Hockey Talk with Guy Maddin
"The Buffalo Sabres play like a wasp's nest hit with a stick"
I was lucky enough to get an interview with Guy Maddin regarding his (fabulous) new film Brand Upon the Brain! (to be published next Monday at IFC News), and after the boring questions were asked, we started talking hockey. He claims he has a love-hate relationship with the NHL ever since the Jets abandoned Winnipeg in 1996 to become the Phoenix Coyotes. But he's been immersed in the sport since he was a kid. His father coached the Canadian national hockey team, and Guy was the stick boy, helping limber players take off their jerseys and "squeezing oranges into their mouths." He said it was all very Greek and decadent. I'll take him at his word.
But his true passion was the WHA (World Hockey Association), an upstart competitor to the NHL that existed from 1972 to 1979. The Jets began there before being absorbed into the NHL. Maddin told me that the league was the first to place hockey teams in the warmer American climes, including the Houston Aeros, the Los Angeles Sharks, the San Diego Mariners, the Miami Screaming Eagles, and the Phoenix Roadrunners. Maddin waxed philosphic on the epic 20 minute fights that would break out, how the WHA introduced eastern European and Russian players, whose elegant, crisp passing style which would eventually change the rough and tumble North American style forever. Talk circled around stories about in-team cuckolding and the curious blackballing of Ted Nolan after his firing in Buffalo.
After the Sabres' heart-breaking 2-1 loss in double OT this afternoon to the Rangers, I consoled myself with Maddin's enthusiasm for Buffalo's style of play, and his insistence that his role as stick boy was akin to a catamite.
In other Buffalo news - the Bills had a solid day at the draft this weekend, taking tough Cal RB Marshawn Lynch in the first round, and Penn State LB Paul Posluszny in the second. Lynch is an all around back with the ability to be a bruiser between the tackles, has the hands to line up in the slot as a receiver, and has enough speed to break off TD runs. McGahee was more one-dimensional. Plus there's this:
I know less about Posluszny, other than the Bills considered him in the first round, and traded up in the second to get him. They had him rated very highly. He wore former Bills LB Shane Conlan's number at Penn State, which he chose in respect to him. Fun!