When the critics take in hockey, they are never taken in. They know what to look for and how to describe the event to others. Witness:

Jerry Johnston, books: "Since I'm the literary editor, I'm in no position to say that the Golden Eagles program needs more color photos, that the layouts for the ads are twice as interesting as the layout for the rest of the book and that the percentage of space given to ads is about 10 percent too much. I am in a position to say that the writing is rather spry, informed and very involved, however. (Editor's note: Typical of Johnston, he was off galavanting around the Southwest instead of actually going to the game. He reviewed the program in the comfort of his reading chair at home.)Elaine Jarvik, humor: "There is no irony or satire in this performance. It's all slapstick."

Richard Christenson, art: "Hockey is very much like a fine painting - with movement, emphasis, subordination (blank areas and cool colors), balance and repetition. My only problem is that the center of interest moves too fast for me to keep my eye on it."

Dorothy Stowe, dance and opera: "The way they rush to the wall and pin each other is like a ballet dancer's worst dream - to rush off the stage and pile up against the backstage wall.

"This thing reminded me of Chinese comic opera, with all the stunts and bravado. Or maybe Rossian's `Sparticus' ballet."

Al Church, food: (Since food is a vital element of spectator life, Al gets his own little "Dining Out" review. Check it out below.)

Chris Hicks, films: "I hate being in the refreshment line when the hockey crowd starts cheering. It's like being in the movie lobby when Jason `offs' his first victim.

"I want to open an aspirin concession here. I think that's where the money is."

Joseph Walker, TV: "Hard to believe there actually is a sport that doesn't have a network TV contract. . . . Hey, they're playing `Woolly Bully,' which reminds me that `Night Court' is on tonight."

Ivan Lincoln, theater: "This appears to be theater-in-the-round, an old-fashioned melodrama with hissing and booing. I thought the plot was a little disjointed (I feared some of the players might end up that way, too). The pacing was frenetic.

"Despite three acts, two intermissions and a running time of nearly 21/2 hours, there was plenty of great drama on the ice. I'd say that even without auditions, any one of these players could end up in a cast."