Updated: December 22, 2009, 12:16 PM ET

Proof that Christmas and hockey go together

Buccigross By John Buccigross

It's Christmas week, and no athletic endeavor is more in sync with Christmas than hockey. It's the Christmas season and hockey season.

People are simultaneously in the Christmas spirit and hockey spirit like no other sport. People will play hockey indoors and outdoors all over the United States and Canada. People will skate this week in Alaska, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Florida, Texas and California. In fact, people probably will skate in all 50 U.S. states. You get cold, then you get warm. Nothing feels better than that.

You want more proof that Christmas and hockey go together?

• It is hockey season for kids from 1 (Eddie Giacomin) to 92 (Rick Tocchet).

• Cheevers, Murray and Joseph (Gerry, Bannerman and Curtis).

• Hockey and Christmas are about lights and snow and cold and three Kings (Derek, Kris and Clancy).

• Contracts have Clauses.

• Hark, the Harold Snepsts.

• Santa has helpers, while a one-timer has a helper.

• Both have Sheppards (Ray, Gregg and James).

• Christmas bells are ringing. So are hockey Bells (Billy, Brendan, Bruce, Gordie, Huddy, Joe and Mark).

• You want more candy? Hang a hockey stocking by the chimney with care. Careful of the holes. Oh, holy night.

• Santa will sharpen his blades this week for abrupt stopping power on his inside edge.

• Christmas has elves. Hockey has Darren Pang.

• The First Noel Picard.

• Christmas is an annual Christian holiday commemorating the births of Jesus. Dec. 25 also commemorates the birth of Stu Barnes, Jim Dowd, Dmitri Mironov and, yes, Noel Picard.

• Frosty the Snowman and former Boston Bruins trainer John "Frosty" Forristall.

• Greg Joly.

• Stephen Walkom in a Winter Wonderland.

• Ol' Saint Nick Lidstrom, Backstrom, Wallin, Bergfors, Hagman, Kronwall and Hjalmarsson.

From my hockey family to yours, have a warm week and a Hockey New Year.


John Buccigross' e-mail address -- for questions, comments or crosschecks -- is john.buccigross@espn.com.


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