There’s a little bit of pressure on Anders Cain right now. The power forward switched from the Eastern Maritime League’s Reading Wolfdogs to the Halifax Highlanders mid-season in the hopes of getting Halifax into the playoffs. As if that wasn’t enough of a tall task, he’s doing it under the watchful eye of owner/GM Hyrum Cain – his father, and a former Highlander himself.
“I love my dad,” Cain said. “I love that he’s a winner. He wins. Winning is everything; it’s the only thing. I just want to win for my dad and for my dad to love me because I’m a winner too.”
Complicating matters further is that Cain is now teammates with Halifax enforcer Doug Glatt – and we all know what happened the first time these two heavyweights met during the season.
“Considering he can’t play ice hockey, it’s a little rough to be on the same bench,” Cain said. “And he’s a moron.”
It’s unusual for a player to be so candid about a teammate, but Cain is no typical tough guy. He truly can score and has been a difference-maker wherever he has played in the ‘E.’ But the attitude and the constant line-stepping has often gotten him in trouble and at some point, you have to ask yourself whether the guy is hurting his team more than he’s helping it with the penalties and the suspensions. A big fan of the old Broad Street Bullies, he certainly could be the next Milan Lucic, if he just toned down the psychotic episodes. The fact that his father isn’t exactly the best hockey mind out there probably doesn’t help matters, either.
But the potential is there and the opportunity to be in the spotlight has never been more present for the younger Cain. Will he be able to screw his head on straight for enough games to make a difference? Perhaps work to improve his game?
“There’s no area of my game that needs improving,” Cain said.
Well, so much for that. Good luck, Halifax.
OK, so Anders Cain isn’t real. Neither is the Eastern Maritime League, but both exist in the world of Goon 2: Last of the Enforcers, which comes out in Canada on Friday. Cain is played by Wyatt Russell, who is way nicer in person that his character.
Russell was one of a number of names added to the original cast, with Elisha Cuthbert and T.J. Miller also jumping into the fray with Seann William Scott (Doug Glatt), Jay Baruchel and Liev Schreiber. The fact that Russell was a goalie who played Jr. A and spent time in the NCAA with Alabama-Huntsville helped him adjust very quickly.
“The first scene, I sat down and there was a guy on the bus that I played with,” Russell said. “So nothing was different.”
Because he had played at a high level, Russell thought he could do without a double on the ice for most of the shooting. With the film shooting for 12 hours a day on the ice (not to mention the games of shinny that broke out during lunch), that proved to be a mistake.
“I thought, ‘I could be my own double,’ you do a quick turn and it’s you,” Russell said. “But it meant that you’re on immediately, then the other actors come on after. So you do the same play 15, 20 times. When you’re playing a game, you have one 45-second shift and then a break. This was 20 forty-five second shifts, one right after another and you have to make every one look like the first.”
So Russell suffered for his art.
“By the end of the shoot, I couldn’t feel my right foot for three months,” he said. “I really screwed it up. The last Friday of shooting I took my skate off and it was just blood, from all the blisters.”
But it was fun for the ex-goalie to learn a different position and get back to all the camaraderie that goes with being on a hockey team. Russell has also had the pleasure of watching his former Alabama-Huntsville teammate Cam Talbot ascend into the starter’s role in Edmonton, where Talbot has the Oilers on track for their first playoff berth in more than a decade.
“I love it,” Russell said. “When I found out he was going to Edmonton, I was so excited. Watching him do it, I feel proud to have been around when he was younger and to know him pretty well. There’s nothing like watching a friend succeed and excel in that environment. It’s more than exciting; you’re constantly rooting for them.”
I had a chance to see the premiere of Goon 2 and I really liked it. Being a sequel, it had the luxury of expanding the world created in the original and there’s a lot of laughs that come out of that (plus some fun cameos). If you liked the first one, you’ll love the second. And Russell is great as Cain, the film’s bad guy. I won’t spoil any plot points, but he definitely makes an impression. Assuming you don’t mind a lot of blood, go see it if you have the chance.