If you didn't catch last night's HBO premiere episode of 24/7: Flyers & Rangers Road to the Winter Classic, then you, my friend, missed out on some unreal, up-close shots of players, interviews, and Bryz'isms.
The subject has spread around Philadelphia sports blogs, social networks and chatter-related outlets like wildfire. You had Peter Laviolette and John Tortorella dropping F-bombs in the locker rooms and from the benches, Sean Avery exploiting the fact that he enjoys posing like an Abercrombie model when the Rangers have down time, and of course.....a window of divine, astronomical philosophy hosted by our Russian kook in net --
Overall, HBO did another phenomenal job setting us up for a great second season of the mini-series. Last year I found myself hating the Penguins and Capitals players less and less with each hour of the show. You were given a behind-the-scenes look at players like Pascal Dupuis and his family, and you realize...."This guy's a family man. He's funny. I could grab a beer with this guy."
Same went for Ryan Callahan, captain of the Blue Shirts, after a segment was shown of him hugging and kissing his 95-year old grandmother (God bless her) who made the seventy mile trip to Buffalo to watch her grandson play hockey.....and score a goal.
John Tortorella? Well, I never had a problem with the guy in the first place, but after watching him tell his blue line skaters between periods not to "shit their pants" defending an opposing player, I began liking the guy as a person. He cracked me up.
Sean Avery was Sean Avery. HBO delved a tad into his early season story when the Rags sent him packing through waiver wires, and ultimately up north to Connecticut to skate with the club's AHL affiliate. And like I mentioned before, there was two or three more minutes dedicated to showing the viewers how his modeling career is taking off.
Or how 'bout Artem Anisimov and his Duck Hunt goal celebration versus the Tampa Bay Lightning? --
Generally catching the highlights on ESPN or the NHL Network is about the only in-depth look you'd get at a celebration like that, and the events that short followed.
But in last night's episode we were granted the visual access to see Anisimov apologize to the rest of his team for his unneeded jubilation which left them shorthanded in the remaining minutes of the 2nd period.
Yea, I know, too much Rangers talk for a Flyers blogsite. What about our Bullies?
Hmmm, well, everything was going swimmingly. HBO began our story with new players like Wayne Simmonds, Ilya Bryzgalov, and Max Talbot. They also reignited Philadelphia's rivalry with the Pittsburgh Penguins as we watched highlights of our win over our western neighbors, and listened in to Scott Hartnell tell Matt Cooke to shut his mouth because he's the dirtiest player in the league.
It was glorious.
But speaking of re-living Flyers hockey moments; HBO didn't skip a beat with our win against Tampa. The biggest highlight of the contest, obviously, came when Wayne Simmonds inadvertently kneed our skating star Claude Giroux in the back of the head like a glimpse of Sagat from Street Fighter.
We endured the nightmare all over again as if it happened just a few......well, it did happen just a few days ago, but you get my point.
By the end of the hour, I wanted more. I wanted to see more locker room scenes of the coaches setting his players straight, or the players horsing around on their flights to, and from, destinations.
Many may indulge themselves and friends in Puck Daddy's Unofficial series' drinking game? Flyers fans by the thousands may have already downloaded the song Knock Knock by Mac Miller considering.....well, just take a look --