The men’s Olympic hockey tournament, the crown jewel of the Winter Olympics, is just about to get underway. The whole world will be watching. That means you will be watching, since you are, presumably, of this world.
But oh no! You know nothing about hockey! That’s bad news, as hockey fans are a notoriously insular bunch, and when they sense an outsider, they have a propensity for mockery and shunnery of the highest order.
We would hate for that to happen. And so, in an attempt to keep you from being mocked and/or shunned, we have created this cheat sheet — a quick guide to Team Canada’s roster, which will help you to know who people are, and what to say during the game. We’ll begin with the forwards.
About: Jamie Benn is the captain of the Dallas Stars and plays left wing. He’s from Victoria, BC and was a baseball star as a teenager. His older brother, Jordie, also plays for the Stars, which means Jamie, as the captain, gets to boss him around all the time. He’s got the size and demeanour to physically punish opponents and the hands to cause defencemen mental and spiritual anguish.
Nickname(s): B-b-b-bennie, Big Benn, Gentle Benn, Bennji, Extraneous N, James
My wife thinks he looks like: Superman, back in the 90′s when he had a mullet.
Expect to hear: “Geez, Benn just trucked that guy. That looked painful.”
Don’t expect to hear: Geez, Benn just trucked that guy. It’s not a penalty to bring a truck onto the ice and drive it over a guy? Weird. Hockey is weird.”
About: Patrice Bergeron plays centre for the Boston Bruins. He’s one of the best two-way centres in the NHL, winning the Selke award in 2012. He’s also certifiably tough: he played game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final with a punctured lung. Seriously. Add that to the broken rib (the jagged edge of which made the puncture), torn cartilage, and separated shoulder he already had and I’m pretty sure Bergeron is the French-Canadian Wolverine. Except, without the rapid healing part.
Nickname(s): Bergy, Burger Ron, Logan, Patty O’Bergeron, Johnny Lunghole
My wife thinks he looks like: Flynn Rider
Expect to hear: “Wait, didn’t that guy on the other team just have the puck?”
Don’t expect to hear: “Bergeron’s biggest problem is that he just doesn’t backcheck hard enough.”
About: Jeff Carter plays right wing for the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings acquired him from the Columbus Blue Jackets for Jack Johnson, which is crazy because Carter is good, and Johnson is substantially less good. Carter is one of the most lethal snipers in the NHL. He’s expected to start the tournament on the top line with Sidney Crosby, which means he will have many more opportunities to shoot pucks into nets.
Nickname(s): Winger, Wet Island, Aaron, Tha Carter, Jeffy Lube
My wife thinks he looks like: Appropriately enough, Jeff Winger.
Expect to hear: “Carter scores!”
Don’t expect to hear: “I have heard that Jeff Carter does not like to party.”
About: Sidney Crosby is the captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins and plays centre. He’s the best hockey player of his generation and among the greatest of all time. And still, there are idiots call him Cindy Crysby. Don’t be one of those idiots. Crosby is also a terrible actor and an awesome actor. He has giant thighs, so his pants have to be custom made. But mainly he’s just obscenely good at hockey.
Nickname(s): The Kid, Creature, Bing
My wife thinks he looks like: Andy Samberg
Expect to hear: “More like Cindy Crysby! I am an idiot. A complete and utter idiot.”
Don’t expect to hear: “Crosby has no thigh gap. What a fatty.”
About: Matt Duchene plays centre for the Colorado Avalanche. At 23, Duchene is the youngest player on Team Canada and will thus be expected to pick up the bar tab for the veterans on the team. Since that includes Jeff Carter, Duchene will be broke by the end of the Olympics.
Nickname(s): De Dutch, Absolut, SHANE!, The Douche
My wife thinks he looks like: Sam Weir, from Freaks & Geeks.
Expect to hear: “Whoa, Duchene is fast. Look at him go!”
Don’t expect to hear: “Slow down, Duchene. There is more to life than increasing its speed.”
About: Ryan Getzlaf is captain of the Anaheim Ducks and plays centre. He is second in scoring in the NHL behind Sidney Crosby and also brings a physical presence and solid penalty killing to the table. Also, and there’s no getting around this, he’s going prematurely bald. Unfortunately for him, he looks terrible in a hat. Fortunately for him, he’s got “being awesome at hockey” on his curriculum vitae.
Nickname(s): Leo Getz, The Comedian (because he GETS LAUGHS thank you i’m here all week)
My wife thinks he looks like: Prince William
Expect to hear: “Hey, did you know Getzlaf has a brother in the CFL?”
Don’t expect to hear: “I think Getzlaf could pull off a ponytail.”
About: Chris Kunitz rides Sidney Crosby’s coattails on the Pittsburgh Penguins. To his credit, he’s a world-class coattail-rider, riding them all the way to the Olympics. If coattail-riding were an Olympic sport, and I haven’t checked, so it very may well be, Kunitz could win gold in it. He’ll likely start on Crosby’s line, because, you know, coattails, and because, somewhere along the line people decided that Crosby, the best player in the world, who significantly improves his linemates, is “difficult to play with.” Kunitz is actually a pretty good player, but there’s no chance he makes Team Canada if he didn’t play on Crosby’s line in Pittsburgh.
Nickname(s): Kunikaze, Hedgehog
My wife thinks he looks like: Adam DeVine
Expect to hear: “What a goal. Great feed from Crosby.”
Don’t expect to hear: “Kunitz is the best player on his line.”
About: Patrick Marleau plays left wing for the San Jose Sharks. He is a superb goal-scorer who has somehow been given a reputation as a choke artist in the postseason despite 57 goals in 140 playoff games, including 9 goals in 11 games in the 2006 playoffs. He tied Crosby for the team lead in shots during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, with 28 in 7 games. He’s also blazing fast and adorably awkward.
Nickname(s): Patty O’Marleau, Philip Marlowe, Marlboro Man
My wife thinks he looks like: Chris Kunitz’s super-lame dad. He probably says things like, Hey now, your old man knows a thing or two about music.
Expect to hear: “I’m lost in Patrick Marleau’s eyebrows. Seriously, send help. It’s a thick brush, it’s getting dark, and I think I hear a bear.”
Don’t expect to hear: “What does Jeremy Roenick think about Patrick Marleau, is what I really want to know.”
About: Rick Nash plays left wing for the New York Rangers. He’s one of the best power forwards in hockey, and known for incredibly individual displays of hands and strength, like this and this and, holy crap, this. He’s not a natural setup man, but he’s actual natural a finisher as you’re going to find. He has finish. He was almost selected for Team Finland because he has so much finish.
Nickname(s): El Kabong, Big Sexy
My wife thinks he looks like: The Ancient Aliens History Channel guy.
Expect to hear: “Nash is a beast. He’s like Beast, but way beastlier.”
Don’t expect to hear: “Why doesn’t Rick Nash ever use his insane strength and incredibly deft hands to his advantage?”
About: Corey Perry plays right wing for the Anaheim Ducks. Having Corey Perry on your team is like having an Alex Burrows that still scores goals. He’s a difficult person to like if you’re not cheering for him, but if you are, he goes from infuriating to charming in a hurry. Since we’re now cheering for him, we’d like to establish up front that whatever he did, he was justified.
Nickname(s): Perrs, Pear Bear, Tuesdays with Corey, Worm
My wife thinks he looks like: As Battle of California points out, Bobby Budnick.
Expect to hear: “Perry is playing with some real edge out there.”
Don’t expect to hear: “Perry is playing with a real edge out there. Just running around, cutting guys on the cheek and saying you just got pared.”
About: Patrick Sharp plays left wing for the Chicago Blackhawks. He is very handsome, which makes it even more unfair that he’s ridiculously good at hockey. One or the other, Patrick, please. You’re making the rest of us look bad.
Nickname(s): Sharpy, Sharp shooter, The Sharper Image, Handsome Pat, The Smoulderer
My wife thinks he looks like: Patrick Dempsey, aka. McDreamy
Expect to hear: “Patrick Sharp is looking good out there. Also, he’s playing hockey well.”
Don’t expect to hear: “You know who’s ugly? Patrick Sharp.”
MARTIN ST. LOUIS
About: Martin St. Louis is captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning and plays right wing. At 38, St. Louis is the resident old man of Team Canada and will be entrusted with all calls for young whippersnappers to get off of Team Canada’s lawn. St. Louis is in crazy-good shape, to the point that his legs resemble a Rob Liefeld drawing with fewer pouches. While he was originally left off the team, he was named as an injury replacement when his Lightning teammate, Steven Stamkos, couldn’t recover from a broken leg fast enough.
Nickname(s): Marty, Marty McFly, Marty St. Legs, Thighmaster, Patron Saint of Leg Day
My wife thinks he looks like: A little boy that stole some other man’s legs.
Expect to hear: “St. Louis is so shifty. He’s tough to contain on the ice.”
Don’t expect to hear: “St. Louis is so shifty. He starts all his sentences with capitals.”
About: John Tavares is captain of the New York Islanders and plays centre. Tavares has led the Islanders in scoring ever since he was drafted first overall in 2009, and has helped make the careers of Matt Moulson and P.A. Parenteau. In Sochi, he’ll get to play with actual stars, and it could make him even more of a household name.
Nickname(s): JT, Mr. Smooth, Milos
My wife thinks he looks like: Lee Harvey Oswald
Expect to hear: “Tavares probably doesn’t mind the squalid conditions in Sochi, because he plays in the Nassau Coliseum.”
Don’t expect to hear: My favourite John Tavares song is “Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel“.
About: Jonathan Toews is captain of the Chicago Blackhawks and plays centre. He’s known for his leadership and his two-way hockey. He was Canada’s best forward in Vancouver. Come to think of it, whenever he’s in Vancouver, he’s usually the best forward. It’s infuriating. His name may look like a misspelling of toes, but it’s actually a mispronunciation of toes. Rhymes with saves.
Nickname(s): Captain Serious, Taser
My wife thinks he looks like: Grumpy Cat.
Expect to hear: “Why is Toews so upset? Because he lost the faceoff? What a wacko.”
Don’t expect to hear: “Toews is so silly. He’s like Patch Adams on ice.”
by Harrison Mooney and Daniel Wagner