After watching episode 1, the only word that comes to mind is incredible.
Watching other versions of the show was great, but having inside access to our team is just amazing. With that said, here is your recap of episode 1.
As the NY Daily News put it, "The unquestionable stars of the first episode of HBO’s “24/7 Flyers/Rangers: Road to the Winter Classic” both hail from Russia, and their personalities and raw emotion made a positive impression for both clubs. "
The show began with Peter Laviolette giving us a quote that none of will ever forget.
“We are not a conservative team, we are a let’s ******* giddy up and go type of team.”
This is what we all were hoping for. We wanted to know what Laviolette said in the bench and in the locker room. We had an idea, but this was epic.
“Play ******* hard. Play for each other, support each other. Come back to the bench ******* dripping tired with ******* sweat and exhaustion. Put your foot on the ******* gas.”
Moving onto our first Ilya Bryzgalov moment. It was nothing short of exceptional. Bryz spoke about the universe. Here is what he said, or you can watch the video below.
"Right now, I’m very into the universe. You know, like how it was created. You know, like, what is it? You know, solar system is so humungous big, right? But, if you see our solar system and our galaxy on the side, you know, like, and you see it and it was so small. You couldn’t even see it, our galaxy is like huge, but if you see the big picture, our galaxy is like small, tiny, like, dot in the universe, like. You think, we have some problems here on the earth we worry about, compared to, like... nothing. Just be happy. Don’t worry, be happy right now."
Following this, it was time for the captain: Chris Pronger. I was curious to see how HBO would incorporate Pronger, since his personality is perfect for the show.
They showed his locker with the equipment, in a dark and dreary setting. It reminded us that yes, your captain is out and a return date is not set.
Heading back to New York for a bit, we got a glimpse of Sean Avery modeling. Yes, Avery is into fashion. I'd say this is a judge free zone, but this is not. Sorry, Sean.
Then, we got into the fact that Avery was down in the minors this year. LOL. It was fun to hear him talk about that, but then we had to hear how happy he was driving back when he found out that he was coming back to the big boy team.
When the cameras were back in Philly, it was time for the Flyers to take on the Penguins. The focus was obviously on Max Talbot and Jaromir Jagr. Talbot met up before the game with his former coach, Dan Bylsma, and they exchanged some kind words. During this scene, I was thinking "Get lost, Dan. Stop talking to our players. He's not yours anymore." Moving on.
Moving onto Jagr and him talking about facing off against the Penguins. Very deep stuff right here.
"It probably would be a lot easier if I would come back probably my jersey would hang one day, but you know, I chose the other way. Sometimes you think your brain knows everything, but you should follow your heart first."
Then, a moment came where every Philadelphia fan sat there and smiled. I even gave a fist pump at the television. Not kidding. Here is what Jagr said.
"I never thought i gonna like it so much, i surprised. I picked Philly just for hockey, but so far I like everything all about it. Even the fans, they're crazy."
On the ice, we got a glimpse of Scott Hartnell. Other players love him!
Matt Cooke was the first to chirp at Hartnell on the ice: “Hartnell, you ******* piece of ****.”
Hartsy: “You’re the dirtiest player in the league bud. Great job.”
After the Flyers won, there was another moment I truly loved. We all found out that the Flyers post game anthem is Mac Miller's Knock Knock - a very, very solid song choice by the orange and black.
Onto what I like to call the "bonehead segment". This is where Artem Anisimov scored a goal, and celebrated by using his stick as a shotgun and pointing it in the direction of the Tampa Bay goalie. He went in the locker room and sat alone. He later apologized to the team. Very sweet of him.
We got a glimpse into the sweet whip that Wayne Simmonds drives: a black Infinity.
HBO noted that Simmonds is 1 of 28 black players currrently in NHL.
"At the end of the day you know, everybody walks into the dressing room as a human being, and you know, that's the way it is. on every team ive been on, I've never experienced anything from my teammates of them even acknolwedging me being black. you know, it's pretty obvious, but you know, all the guys are good about it, and that's the way it obviously should be."
We unfortunately had to watch Claude Giroux take the knee to the head from Simmonds, but it was pretty cool to see exactly what happened after the game. Cameras were not allowed in the training room where he had some testing.
The next day, Lavs stopped by to check on Giroux, who said he feels no better. Damnit.
Another Bryzgalov moment that had me cracking up was when he spoke to Jim McCrossin (trainer) about tigers. Yup, tigers.
It is worth noting that ESPN gave the first star of the show to Ryan Callahan's 95-year-old grandma who was proud of her grandson. She did disagree with a penalty called on him against Buffalo though. Bryz was the second star according to their ranking. He was clearly number one. Come on Bristol.
All videos copyright of HBO via FlyersinHD YouTube channel.