Hockey Player’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse

It’s been five days since the NHL suspended the regular season. In the blur before and since, all the leagues have canceled. All of them. Youth hockey, junior hockey, college hockey, pro hockey. There’s no hockey. 

I’ve been reduced to betting on Argentinian Cup soccer and even League of Legends. I lost. Italy has been reduced to abandoning sick people over 80. This is some serious sh*t. 

My hockey sense tells me to be prepared, to anticipate and read the game. The way things are going, I can’t chance it. I need a zombie survival strategy.

OK, pandemics add a little pressure to my Tuesday, I admit it. That’s fine. My hockey sense will guide me. 

If you’re under pressure, avoiding mental mistakes is crucial. You don’t want to commit a blue-line turnover. Keep it simple out there. Try this mantra: “Get it out. Get it deep. Get the hell off the ice.” 

In hockey, this means “Get the puck out of your own zone, get it into the other team’s zone, and get the hell off the ice.” 

Easy. Now, apply to apocalypse.

 

“Get it out.” 

Toilet paper may be the new gold. But money is useless when zombies rule the streets.

No, I don’t give a crap about TP. Take a roll for the road, that’s fine. But you can always find more in the wild. Are you stuck in a subway bathroom and don’t want to touch anything? Use your socks.

If you’re more rural, know that where there are trees, there are plentiful resources. 

These Leafs make an able replacement. They’re disposable, so points for being eco-friendly. However, they come with a rough, disappointing finish that historically disappoints fans. You can sooth the afterburn with the comforting knowledge that you are probably safer from coronavirus wherever you are right now.

 

“Get it in.”

Repeat after me: Get. Pucks. Deep. Your coach should have taught you the cost of blue-line turnovers. We can’t afford them right now. 

What does this line of the mantra really mean? It means you better execute the bare minimum, buddy.

If you plan to outrun a societal collapse, you better pack your skates.

This is the type of enthusiasm you’re going to have to bring. 

Don’t put them on yet. They go in the trunk of your car. Carry some extra gas. If gas becomes an issue you can at least make it to a hockey state before the state borders close. Ideally, you’ll be playing a pick-up game like it’s an adult snow day (at a medically safe distance from each other). 

But, if sh*t hits the fan, and the roads close, you’ll have to skate and remember what lactic acid feels like in your legs. You’ll be skating for days – maybe weeks – maybe forever. Throw some waters and poptarts in this bad bag to sustain you as you learn to live off the land.

The coach that hated this bag will still respect you because you’re hardcore and surviving. Bring your other equipment, too. It’s basically armor.

If you can’t avoid a fight, engage. Being cornered by a zombie hoard is one of those tough situations where you have to be violent. Of course if they’re zombies, it’s not really killing. So take aim and destroy some zombie scum! End their vicious reign of terror!

Here’s your chance to really beat someone with your stick. Slashes, hooks, butt-ends, trips, spears — all helpful. Better yet, make your stick a spear and replace your blade with a blade.

Maybe goalies had it figured out all along.

 

To kill a zombie, you usually have to get to the brain. But who knows what we’re dealing with. Stay creative. Check your old skates – the older, the better. If they have rusty blades, maybe we can get a tetanus infection going.

Remember when your mom warned you about a tetanus shot? You didn’t take it seriously, did you? You’re ungrateful. Apparently tetanus causes lockjaw, which sounds even funnier, but can kill you.

“Get the hell off the ice.”

Don’t play with others. Playing with yourself, however, is encouraged.

Solo skill work and visualization exercises only. 

Dump the puck and get off the ice: hockey’s social distancing. In a close game, you can’t take big chances and try to be a hero.

If you’re infected (and you might be, we don’t have tests), you’re basically a fourth line winger who’s a defensive liability, and your grandma is your goalie. Your grandma can’t stop a beach ball. Not since she tore her rotator cuff in 1954.

Step away from the old people, and no touching. They’re real cute and you just want to share a cup of cocoa, but leave them alone. That cocoa is poisoned goddamnit. 

Quarantine like a professional, focus on napping, and be ready for the zombies. Simple.

Author: Puckraker

Puckraker grew up skating and retired after a Tier III NYS tournament appearance with the Great Neck Bruins. These days, Puckraker is a lawyer living the dream from New Orleans, where there are no hockey rinks.

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