Tag: HBO 24/7

2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic - New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers

HBO hits the high points in engrossing 24/7 finale


If the reception for last week’s episode of “HBO 24/7 Flyers/Rangers: Road to the Winter Classic”was relatively underwhelming, then the finale received rave reviews. To be honest, the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers produced so many storylines in the last week that HBO probably gathered enough material for two jam-packed hours.

The final hour captured the most compelling threads with HBO’s artful mix of great music and stunning cinematography, leaving us all wanting more – just like the 2011 edition. Let’s take a look at how they handled some of the top stories:

The penalty shot

Naturally, the Winter Classic coverage provided many of the show-stopping moments, but the high point revolved around Danny Briere’s penalty shot against Henrik Lundqvist. HBO pulled out all the stops with multiple camera angles, a perfect soundtrack for the moment and then allowed the inherent drama to take over.

Jaromir Jagr’s up-and-down week

To little surprise, Jagr dominated much of the footage. HBO went behind the scenes during his momentous visit to Pittsburgh with Maxime Talbot, who clearly faced an emotional night.

source: Getty ImagesNaturally, it didn’t stop there as cameras captured Jagr during his well-documented Winter Classic injury. They followed him all the way into the trainer’s room, only stopping when Jagr waived them off while getting treatment.

Finally, perhaps the best bit of chatter came regarding Mike Rupp’s mock salute. Some Flyers weren’t even aware it happened, others shared considerable disdain for the gesture while the Rangers were predictably supportive of the celebration. Regardless of where each player stood, it all resulted in a bevy of gut-busting one-liners.

Bryzgalov’s pain

Ilya Bryzgalov cast a large shadow over the final episode, but this time he wasn’t a source of comic relief. Really, he provided a sort of dark comedy, as HBO captured him in some painful moments after an ugly loss and included footage of Bryzgalov spilling the beans about the Winter Classic starter.

As much as HBO spotlighted Bryzgalov’s oddball side, the greatest value came in the evidence that he happens to be a rather sensitive soul. (Note: that might just be a long way of calling him a “goalie,” though.)


From Marc Staal’s comeback to robust critiques of referees, HBO covered all the biggest threads without giving the hour-long episode a congested feel.

Still, many of us will miss the “little” moments the most. What were some of the standout scenes for you? Feel free to share your favorite memories from the final episode and the second edition of HBO’s great doc series, in general.

Finally, if you want to read up on the rest of the series, here are recaps for the other episodes:

Episode 1 review
Episode 2 review
Episode 3 review

Steve Ott is now 10th in the league in faceoffs, go look at NHL.com

Steve Ott

Last night, PHT’s James O’Brien did a solid job recapping the 10 most memorable phrases from episode three of HBO 24/7.

But even with that post in the bag, we still felt compelled to highlight this exchange between Dallas’ Steve Ott and Philly’s Claude Giroux.

[WARNING: Salty language ahoy, matey]

Three things…

1) At one point, Ott might’ve been fifth in faceoffs (he’s currently 10th, winning draws at a 55.7 percent clip) — but that Philly game didn’t help his cause any. Ott had trouble against the Flyers’ French-Canadian forwards, going a combined 4-11 against Giroux, Maxime Talbot and Danny Briere.

2) I can see guys bragging about how many goals they’ve scored or how they’re leading the league in points. But faceoffs? And how you’re fifth in the league in faceoffs? I didn’t know that was an acceptable chirp, but am glad it is. It totally opens the door of possibilities for other players, like Travis Hamonic (“Fifth in the league in blocked shots buddy, look it up”) and Alex Burrows (“Fifth in the league in plus-minus on the road buddy, look it up”).

3) Ott’s Babe Ruthian calling of his own shot (pointing to the corner, saying “I’m probably going to win it right there”) was priceless. Not because he lost the draw and Dallas got scored on. It’s priceless because he was calling his shot eight minutes into the first period of a December game against a non-conference opponent.

If Hollywood has taught us anything about sports, it’s that you only call your shot in the biggest moment on the biggest stage imaginable. Like Jake Taylor in Major League or Billy Hoyle in White Men Can’t Jump. Ott’s seemed a little…anticlimactic.

10 memorable phrases from HBO 24/7 episode three

Marian Gaborik

We’re now three episodes deep in “HBO 24/7 Flyers/Rangers: Road to the Winter Classic” and seven into the series overall. After a strong first and second episode, there are some rumblings of the third installment being a little weak.

Personally, I think that’s really just a testament of the high bar that’s already been set. Either way, there were some memorable moments to be found, as you’ll see in the top 10 phrases one might associate with episode three.

“Go [blank] yourself”

As expected, HBO captured the awkward exchange between Steve Ott and Peter Laviolette. Ott crowed about respect (and also had an odd trash-talking exchange with Claude Giroux), but Laviolette simply told him to … well, you know.

Christmas sweaters

The New York Rangers held an “ugly Christmas sweater” party that Brad Richards sharply compared to a Halloween party. The biggest highlight was Ryan Callahan’s light-up sweater, but there were plenty of beauties.

Praise for Giroux

Everyone from Laviolette to Jaromir Jagr urged Claude Giroux to make his comeback. The most telling part about his excellence came in the locker room after his four-point return, though. Sure, he celebrated, but his teammates certainly didn’t seem surprised. In other words, they simply expect that from the genuine NHL star.

Gaborik’s Christmas tree

The episode took the hockey world deep into Marian Gaborik’s life, as he did such important things like buying a Christmas tree. Naturally, hecklers couldn’t help but make injury jokes as he carried the tree to his apartment.

source: Getty Images“You’re irrelevant”

Speaking of jokes, HBO’s microphones captured some high-level chirping in episode three. Mike Rupp echoed Brandon Dubinsky’s criticisms, calling a Philadelphia Flyers goon “irrelevant.”

“Like fantasy camp”

Brad Richards might be as bland as watching paint dry during interviews, but the star can trash talk with the best of them. He beat down a marginal Flyer by saying that playing in an NHL game must be “like fantasy camp” for him. Ouch.


Laviolette had some great moments in episode three, but his frequent requests for the Flyers to bring the jam might have some meme-generating potential.

War room

In episode two, HBO brought us into the officials’ own locker room. Episode three’s unique fly-on-the-wall moment came in the NHL’s war room, where goals are reviewed. It was another one of those intriguing little slices of professional hockey life that you won’t see anywhere else.

“Master motivators”

More and more, it seems like Laviolette and John Tortorella are great at their jobs. Sure, their messages are often profane, but Derek of the Pensblog was accurate in calling both of them “master motivators.”

Five faces of Bryzgalov

HBO went through most of the episode before finally going back to the series’ breakout star Ilya Bryzgalov. It was worth the wait, though, as his infamous Husky harassed is predictably hilarious son while Bryzgalov explained that he has “five faces.” It was a confusing way to say that he acts differently in public and in private, but as usual, it was also highly comical.


Some might say that another key phrase might be “filler,” but the previous 10 seem good enough to me. Were you happy with the latest hour from HBO? Are there any other phrases that might leak into your vocabulary? Feel free to share them in the comments.

Ilya Bryzgalov doesn’t think he’s funny, world disagrees

Ilya Bryzgalov

Ilya Bryzgalov is the feel-good hit of 24/7 after his tales about the universe and tigers and his Siberian husky being like a beautiful blonde. He’s odd, irreverent, and a bit nutty just the same, but he’s impossible to dislike even as a Flyers goaltender. One thing he says he isn’t, however, is funny.

Say what?

Dave Isaac of Philadelphia Sports Daily asked Bryzgalov about his new stardom and he didn’t think he was all too amusing.

“Is it funny?” he asked. “To me is not funny.”

I can only hope this line was followed up with an explanation about how Czar Nicholas was like Big Bird during his reign in Russia.

Part of the fun for fans and casual onlookers during 24/7 is seeing how these guys are off the ice and Bryzgalov’s wacky personality makes him immediately likable. Then again, there’s a disarming aspect to it for these guys in that their normal routine and ways are being shown to millions. All of a sudden what was normal is seen as fascinating and worthy of curiosity.

That said, here’s to hoping we get to see Bryzgalov discuss the pluses and minuses of cheesesteaks with Jaromir Jagr at some point.

Five players we hope are mic’d up for tonight’s Flyers-Rangers game

Philadelphia Flyers v New York Rangers

The Winter Classic is just over a week away and tonight’s Flyers-Rangers battle at MSG is the last time these two teams see each other until then. Tonight’s game figures to be a big part of HBO’s next episode of 24/7 to set the table for January 2 and that means plenty of chatter. We’ve got five players we’re rooting to be wired for tonight’s game in hopes of hearing some of the goods.

Artem Anisimov

Not only is what he says fun to listen to in the locker room, as we saw in the first episode, but with all the cameras tuned in on this game for HBO, what are the chances we get a fun goal celebration should he score? Probably slim with the watchful eyes of John Tortorella on the bench, but we can dream, can’t we?

Harry Zolnierczyk

We saw the possibility of Harry Z becoming a breakout personality in the second episode where he talked about playing as Jagr on Sega Genesis and chatting with Ilya Bryzgalov about Siberian huskies and women. He was a big talker on the ice in college at Brown University, it’d be fun to hear what he’d say to the Rangers on ice.

Sean Avery

If you need a reason why we want Avery miked up, you’ve missed a lot of hockey over the years. Even if he’s just in the press box tonight, we still want him wired for sound. We haven’t heard a lot from him so far during 24/7 aside from awkward photo shoots. Let’s see a little more of the league’s most divisive player.

Jaromir Jagr

We’ve only heard Jagr talk about why he came to Philly and to tell Bryzgalov to leave him alone when he was eating, but we’re curious to know just what kind of chatter he throws out on the ice. Does he talk trash? Does he sling jokes out there? Is he just all about the game and calling out direction? These are things we want to find out.

Brandon Prust

Prust is proving to be one of the more fun personalities on the Rangers to get to know through the series. He and Brian Boyle are the “Odd Couple” of the team and Prust hasn’t been shy on the ice before. With how he duked it out with Wayne Simmonds during the first episode, let’s see if there’s more going on there and what he’s got to say about it.