The Stanley Cup Final: The Los Angeles Kings Can Go Duck Themselves

To appreciate the NHL, our non-hockey fan digs deep into 'The Mighty Ducks' trilogy

Evolution of the Mighty Ducks jersey.
Joe Van Wetering
June 4, 2014 12:05 PM ET

Jensen Karp accidentally found himself with a million-dollar record deal at age 19 under the moniker Hot Karl on Interscope Records, where he released songs with Kanye West, Redman and Will.I.Am. Since then, he opened Gallery1988, created the Get Up On This podcast and produced a recent live read of the Space Jam script, starring Blake Griffin as Michael Jordan and DeAndre Jordan as Charles Barkley.

Over the course of this year's NHL Playoffs (which seemingly began in, like, January), I've gradually come to grips with the fact that I can't connect with the game of hockey. Even with my hometown L.A. Kings making a push for their second Stanley Cup, I still haven't been able to muster more than a "good for them." After much soul searching, I think I know why: I have never seen The Mighty Ducks.

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Despite being 34 years old, and part of a generation that regards these movies in the same way Martin Scorsese might talk about Wajda's Ashes and Diamonds, I've somehow managed to completely miss Disney's Mighty Ducks franchise (which includes the original, D2: The Mighty Ducks and D3: The Mighty Ducks). And now, 22 years after the first film's release, I can't help but think maybe I've avoided the puck because I've avoided the Duck.

So with the NHL Stanley Cup Final starting tonight, I figured it was time to shake my disinterest in the sport. How? By watching the entire Mighty Ducks trilogy, back-to-back-to-back, without any breaks. Hopefully, I'd figure out what the hype was about, and perhaps even fall in love with hockey, a game that (as far as I know) is all about Flying V formations and knuckle pucks.

I even bought two six-packs of Molson Ice to maximize the hockey-tude of it all. And, like Desmond Hume filling an entire chalkboard to find his Constant, I took copious notes. I was ready to quack.

10:04 a.m. PT The movie that started it all: The Mighty Ducks! It's sad to realize we no longer live in a world where Emilio Estevez's name can properly sit above a film title, where it belongs. Now it just sits next to the headline "Where Are They Now?" in one of those TMZ click-bait stories. He plays Gordon Bombay, a lawyer with a lack of morals, who, after a DUI is sentenced to coach a hockey team of misfit teenagers. Because all parents want a drunk driver in charge of their kids.

10:06 a.m. Joshua Jackson plays an emo single-mother teen, which, incidentally, is also a strong Warped Tour band name. "We're trying to get to the Monster Energy Stage by 3 p.m. because 'Joshua Jackson Plays An Emo Single-Mother Teen' is doing an acoustic set."

10:26 a.m. Goldberg, the Jewish goalie, fulfills the Goonies rule of having one fat kid to laugh at and shame. I also just noticed there's a player with the last name "Karp" on the team. I now know I was destined to see this movie, and in turn love hockey.

10:32 a.m. Two Molsons in, I laughed at the mention of a fax machine, and was also slightly creeped out by Hans, the old pro-shop attendant who has a past with Emilio, and looks like the kind of guy who has to warn people when he moves to their neighborhood. Then they played Marky Mark's "Good Vibrations" while trying on new equipment and I was right back in!

10:49 a.m. I know the dude who plays Fulton Reed in real life. His name is Elden and he's a great guy. I kinda knew he was in Mighty Ducks, but not that he was such a big deal in the movie. People making this type of revelation would usually follow it with something like "I'm gonna ask him so many questions when I see him," but I think I have everything covered for now.

11:02 a.m. We have our first competitive hockey game. It ends in a tie, which should never be said in sports. Joshua Jackson is also pimping out his mom to Emilio, displaying the type of aggressive gameplay he needs to show on the ice as the Ducks' captain.

11:12 a.m. One Duck used the term "Cake Eater" as an insult, but to me that's clearly the greatest thing you can call someone. Cake is glorious. I'd eat it all day.

11:30 a.m. Cameos from members of the NHL's Minnesota North Stars have a level of magnetism that makes Michael Jordan's delivery in Space Jam look like Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon.

11:37 a.m. The Ducks perform the "Flying V," which is where they line up in V formation and just skate towards the goal, only, here, it's treated like a mind-blowing signature move. There's also a professional announcer doing play-by-play for every game. What tragic shit has to happen in a man's life to be the color-commentator at pee-wee hockey games?

11:40 a.m. Movie ends with Emilio leaving behind the team, and Joshua Jackson's mom (who he's banging), for a minor-league hockey contract. Before the bus takes off he says "See you next season! We have a title to defend!" which I can't help but notice is a real defeatist attitude about his pro career, and the type of Jewish optimism I understand!

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