Boucher: The Contenders
With a few days off from hockey, there’s more time to think about things going on away from the ice. In preparation for a future viewing of the new Captain America movie, I re-watched the patriotic hero’s first movie as well as Marvel’s The Avengers. My brain is wired to relate just about anything back to hockey, and that’s what happened. (Photo/Douglas Philp)
Who would be the comic counterparts of today’s Tampa Bay Lightning players? Instead of joining forces to battle aliens or super villains, our rag tag group is getting set to take on the rigors of the NHL post season. Forget The Avengers…. They’re The Contenders!
Radko Gudas as The Incredible Hulk: Athletes who bring an insane amount of physicality to their play are often calm, nice guys off the ice. That’s one of the things that makes Gudas the perfect fit for Bruce Banner and the Hulk. He may be calm in everyday life, but when the puck drops he is ready to hit anyone who gets in his way. Gudas didn’t earn the nickname “The Czeching Ball” for nothing. When someone needs to jump in and deal out some punishment, Gudas and Hulk are your men. Both are extremely fond of smashing.
Mike Kostka as Thor: This one is pretty much a no brainer. Kostka is looking more like Thor than Chris Hemsworth these days. Would not be surprised to find a giant hammer in his locker. We already know he owns a Thor costume.
Ryan Malone as Iron Man: Bugsy was initially selected for this role since his swagger most closely resembled what Tony Stark brings to the Marvel world. The whole “Genius. Billionare. Playboy. Philanthropist.” deal. Given the events of this weekend, it appears he resembles the man who depicts Iron Man on screen, Robert Downey Jr., a bit more than we ever could have imagined.
Ben Bishop as Captain America: Captain America began his journey as Steve Rogers, a scrawny young man who wanted more than anything to do the right thing and help others during World War II. After becoming a super soldier, he is the living embodiment of patriotic protection and defender of the downtrodden. If the Lightning’s goaltending situation wasn’t downtrodden heading into last season, few things are. Bishop shares Cap’s superior reflexes, speed, and agility. And will probably be defending the US of A should NHLers participate in the next Winter Olympics.
Steven Stamkos as Quicksilver: Quicksilver may not be as familiar as some of the previously mentioned heroes, but he’s a perfect fit for our captain. Quicksilver is able to move at speeds well beyond normal human beings. Stamkos shares this with his swiftness on the ice and ability to think several steps ahead of the opposition. Quicksilver also traditionally had a lightning bolt design on his suit. Perfect for Stamkos.
Nate Thompson as Wolverine: This one came about mostly because of the physical resemblances between the Lightning center and Wolverine as he’s been depicted in the movies. Both are skilled and capable in the outdoors. Wolverine’s senses are extremely keen and he is an adept tracker. Thompson uses his senses on the ice to position himself in just the right spot to advance the play or anticipate the opposition’s next move. It would not be surprising if he referred to people as “Bub”, either.
Steve Yzerman as Nick Fury: Yzerman and Fury match up pretty well. One is the GM of the Lightning and the other is the director of SHIELD. Fury is a seasoned combat veteran and Yzerman was an NHL staple for 20 years. Fury sustained an injury to his left eye and is depicted wearing an eye patch. In 2004, Steve sustained a scratched cornea in his left eye and a broken orbital bone. He doesn’t wear an eye patch, but he could probably rock the heck out of one if he wanted to.
The Lightning roster and Marvel Universe are both extensive. Obviously we can’t cast everyone. Comment below if you have an idea of which Bolts would be the best fit as a particular super hero!
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