The Five Best and Worst Hockey Movies of All-Time

Recently, Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated came out with his list of the five best and worst hockey movies of all time, which can be read here.  To say he failed miserably, would be putting it lightly.

According the Muir, the top five hockey movies of all time are:

1)   Slap Shot
2)   Goon
3)   The Deadliest Season
4)   The Rocket
5)   Mystery, Alaska

When hockey and movies collide, the results have been all over the map from movie classics to cult classics to straight-to-DVD losers.  Muir’s list captures some of the more underrated movies like The Deadliest Season and The Rocket, but fails to recognize movies that deserve much higher regard in hockey movie history.

The Real Five Best Hockey Movies of All-Time

  1. Slap Shot – This is a no brainer and quite possibly the easiest hockey film of all-time to quote.  Whether its Denis Lemieux’s opening interview or Reg Dunlap’s heel turn, Slap Shot holds the honor of being one of the funniest hockey movies of all time without having to appear as trying, as the two following sequels have adequately displayed.
  2. Sudden Death – Jean Claude Van Damme and Luc Robitaille.  Is there anything else any classic hockey movie needs?  Well if so, this movie has it.  Not only is it one of the few to focus primarily on the NHL, it centers around the Vice President’s visit to the Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Penguins and Blackhawks.  In addition to some serious game action, no other hockey movie can provide the memorable scenes from this thriller, from the fight to the death with IceBurgh, to the save of the year from “Brad Tolliver,” to Powers Boothe crashing through the open roof of the late Civic Arena.
  3. Miracle – When it comes to hockey, making a movie about the greatest true story in hockey history was a simple formula for success, but the Kurt Russell as Herb Brooks portrayal of the greatest game in American hockey history puts it over the top.  The pre-game speech from Brooks, looking to rally his troops before battle with the Soviets, is still one of NHL Arenas to show to help get the crowds going.
  4. Mystery, Alaska – Admit it, you love this movie.  Forgive Russell Crowe, for well, everything hockey related in this movie.  The small-town nobodies from Alaska take on the internationally-acclaimed New York Rangers, on their home rink?  Why not.  Now you probably also have to admit, there’s some of you that play hockey and have now, as a result of this movie, found a new way to punish violators of the “code.”
  5. Mighty Ducks – Yes, D2 was pretty awesome as far as hating the Icelanders and Gunner Stahl, but building the team from scratch with the bust minor-leaguer lawyer into a team that would go on to compete on the international level in the next film is unbeatable as far as these three films go.  Not to mention, there’s a certain amount of satisfaction that comes from watching Goldberg tied to the next while the entire team takes target practice.

The Five Worst Hockey Movies of All-Time.  Ever.

Muir’s five worst hockey movie list isn’t any better than his five best hockey movies, although once again, its difficult to disagree with his choice for the top (worst) film.

According the Muir, the worst five hockey movies of all time are:

5)       Most Valuable Primate: MVP
4)       Any Mighty Ducks Movie
3)       Youngblood
2)       Slap Shot 3
1)       The Love Guru

As I’m sure many of you will agree, this is a terrible bottom five list.  Any Mighty Ducks movie and Youngblood appearing on this list is simply wrong.

Here’s the real five worst hockey movies of all time:

5.   The Tooth Fairy – How any worst hockey movies list can exist without this abomination on it, I don’t know.  Dwayne Johnson plays a goon, who breaks the code of the tooth fairies and reveals the “truth” to his girlfriend’s young daughter and as a result, the enforcer becomes a pink costume wearing tooth fairy, which has to balance his new duties off the ice, with protecting a rising star.  Bad.  This movie is so bad.

4.   D3: The Mighty Ducks – Although Muir qualified all the Mighty Ducks movie as terrible and was mostly wrong, there is no defending this film.  After facing the local bully ice hockey team in the original film, then facing off against the best in the world, the next big challenge for the team is a Prep school, where they’ll face such overwhelming challenges as kitchen duty in a restaurant.

3.   Ice Angel – There’s a good chance you probably haven’t heard of this film and that’s a good thing for you.  Here’s a taste of the plot from wiki:

The film tells the story of Matt, a male hockey player who dies in a game and comes back to life as Sara Bryan, a female figure skater (who fell into a coma) due to an accident made by an angel that caused the hockey player to die. Both share the dream of competing in the Winter Olympics. The male hockey player specified that if he returned to earth, he wanted to have a chance to win an Olympic Gold medal on ice leaving the detail that he wanted to be on the hockey team implied. With time running short Matt has to get skating lessons from the Sara’s one-time rival (played by Tara Lipinski) if he wishes to earn gold.I’m just not sure what else I could actually add after that.

2.   Slap Shot 2: Breaking the Ice – Muir’s list included Slap Shot 3, which is bad.  But in that franchise alone, this one stands out as the stinker.  The entire idea behind the movie is that new ownership attempts to turn the Chiefs into the globetrotters of the ice hockey world.  If you ever have the chance to watch this, don’t.

 1.   The Love Guru – This one nobody should have an argument against.  This movie was terrible, from its stereotypical portrayal of French Canadian goalies, I’m looking at you @strombone1, to failing to actually even get the basics of the game right, to quite possibly one of the worst storylines you could think of.  So bad, that it’s not even good in the really bad kind of way.

Nick Vucic
Outside of working in politics, Nick also loves watching hockey at all levels. In addition to writing about the Nashville Predators for The Hockey Writers, Nick also writes for Faceoff Factor about his favorite team, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Nick Vucic
@AGretz I guess you could say you're really.... Gretz-Ful to be back....yeeeaaaahhh - 12 hours ago
Nick Vucic

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