I had a very hockey-obsessed day yesterday, while everyone else was winding down from the Stanley Cup final. I wrote about the new hockey writer at Grantland, Katie Baker over at Brutish&Short (she’s awesome). Then I blog-stalked her, and came across the HBO series from last winter 24/7 NHL Road the Winter Classic, which I had totally forgotten about. I watched all four hours of it yesterday and it was so good! The show gives a behind the scenes look at the Penguins and the Caps during the month of December, and from it I learned the following things:
- Sidney Crosby may be even whinier than I initially suspected. He complains at the refs nonstop.
- Alexander Ovechkin, surprisingly does not complain at the refs as much as I would think. I suppose this is because he grew up in the Soviet Union and was taught to fear/respect authority maybe? I can imagine the punishment over there as a child for ignoring your coach or the refs would be belt-whipping, or some kind other kind of lashing.
- I heart Bruce Boudreau. Big time. He’s a sweetheart with a foul-mouth — I’m pretty sure he swears more than I do. Also, I like his coaching style; when his players were all down about a losing streak he tells them “You could be anywhere. You play fucking hockey for a living. Lighten up. Having some fucking fun here.”
- Dan Bylsma is also an awesome coach, although significantly less profane.
- The Penguins seem to be a really nice group of guys, with the massive exception of Matt Cooke — now that I’ve had a glimpse behind the scenes it’s even more puzzling why/how Bylsma and Lemieux let him get away with these garbage hits. They seem like classy guys and a classy organization. Get the fuck rid of Cooke.
I really hope HBO does this again – it would be awesome/terrifying to see a Habs Leafs miniseries. Hal Gill, that beauty, would definitely invite the whole TV crew over to his place for a dinner party, and between him and PK Subban, the antics would make for some great television.