first goaltending school during the 2004–05 NHL lockout. More…

18 March 2011

He was not allowed to have girls stay over. He played street hockey in the driveway with Lemieux’s children and ate dinner with them every night. If he performed well following the meal, Lemieux’s wife would make it again the next day. Crosby kept his paychecks in his sock drawer. He signed endorsement deals with Reebok, Gatorade, and Dempster’s, which makes white bread. More…

17 March 2011

When their coaches sense this rhythm allows it, Crosby and Ovechkin will join the game. They will spend much of their ice time along the boards or away from the puck, working within the play as others do. But every fourth shift or so, Crosby and Ovechkin will find chances to play in opposition to the game, as ghosts in the machine, with fugitive grace that outside of hockey’s scheme would be impossible to imagine, much less appreciate. More…

28 May 2010

Patrick Kane is a wiry, sometimes lazy winger whose game is anxiety. He’s always stopping short on the wing and daring someone to smush him against the glass, or he’s dangling the puck far in front of his feet and inviting a defender to paw at it—he loves to put his slightness in seemingly vulnerable positions and then make opponents look foolish when he flits past them. More…

15 May 2010

And what fans! Some say irrational, entitled, and chauvinistic; others passionate and discerning. Twenty-two thousand of them filled the Centre Bell to watch Game Seven against the Penguins on a giant TV—and then rioted when the Canadiens won. Just like they did when the Canadiens last won the Cup in 1993, or when Maurice Richard got suspended, or when they eliminated Boston in the first round in 2008. More…

21 February 2010

Stereotypes abound in the hockey world. One is that Russians (and Europeans) are supremely talented but dispassionate. Hands soft as clouds, they lack the will to go into the corners and get dirty. Everybody knows Russians (and Europeans) can’t handle the rough, straight-line hockey played in North America because they grew up on international-sized ice rinks. More…

18 February 2010

Generational talents excepted, most hockey players need time to mature and discover the role they play on a large team, so most earn a couple hundred bucks a week playing in Laredo, or the Quad Cities, or Pee Dee, South Carolina. Anyplace there’s industrial blight or a military base, there’s a good chance there’s also a minor-league hockey team. More…