Aside from a grade school crush on Richard Brodeur, I have never been able to work up much enthusiasm for hockey, but when two hockey plays were running concurrently in Vancouver last winter I seized the chance to prove myself Canadian without having to watch any fights. Home Ice by Craig Brunanski and A Town Called Hockey by Gary Jones, Liesl Lafferty and Richard Side are both littered with characters who are angry, drunk and bitter about the elusive dream of NHL stardom, and American interference in the game. Brunanski examines a farm family torn apart by the pursuit of that NHL dream, and the ways that fear of success holds people back. A Town Called Hockey follows said town’s comedic struggle to keep their generically named team, The Players. Unfortunately, several of the characters seem to have escaped from a Carol Burnett skit. Both plays have too many extraneous plot threads, making me wish for that blue glowing American donut used to keep track of the puck. They didn’t change me into a Canucks fan, but I might check out the hockey opera coming to town.