By: Adam Gretz
HBO's 24/7 kicked off on Wednesday night, following the two participants in this year's Winter Classic (the Flyers and Rangers) as they prepare for their Jan. 2 showdown in Philadelphia.
Unlike last year's matchup between Pittsburgh and Washington, where one team (Pittsburgh) was playing on top of its game and the other (Washington) was struggling, there was little contrast this time around as both teams came into this year's documentary near the top of the NHL, giving most of the episode an "all is well, everything is cool" sort of feel.
It was difficult to find any real adversity for either team until the end of the episode when Claude Giroux's concussion was featured. It was obvious right from the start that it was't going to be good, and while we didn't get to see anything involving Giroux's time in the quiet room after the collision, we did get a brief glimpse of the Flyers trainer telling coach Peter Laviolette that Giroux simply wasn't feeling like himself.
A few quick takes on Episode one...
Episode one MVP: Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov
He wasn't featured all that much, but wow did Ilya Bryzgalov make a first impression. His only two appearances were a brief stretch early in the episode that was nothing but him spending a minute talking about the size of the universe and space, and how it makes everything that happens on Earth, as well as our solar system, seem so insignificant. "Just be happy," he said.
Later, he was presented with a rare bottle of Russian liquor that featured a picture of a Tiger on the bottle, and he then went into a discussion about how there are so few tiger species left in the world and how it is illegal to hunt them.
An entire episode that simply follows him around for a day would be pure insanity.
Four moments that stood out
1) The mini-brawl that was sparked by the shooting gesture of Rangers forward Artem Anisimov against the Tampa Bay Lightning last week had a big part in the episode, including him pleading his case to the officials in the penalty box, why he did it, and the sight of him apologizing to his teammates in the locker room for putting his team at a disadvantage. When asked where he learned it, Anisimov sighted an unnamed player he played with in Russia that used to do it after big goals and how it always fired the crowd up. He said he always promised himself that he would do it if he scored a big goal in the NHL. Apparently that goal was big enough.
When asked if he was "shooting at the goalie," he simply smiled and said "Just reloaded my weapon."
2) The New York Rangers pay for dinner on the road by putting all of their credit cards in a hat and then pulling them out, one at a time, until there is only one card remaining. And that's the person that gets stuck with the bill.
3) The Philadelphia Flyers post-game victory celebration in their locker room? Dancing to the song "Knock Knock" by Mac Miller. Very bizarre.
4) Perhaps the best, nicest moment of episode one: Rangers captain Ryan Callahan giving his grandmother a kiss after scoring a goal in his hometown of Buffalo and bringing a tear to her eye.
The unnofficial F-bomb count
If you had Flyers coach Peter Laviolette as the first person to drop an F-Bomb, you win the prize, as he let loose with four of them in an eight-second span in the shows opening minutes.
The unofficial final tally (by my count): 44
John Tortorella F-bomb count (again, by my count): 11
Biggest complaint of the night
Needs more Bryzgalov.
More 2012 Winter Classic News Here
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24/7: Flyers-Rangers Episode 1
Posted on: December 14, 2011 11:34 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2011 12:48 pm