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Sports Movie of the Week — ‘The Mighty Ducks’ [VIDEO]

Walt Disney Pictures

The Los Angeles Kings captured their first Stanley Cup title on Monday night. Their improbable title run made them the first eighth-seeded team to win the NHL championship.

The California franchise is based in an area that is not a traditional hockey hotbed. The Kings should certainly be happy to silence critics who believed the team could never succeed in such an environment.

While Los Angeles has had an NHL team since 1967, the Kings are not the first team from Southern California to win the Stanley Cup. That honor belongs to the 2007 Anaheim Ducks, who were founded in 1993 as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, a name based on the Sports Movie of the Week, ‘The Mighty Ducks.’

In the 1992 film, cocky trial lawyer Gordon Bombay (Emilio Estevez) is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. As part of the community service requirement of his sentence, he must coach the District 5 team in a PeeWee hockey league in which he played as a youth. Unfortunately, the District 5 team — eventually rechristened the Ducks after their sponsor Mr. Ducksworth — has neither hockey equipment nor ability. In addition to the challenge of coaching subpar players, Bombay faces his own painful memories.

Of course, save for ‘Bambi,’ Disney films practically guarantee a predictable, happy ending for viewers. ‘The Mighty Ducks’ is no different, ending up its own little version of ‘The Bad News Bears on Ice.’ While the Bears may have given viewers more memorable characters and a better movie, no one named a professional sports franchise after them.

Five Reasons to Watch ‘The Mighty Ducks’

1. The Ducks watch an NHL game between the Minnesota North Stars and Hartford Whalers in Bloomington, Minnesota’s Met Center. Today, the Stars play in Dallas and the Whalers have become the Carolina Hurricanes, while the Met Center has been demolished.

2. The Ducks meet two members of the Minnesota North Stars hockey team: Basil McRae and Mike Modano.

3. Future ‘Dawson’s Creek’ and ‘Fringe’ star Joshua Jackson has a major part as Charlie Conway.

4. The scene in which the District 5 players pepper goalie Greg Goldberg with wrist shots might be considered hazing if done in a PeeWee league today.

5. The late Lane Smith is wonderfully dislikable as rival coach Jack Reilly.

Click the play button to watch the Goldberg scene of the film below:

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