After the conclusion of last season’s edition of “24/7,” featuring the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, it was pretty clear that Pens’ bench boss Dan Bylsma emerged looking like a golden god of coaching, while the Caps’ Bruce Boudreau came off as a curse-loving, ice cream enthusiast.
Like the game of hockey itself, clearly there are winners and losers in this superb HBO series. To build of Katie Strang’s 3-stars recap, here are a few that stood out in Wednesday night’s first episode of the “Road to the Winter Classic.”
The Callahans: It’s small wonder where Blueshirts captain Ryan Callahan gets his blue collar grit from. “My dad told me whether you’re in the yard doing work or one the ice you do it 110 percent,” Cap'n Cally said in Episode 1. When he retires, he’s a safe bet to top the lawn care professionals power rankings.
The F-bomb: After Boudreau’s proclivity for the word, it was already a star in this series. 24/7 has clearly demonstrated its full versatility in a plethora of situations. Its insertion early and often into Ep. 1 just raises its portfolio even higher.
John Tortorella: You could tell how much the Rangers respect their head man, even when he’s chewing them out. (Oh, Marian ... )
International automakers: Seriously, does no one buy domestic anymore?
NHL charity work: The league makes a big effort to reach out and help a whole slew of charitable causes each and every year, and the involvement of the Rangers and the Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds were wonderfully showcased Wednesday.
Brian Boyle: He had the dubious honor of being the first player called out by his coach on camera this season; Double burn for Torts alluding to the microphone and HBO coverage being a distraction. He was redeemed by getting a chance to show off his bubbly personality and softer side with the Garden of Dreams kids.
Los Angeles hockey fans: On his way to his charity event, Simmonds took some time to throw the L.A. hockey market under the tires of his Lexus SUV. He might not have intended his excitement for Philly as a slight to his former home, but it sure didn’t sound like he had glowing things to say about the fans in La-La Land.
The Lightning-Rangers Referee Crew: They looked downright foolish flagging Artem Anisimov’s goal celebration as excessive. You haven’t seen anything like that before? Really? Are you sure? Grandma Callahan, please set this crew straight.
The universe: You and I? We don’t have problems, small as we are. The universe though? Thanks to the Tao of Bryz, we learned that’s where the real trouble is. Just think of how humungous big it is! I need a hit of tiger liquor just thinking about it. And that brings us to our final loser ...
Chinese tiger killers: You are living on borrowed time, hosers.