The wait was definitely worth it. As expect, HBO did not disappoint with the debut of this year’s 24/7: Road to the Winter Classic, featuring the Philadelphia Flyers and, of course, the New York Rangers. Here are some of my opinions on the show, focusing on the Ranger-side of things.
- The two stars, far and away, were Ilya Bryzgalov and Artem Anisimov. Bryzgalov stole the show early when he gave his opinion of the solar system and the universe as a whole. Everyone has that friend that gets really deep when they’re drunk, and Bryzgalov is that guy…even sober. Anisimov came across as a really cool, down-to-earth kid who knew he made a mistake. I thought Sean Avery‘s reaction when he walked into the locker room was priceless.
- John Tortorella came across as all business. He really ripped on Marian Gaborik for the Buffalo game, and Brian Boyle against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The guy just doesn’t seem like a fun guy.
- I enjoyed seeing the players away from the rink, especially Avery modeling and Henrik Lundqvist, Brandon Prust, and others taking the kids to see the Rockettes. The whole team seems really down to earth.
- My favorite scene was the team dinner in Buffalo, when the players chose randomly who had to pay for the meal. I felt for Jeff Woywitka having to split it. It’s a shame he probably won’t even be with this team once Marc Staal returns to the lineup.
- I loved Brandon Dubinsky losing it during the Anisimov scrum. Sure he isn’t producing, but it’s great to have that type of personality on the team.
- Another great scene was Ryan Callahan with his family, including his adorable mother and grandmother. The way his father described Rochester, Callahan’s hometown, is the same style of Callahan’s play; hard-nosed, gritty and blue-collar. It’s hard not to love the guy.
- Anyone else openly sigh when they cut back to the Flyers? I know I did.
- How about Michael Del Zotto‘s crash. Sounded like he was almost in tears, which was understandable. And how about his car? Not bad for a 21-year-old.
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