With the end of summer here, it's time to start thinking about our favorite winter sports - not to overlook baseball's postseason and American football, but books on hockey are always something I look for. Here is my review of an upcoming book on everything hockey.
“The Hockey Book of Why (and Who, What, When, Where, and How): The Answers to Questions You've Always Wondered about the Fastest Game on Ice” by Martin Gitlin
4 of 5 stars (very good)
The best way to describe this book is that while it is not the most comprehensive book on hockey, it covers a little of everything about the sport and as a result, the title is an aptly named one for the sport loved by millions. Author Martin Gitlin takes many different questions that can be posed about the sport, from basic to complex, on many different topics and he has put together a fairly light and breezy read on hockey.
Historical questions include how the sport started, which teams have won the most Stanley Cups and what is the history of the rubber puck. There are questions about teams and their history and records. One good example is the short chapter on why fans of the Detroit Red Wings throw an octopus on the ice during the playoffs. If it is statistical greatness, there are many chapters on the best goal scorers and goaltenders in the NHL.
Speaking of goaltenders, one of the better historical chapters is on the history of facemasks in the NHL. That, combined with a good write-up on who are considered to be the best goaltenders in the history of the game makes the goalie one of the more popular positions in the book. But if you prefer defensemen or high-scoring forwards, no worries, they get their own coverage as well. No matter one’s level of hockey knowledge or interest in the game, a reader is sure to find something that they will enjoy in this book.
I wish to thank Lyons Press for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.