Here’s Hockey!

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jul 29, 2015

This isn’t meant to be a masterpiece, nor is it remotely thorough, or very systematic, in laying out any kind of historical or conceptual overview of the sport. On the other hand, it may be these multiple partialities that make Here’s Hockey! so charming, and even moving. No one’s making any great claims for the game or for its cultural importance. It’s so powerfully, so unconsciously there that they don’t have to.

One other thing. Have you ever tired of people always talking about Mark Messier as this great leader? Yeah, there’s the Oilers’ 1990, post-Gretzky Stanley Cup. The Rangers in ’94. But how do you imagine those Canucks fans feel about that whole thing? My point is that we make these facile observations, and then we repeat them ad nauseum without ever thinking about them. It’s annoying.

And yet, Jean Beliveau. You’ll have noticed that his name gets mentioned and out they come with all that stuff about classy and elegant and magisterial. Give it a rest!

Or, I guess, not. It’s early days for him, here, but look at him explode off the screen! Are you aware that he won 10 (!!) cups as a player? Read the autobiography (which is so powerfully classy and elegant, unto magisterial …)! Go to YouTube and find what happened in the pre-game ceremony just before the first Habs game following his death. Sometimes little fragments, like the ones found in this film, really do add up to something very grand after all.