The first episode of HBO's "24/7 Red Wings/Maple Leafs: Road to the NHL Winter Classic" just ended, and we're here to dive in to it and discuss what happened. Full disclosure, this contains spoilers, so if you haven't seen it yet and don't want to know what happened, go read the recap of tonight's game and cry.
Shockingly, it opened by playing up the "Red Wings bringing joy to a city down on its luck" theme that was fully expected. The mention of Detroit's bankruptcy was early, and once they got that out of the way they focused way more on the players and the team, not on the city they play in. I know that Detroit has its problems, but this should be an escape from that.
Whatever you thought Mike Babcock was like in real life, you were proven right. In between periods against Florida, he came in, told everyone to stop what they were doing, got angry at them without yelling, and left, and I was immediately compelled to do every single thing I had put off doing for the last year, including cleaning my gutters (it's 10:07 at night as I write this).
Tomas Tatar reading the lineups and making fun of the players is funny because he has an accent but not funny because the jokes don't make any sense. But hey, he's young and hip and having a good time so good on him.
Dan Cleary said his heart wouldn't let him leave Detroit when he had a chance to join the Flyers, which totally makes sense considering he looks like a total zombie even on an overly-produced show like 24/7.
HBO decided to show the Leafs' meltdown against Boston in the playoffs last year and then they showed Daniel Alfredsson, proving that HBO hates Canada, specifically Toronto.
The only reason I want to see more Dion Phaneuf is because of Elisha Cuthbert. And those bow ties.
At one point Kyle Quincey, Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader, Danny DeKeyser and Brendan Smith went out to a restaurant for some food, and it was easily the most scripted part of the entire episode, because not a single "bro" was uttered by any of them.
If there was a star of this episode, it was Leafs' coach Randy Carlyle. First there was the shot of him being unable to work a toaster. then during an intermission he told his team to "feed the chickens". If him not being able to work the most basic of household appliances doesn't say everything you need to know about him as a coach, I don't know what will.
The star for the Wings, if there was one, was Babs. At one point he said "we haven't won a Cup since 2008", and I loved the fact that he said "since" for some reason. They also played the audio from after a disallowed goal where he told the referee "I just know in the league we're trying to get more goals, not less" after a clearly wrong no-goal call.
Overall it was a very good episode if you're a fan of the Red Wings, like I am. I want to see more of the personalities of the players (specifically Datsyuk) shine through, but there's still more episodes, so expecting to see everything in the very first hour is expecting too much. I also want to know where DeKeyser got those glasses.