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The best hockey movies to watch while you stay at home

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Missing hockey? Maybe these movies can fill the void!

Slap Shot Photo by LMPC via Getty Images

It’s been a long three weeks since the Bruins last played hockey, and in all likelihood, it will be much longer until we see the black and gold back in action.

As a result of no live NHL action (or sports at all), many fans have been wondering how they can to fill this void. Luckily for us, living in the digital world, there are a bunch of great hockey movies just a few clicks away.

Here is a list of great hockey movies, including some classics you’ve already seen (but are worth watching again and again) and maybe a couple you haven’t watched.

Slap Shot

Plot: Paul Newman plays the role of Reggie Dunlop, the down-on-his-luck player/coach of the struggling Charlestown Chiefs. Upon learning the current season will be the Chiefs’ last, Reggie decides to resort to pure goonery to win, especially from the hands of the newly acquired Hanson Brothers.

The Chiefs’ violent play not only wins them games on the ice, but also wins back the fans. As the movie progresses, there are numerous humorous subplots throughout that unfold as the Chiefs try to bring back a championship to Charlestown.

Why you should watch it: Because it’s hilarious; perhaps one of the funniest sports movies of all time. Slap Shot is a must-see for all hockey fans (at least ones that are older than 18, that is), and the Hansons are so iconic they’re practically at every NHL game in the stands somewhere to this very day. One drawback from the movie is it is definitely of it’s time: some fans might be okay with the level of homophobic jokes that are casually flung around, but that can get grating or feel a little lazy in others.

Notable quote from the movie: “They don’t want you to score goals! They want blood!”

Miracle

Plot: Miracle tells the legendary story of the 1980 U.S men’s hockey team’s gold medal run, focusing on their momentous semifinal win against the juggernaut Soviet Union at the Olympic Games.

Against all odds, the American team, led by team coach Herb Brooks and a hodgepodge of college players, beat the unbeatable Soviets and captured the hopes and dreams of the an entire nation during their historic run to gold.

Why you should watch it: Because it’s THE classic underdog story, Kurt Russell gives a great performance as Herb Brooks, it gets you right into the amount of work and effort put into making that 1980 USA team as good as they ended up being, and as far as sports movies go, it’s a pretty damn good film.

Notable quote (s) from the movie:

  • “Great moments are born from great opportunity.”
  • “Who do you play for!?”
  • “Do you believe in Miracles?”

The Mighty Ducks

Plot: Emilio Estevez plays hot shot lawyer Gordon Bombay, who used to be a great hockey player. After celebrating too much after a big court case, Bombay gets arrested for a DUI and has to perform 500 hours of community service as the coach of poorly-funded and poorly skilled group of kids on a pee-wee hockey team.

After finally putting his ego aside, Bombay decides to put his heart into this team to develop their on-ice skills and teach them that there’s more to playing hockey than winning.

Why you should watch it: Because there’s an NHL team named after it (lol) and you get to see the famous “triple deke” and “flying V”! In fairness, it’s a pretty average kids movie, but unlike a lot of kids movies at the time, this one wears it’s heart on it’s sleeve and really gets into the teambuilding and little kid personalities that makes pee-wee hockey so great in the first place. So it’s officially one of the few hockey movies ever made that your kids can actually watch.

Besides this is like the first and last time you ever see Emilio Estevez so please milk it for all it’s worth!

Notable quote (s) from the movie:

  • “Quack, quack, quack”
  • “Look at yourself! You’re not even a ‘has-been’, you’re a ‘never was’!”

Indian Horse

Plot: Based on the best-selling book, Indian Horse tells the story of a young Indigenous Canadian boy who emerges from (or survives, more accurately) residential school to become an hockey star who falls just short of making the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Once Saul (the movie’s lead character) makes it to the minor leagues, he finds he still hasn’t escaped the abuse and discrimination that Indigenous peoples faced in Canada at that time.

The struggle proves too great for Saul, and he spirals into depression and alcoholism. Though the movie ends on a positive note, this movie is an eye-opener and a much-needed reminder of a poisoned past in Canada.

Why you should watch it: Indian Horse is not your average sports movie: It is a movie that transcends the game of hockey and tells a much more important story about a people that ran into and are still running into the same hurdles, tribulations, and sheer ugly raw deals that Saul does to this very day.

Notable quote from the movie: “The rink became my escape; the game my survival.”

Youngblood

Plot: Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze on ice...need I say more?

Why you should watch it: Because it’s so bad it’s AWESOME.

Editorial: He’s not kidding. This movie is as run-by-numbers and hackneyed in both the best and worst ways. This is a parody of a hockey movie played completely straight. It’s perfect, and yet deeply, deeply fucking terrible. I cannot in good conscience recommend you watch this, but if you’re loaded, throw it on.

It also has John Wick as a goalie.

Notable quote (s) from the movie:

There are so many!

  • “You can learn to punch in the barn, but you gotta learn to survive on the ice”
  • “To the game, and gettin’ out of this hick town, thank God there is still a sport for middle-sized white boys””
  • “Oh, poor baby. Hey, maybe next time we can send you a telegram: get ready for the right hook.”

Sudden Death

Plot: Okay, maybe this one isn’t actually a hockey movie, but it does feature cameos from NHL greats like Mario Lemieux, Luc Robitaille, and Markus Naslund, and has Jean-Claude Van Damme making a ridiculous glove save against a Blackhawk.

In this Oscar-caliber thriller, the Vice President and other important people are taken hostage during a Penguins vs Blackhawks Stanley Cup Final game. The Igloo is also wired with explosives, and it’s up to Darren McCord (Van Damme), the arena Fire Marshall, to save the day.

Why you should see it: If you need a no-brainer (emphasis on “No brain”) 1990’s style thriller/action flick while social distancing, then this is the movie for you. You can expect lots of kicks and punches, things blowing up, and a whole lot of wicked JCVD “acting” in this one.

Notable quote from this movie:

  • “- Play-by-Play Announcer: It’s so loud in here, I can barely hear myself think.
  • - Color Commentator: You don’t have to think, Mike. It’s hockey.”

There you have it — about 12 solid hours of hockey cinema to get you through the boredom of being stuck at home.

Got any additional suggestions for hockey films to watch while distancing yourself from the public?