Earlier today a link was tweeted by Ellen Etchingham, our resident hockey history teacher. The video was the 1939 hockey video “HOT ICE” that you can see below. I’m not someone who often watches hockey clips from eras at-or-near the beginning of the second World War, but today I decided to give it a go.
And, wouldn’t you know it, it was hilarious.
For that reason, I’ve decided to point out my favourite parts in hopes that A) you’ll find them funny too, or that B) you can explain to me what the hell is going on.
So with out any more ado, the video, then my observations.
* Once you get through our lovely Old Timey announcer setting the stage with perfectly enunciated phrases like “Who is going to win? Everyone wants to know!” we get to this curious phrase at the :46 second mark: “These serious young fellows who play for a living, who are catered to by experts…” I mean, that has to be the world’s vaguest commentary of all time, right? Just, “experts?” …Coaches? Psychologists? What did they have in the ’30s that I don’t know about?
* How did men of this era part their hair so ferociously? There was like, a half-inch divide between the two sides. It looks like Moses just stood in front of the goalie at the 1:15 mark and did his thing.
* “Skates go on last” (1:27). Back in the day they put on their upper gear before their wheels? I suppose their uppers weren’t as bulky as our stuff now, just seems like a bit of an efficiency issue.
* I love the depth of the planning in the “boys just being boys” clip. Ah, the old water-over-the-head trick! That guy fell for it again!
* The clip at 2:17 is amazing, that kid skates down snow flawlessly. He’s the pioneer of the Red Bull Crashed Ice race in Quebec, and doesn’t even know it.
* Why is the kid at 2:30 trying to light his skates on fire? (But seriously, what’s he doing?)
* As a general statement, why don’t any humans still talk like this narrator? We’ve really gone downhill.
* That snowman hockey guy is terrifying.
* Speaking of us going downhill, I think the kid skating around at 3:30 has a shirt and tie on under his jacket. For reference, that’s what Canada wore at the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics. That guy probably wears a three-piece suit to bed.
* I love the coaches showing the players how to master fine skills like “cross-checking” (when saying it out loud, pause between “cross” and “checking”), and “high-sticking” (same).
* That gap between words that we now blend together seems like it would be time consuming. The “Defense Man” is my favourite.
* The drill at 3:52 would not be one most forwards would be pumped about. “So again, coach – we all line, up, and skate towards those two guys who are going to hit us, get sandwiched, then we go back to the line? ….Yeah, okay, just wanted to be sure.” Hitting “in time!” Beautiful indeed.
* I admire the goalie’s broken give-a-fuck meter at the 4:12 mark
* Ellen says the game film was sped up to make the game look faster – I sure hope so. Those guys bombing around at 4:42 made me want to get leather skates.
* Since they don’t paint the ice you can see the concrete beneath it, so it’s basically like when teams hold “pink in the rink” nights for breast cancer, only grey. Also, there appear to be playing with like, three total lines on the ice.
* 6:01 – Did those two penalized players go to the same box? Things were a lot more civil then, I guess. Steve Ott would eat someone if this were still the case.
* Classic old-timey heckle from a fan at 6:30: “Come on, you!”
* So, the old game of hockey was just taking turns making rushes without passes? This video of a Leafs/Habs game from 1933 seems to confirm that. Zero hitting in that linked vid too.
* Old time clocks ruled.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to part my hair and talk old-fashioned-ese into a mirror. “Who will win? Everyone wants to know!”