Hockey fans have been without their favorite game for going on two months now.
No relief is in sight through at least the end of this month, but hockey fans need not completely do without. Should they not want to venture to their nearest minor-league team's home stadium, there are plentiful options that will allow puckheads to stay right on their comfy couches.
Need some suggestions for what to watch? Here are Sabres 101's top five hockey-related movies of all-time.
5. "The Mighty Ducks" - As cliched as cliche can be, but "Ducks" was fun nonetheless. Emilio Estevez is forced to coach a ragtag pee wee hockey team that he turns around, and … wait for it … he learns a valuable lesson about life, as well. Spawned a decent sequel and a pretty atrocious third chapter. Also gave an NHL team its name. And made young boys playing street hockey through the early 1990s try to imitate the Flying V. Rotten Tomatoes rating: 12 percent.
4. "Mystery, Akaska" - Russell Crowe is part of a rec league team in Alaska that inexplicably gets a shot at the New York Rangers. Everyone is excited about the national exposure, until the dirty laundry starts coming out in spades. Mike Myers and Burt Reynolds also appear. Rotten Tomatoes rating: 38 percent.
3. "Sudden Death" – Jean-Claude Van Damme + terrorists + hockey arena = cinematic gold. Van Damme plays a police officer whose family accidentally gets caught in a terrorist threat taking place during Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals. Luc Robitaille appears in a cameo, but the best part is when Van Damme – for reasons that can't adequately be explained no matter how many times you watch – tends goal for the Penguins AND saves his family. Rotten Tomatoes rating: 53 percent.
2. "Miracle" – Disney got this retelling of the 1980 U.S. men's hockey team's gold medal journey just right. Kurt Russell played coach Herb Brooks brilliantly, and the on-ice action was unparalleded in all of filmdom in its authenticity. And who doesn't love the United States being the David to the Soviets' Goliath and STILL coming out on top? Rotten Tomatoes rating: 80 percent.
1. "Slap Shot" - Nothing has come close to matching this film's perfect portrayal of locker room life in the bush leagues of pro hockey. Paul Newman starred as the player/coach of the Chiefs, destined to leave their steel-mill hometown but intent on making one last impression. This film is raunchy, nasty, over the top in its violence and introduced the world to the Hanson brothers. The world will always be grateful. This film was decades ahead of its time in terms of the foul talk and action, but it will also inspire for decades to come. Rotten Tomatoes rating: 80 percent.
Honorable mention - "Happy Gilmore" was about golf, but Happy was a reformed hockey player who fought Bob Barker, so he gets on this list. Also, "Canadian Bacon" featured a scene at a Canadian junior hockey game during which a brawl broke out because Americans in the audience criticized Canadian beer. So that warrants a mention.
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Tags: Buffalo, Buffalo Sabres, Hockey, NHL