Guest Blog: 24/7 Rangers vs. Flyers, Wrap Up

Hi guys! As some of you may know, I managed to convince my boyfriend to write a few blogs for me about HBO’s 24/7 series as a way to avoid actually watching it myself. Turns out he’s kind of a slacker (just kidding Rob…sort of) but he did manage to write one to wrap up the season for y’all. So here’s Rob:
Dear Couchtimers,
I must apologize for the tardy recap, but I’ve only recently awoken from a turkey and gingerbread induced coma. Tough times, I tell ya.
I am sad to report that I wasn’t able to convince Jill to watch an episode with me… but maybe next year. Rumour has it that next year’s Winter Classic may feature my Maple Leafs against the Red Wings in Detroit… so you know, I may actually BE at that game… something tells me she might want to come along. 
(Editor’s note: Um, no. Why would I want to go to Detroit? And why would I care about Maple Leafs vs. Red Wings? We all know the team I root for is whichever one Mr. Carrie Underwood is playing for, so right now I’m a Nashville fan. Let me know when this series follows that team.)
Rather than bore all of you with a lengthy recap of each of the last three episodes, I have instead decided to give to you my list of All-Stars and Villains from the series. Hope you enjoy!
Jaromir Jagr (Flyers)
Jagr had some genuinely funny moments during the series. He really seems to love his veteran role in Philly and is genuinely happy to be back in the NHL. There is a great line in the second episode where some of the younger Flyers discuss how lucky they are to play with such a legend, noting “he was on the SEGA Genesis!” Way to date a guy, fellas!
Also great – in the third episode, Claude Giroux scores four points in his first game back from a concussion. The next game is against the Rangers at MSG. Jagr deadpans to Giroux: “It is tough to score four points here… I did it.” Then he cracks a smile. As noted below, Giroux chirps an awful lot – so it was good to see him on the receiving end.
Scott Hartnell (Flyers)
Hartnell came across quite well during the series. He is a veteran leader that is willing to do whatever it takes to win – hit, fight, score… and even played surrogate dad to some rookies over the Christmas season.
Ilya Bryzgalov (Flyers)
There is no doubt that Bryzgalov was one of the main attractions of this series. His “universe” speech, the bit about his crazy shot-blocking defenders, his earl grey tea with lemon – these quotes will stick around for awhile.
Henrik Lundqvist (Rangers)
King Henrik is almost the complete opposite of Bryz. He is incredibly calm on and off the ice and fairly soft-spoken. But he leads by example – and man did he make some incredible saves! Including a stop on a penalty shot to win the game in the last 20 seconds of the winter classic!
Mike Rupp (Rangers)
Rupp is a guy that I didn’t know much about. He is one of those hard-working grinders that you probably don’t pay much attention to unless he plays for your team.  He came across as a real leader that was willing to stick up for his team mates. And he scored two HUGE goals in the Winter Classic game itself… so there is that…
Ryan Callahan (Rangers)
The guy doesn’t wear the “C “for nuthin’! Though he is fairly young, he came across as a good leader, and just enough of a goofball to make for some good TV. And the bit with his grandmother was great.
The Coaches
Some people might disagree with me on this one, but I thought both coaches came across very well. Tortorella has an undeniable passion for the game. He is definitely tough on players at times, but he is extremely clear about what his expectations are for every game. He also showed an ability to give his players praise and support when it was deserved. Episode two had a nice moment where we learned about his close relationship with Rangers superfan Liam Trainor – a young kid with cerebral palsy – who he calls on a regular basis to encourage through tough times.
I expected that Laviollette would be a little more even tempered than Tortorella, but that wasn’t always the case. He certainly had moments where he boiled over and let the f-bombs fly – and there was a rather awkward confrontation with an opposing player (Steve Ott) in one episode. But Laviollette had some fantastic rah-rah speeches and was a great motivator for his team. 
Artem Anisimov (Rangers)
For his rather ridiculous goal celebration that was a big part of the first episode. But, you know… he rides the subway to work… so let’s cut him a break.
Zach Rinaldo (Flyers)
In a way, this is sort of a compliment I suppose. Rinaldo played the role that most of us probably thought Avery would – the kind of guy that gets underneath the skin of almost every guy he plays against. He was a huge jerk on the ice… but, that is the role he is supposed to play.
Claude Giroux (Flyers)
Is Claude Giroux going to morph into the second coming of Jeremy Roenick? Giroux chirps at other players… A LOT. During the winter classic he was pleading with Lundqvist to let him score just one goal against him. Then he went off about Rupp only having two career goals (not quite accurate, and in fact Rupp ended up scoring two in the game itself to make him eat those words). In another episode, he has a great back-and-forth with Steve Ott of the Dallas Stars. Giroux asks Ott if he is really wants to take a faceoff against him – Ott replies something to the effect of “Yeah, I am ranked fifth in the league… look it up.” That said, Giroux wins that faceoff – and more often than not, he backs up his talk with his skill.
As promised, I have been doing my best to keep a tally of every f-bomb dropped by each team over the course of the series. Going into the final episode, the Rangers and their coach held a slight lead with a score of 62-60 over the Flyers. However, while the Rangers may have overcome a 2-0 deficit on the actual scoreboard during the Winter Classic… the Flyers made a massive comeback on our F-Bomb tracker with an effort that would put Bruce Boudreau to shame. The final tally?
New York Rangers: Tortorella (38), Other Rangers (47) = 85
Philadelphia Flyers: Laviollette (27), Other Flyers (74) = 101
Somehow, I think the Flyer faithful will be happy to take that victory.
So who were your All-Stars and Villains of the series? Was there anyone I missed? And which coach do you think deserves the “Eric Taylor Award” for most inspirational coach? Tell me all about it in the comments!
Thanks for reading folks!
{We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming…}
Jill – I didn’t mention it, but there was a fantastic ugly Christmas sweater worn by one of the Rangers at a Christmas party. There is a screencap here.
Not sure it is Couchtime appropriate though. 😉
(Ed. note: Hmm, that’s a grey area. I left it as a link rather than posting directly on the blog since some might consider it a little NSFW.)



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