When I began to consider hockey in terms of the Marvel Cinematic Universe before we recorded this week’s podcast, I thought: what? Turns out, if you think about it, there are a lot of parallels to be drawn between some of the traits of Marvel’s iconic heroes and the Columbus Blue Jackets players we know and love. Let’s jump right in, shall we?
#1: Obviously, Nick Foligno as Captain America
I mean, it’s perfect. They even kind of look alike? They both have a charisma and swagger that is approachable, dependable, and can be borderline corny, but in a charming way. They’re the ones you look to when you need a monologue to get everyone fired up, and they never back down from any challenge. They are both walking, talking dad jokes but they’re also who’d you pick first to have your back in a fight, whether it’s against Thanos or Steven Stamkos.
#2: David Savard as The Incredible Hulk
Savard is the perfect Hulk - reserved and polite in human form, but he’s a hockey player that could beat you into a pulp if you tripped his trigger. Savard is certainly a more steadfast D-man compared to Hulk’s unpredictable personality, but at the end of the day, Savvy is NOT the guy you’d want pounding you into the pavement if you made the mistake of making him mad.
#3: Oliver Bjorkstrand as Hawkeye
Okay, hear me out! This sounds like a weird pairing but actually makes perfect sense. Both Oliver and Hawkeye can pass off as normal dudes when they’re not at work - but they second they put on their uniform, they are laser-focused and their accuracy is deadly. They’re not necessarily flashy guys who you notice first on the team, but you definitely notice their absence when they’re not fighting on your side!
#4: John Tortorella as Iron Man
Even though John Tortorella technically isn’t on the player roster, Iron Man technically isn’t anymore either - sorry, was that too soon? These are men who are going to stick with their opinions, right or wrong, and though they tend to take a complicated route to get there, they usually arrive at the right decision. They are men you want to follow into battle, even if the odds are grim - and at the end of the day, they’re willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of the team. They’re also the only ones willing to take on the whole Calgary locker room by themselves.
#5: Seth Jones as the Black Panther
Obviously there is a physical resemblance at play here, but I paired them together for so much more than that - Seth jones and T’Challa are calm, cool and collected no matter the situation - whether it’s facing down Erik Killmonger in a challenge for the throne, or being the dependable player in every overtime situation - plus they both lean heavily on the guidance and support of the women in their lives, particularly their mothers. No wonder they’re great decision makers!
#6: Josh Anderson as Peter Quill
Josh reminds me of the Star-Lord in that they’re both the goofy guys you’d want to be pals with, but when push comes to shove, they’re fiercely protective of the members on their team. They’re not afraid to take hard hits, and you can always count on them to get back up and keep swinging.
#7: Cam Atkinson as Spider-Man
Just two all-around good guys doing what they need to do to win - while not the largest in stature, their skill and nerve make up for any shortcomings in size. Kids look up to them, adults respect them, enemies fear them, and they’re both veteran characters in their respective universes.
#8: Boone Jenner as Thor
With a career 303 PIM, Boone Jenner is the type of dude who knows how to bring the hammer down. They’re both scary when angry but are fun, good-humored guys otherwise. They’re the muscle on each of their teams - while they can struggle with consistency, once they really get going, they’re literally unstoppable.
#9: Vladislav Gavrikov as Loki
Not sure why this feels right but it does. First of all, Vladislav Gavrikov sounds like an evil villain name, and he also seems like the guy you’d have to watch out for if pranks are being pulled in the locker room. Obviously, there aren’t any parallels to be found in their loyalty - Gavrikov is the definition of a team player who steps up to meet challenges, while Loki’s loyalties change day-to-day - but they both have the same lovable, sneaky demeanor that makes this pairing make sense.
#10: Elvis Merzlikins as Dr. Strange
The similarities here lie in some of the black magic moves Elvis pulled out of nowhere to make some of the saves he made this season, especially in his unprecedented strings of shut-outs - these two characters are both hard to understand, but they both made a splash when they got here and we’re sure glad to have them! They both bend time and space to win games/battles, and we’re not sure exactly how they do what they do... we’re just glad they do it.
I obviously didn’t hit everyone, but I’d love to hear which of these you agree or disagree with, plus any suggestions of your own that I missed! Sound off in the comments.