TORONTO, ON. — We are officially on the Road to The Winter Classic.
The hour-long premiere of the docuseries featured a glimpse into the lives and locker rooms of the two teams headed to the NHL Winter Classic on New Years day, our Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins.
The show’s cold open featured an ode to the rivalry explaining how some games, some opponents are just different. The loaded history of the Bruins and the Canadiens undoutedbly makes for those types of games. The show’s first one-on-one feature is with PK Subban, because duh, as the voice-over says he is “one of the most distinct characters in the league.”
Game coverage began with the December 9th loss to the Bruins, the final Habs/Bruins match up before the big day. It was a tough defeat as the Habs dominated the Bruins for the first 40 minutes of play but were unable to clinch the W and the post-game air was thick.
Notably absent from the hour, Carey Price, which is understandable since he will not be playing in the Classic and hasn’t been in the dressing room, but disappointing all the same. The show’s executive producer Ross Greenburg told Yahoo Sports, “I’ll be blunt with you: He’s not looking for our cameras. He’s shied away from them. I think he wants to be left alone. We’re having to tell his story through empty lockers and press conferences.”
It seems a running theme for the series will be ‘will he or won’t he?’ with regards to Gallagher and his hand injury. Will we see our spunky little right winger in the line-up come January 1st? He sure hopes so.
Next up was the December 10th loss against the Red Wings, which featured a nice focus on Dustin Tokarski and how he has worked hard to move passed being sent down during training camp and has played strong in his more recent starts.
I was absolutely thrilled to see the segment on the young flag bearers who get to skate the ice at the top of every Canadiens home game. I’ve mentioned it before and I will say it again, it is one of my favourite traditions at the Bell Centre.
Finally, some coverage of a win as the Habs defeated Ottawa at home on December 12th. The entire series will likely prove to be a lot more exciting should the Canadiens get back into the groove of their strong start to the season, however, the struggle to overcome adversity could be an interesting way to re-connect with our team.
At the conclusion of the episode, footage from the annual Canadiens holiday party showed the players with their significant others and/or children skating around the Bell Centre filled with holiday-themed activities. It is those moments, mixed with the right music and paired with good production, that are always some of my favourites in these types of specials. It humanizes the players, brings them back down to the fathers, husbands, humans that they are. Their lives are bigger than their job.
I really do hope that upcoming episodes feature a bit more insight into some of the team’s more underrated players. I love PK just as much as, if not more, than the next guy or gal but I’m also interested in hearing from some of the younger and newer additions to the team and what playing in a Winter Classic against the Bruins might mean to them.
Things I Learned
The guys don’t appreciate PK’s style.
PK doesn’t care that the guys don’t appreciate his style.
There is a TON of swearing in the locker room.
I sort of like Michel Therrien.
Lars Eller never speaks, ever.
Dale Weise is the best pump-up guy.
Chara is ‘just a regular guy.’
Because at the end of the day, Enzo isn’t worried about losing a couple of games mid-season.