Amid reports earlier Saturday that cameras had been tossed out of the dressing rooms during production of 24/7 this week, it would have been fair to approach the second episode of the series with some concern. If the teams weren't granting the access we're promised, would there be anything compelling?
Well, it turns out the cameras weren't tossed for everything and the microphones still caught some between-periods ranting and raving. There was also all the usual kinds of things you want to get out of the show.
With any and all videos, NSFW language warning.
- Randy Carlyle explains to Paul Ranger and Mark Fraser why they're not playing that night's game. “Right now, you guys aren't playing tonight,” Carlyle tells them curtly. “You're not giving us what we need. If you're going to play on our hockey club, your level of play has got to get up.”
- After getting to know Justin Abdelkader and Brendan Smith, the cameras go with them on the drive to Joe Louis Arena. The teammates witness a near accident on the road in bad weather. “Looks like you on the ice,” Abdelkader quips at his car mate's expense.
- After the Maple Leafs trounced the Chicago Blackhawks, the team played their now infamous victory song, “We Can't Stop” by Miley Cyrus. Head coach Randy Carlyle on the Maple Leafs music: “I don't pay attention to their music. I'm a classic rock guy.” You bet he is.
- There were a number of great moments from Mike Babcock in this episode. He shared a lot of his philosophies on coaching and offered a lot of one-liners like “Frustration is a waste of time.” Also, when the Wings lose Johan Franzen to injury, Babcock discusses how to adjust the power play and tells his staff “I have no mule.” That was a personal favorite.
- One of the episode highlights had to be the epic ping-pong match between Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf. Things got pretty heated between the two. Phaneuf wins it, much to the Chagrin of Kessel who tells the captain, “Don't give me any of that good game s---.”
- Phil Kessel gets on a bus.
- One of the big moments of the show came in the game between the Penguins and Maple Leafs in Pittsburgh. There was a lot of chippy play and it culminated in a candid conversation between Dion Phaneuf and Sidney Crosby.
- While Babcock was open at times about how he operates as a coach, when his Red Wings go down 4-1 to the Anaheim Ducks to start the first period, he's less warm and fuzzy. Babcock aggressively kicks HBO's cameras out of his locker room.
- Simultaneously, the Maple Leafs trailed the Florida Panthers heading into the third period, which did not sit well with Randy Carlyle. He too had the cameras leave, but the microphones stayed on, giving 24/7 its first really good coach meltdown of the season.
“We're getting out-worked, out-executed, out-passioned, out-every[expletive]thinged… We suck,” screamed Carlyle. It was a full on rant, but the kind you hope to see on this show.
After a somewhat underwhelming first episode, the second was what 24/7 is expected to be all about. Even when they didn't have unlimited access, the show delivered some amazing moments that its fans crave. This sets a very high bar for the rest of this series.