In its third episode, Showtime's "All Access: Quest for the Stanley Cup" goes inside the Stanley Cup Final for the first time. After covering the drama of two tight conference finals, the show goes behind the scenes of media day and provides a unique look at both Games 1 and 2 of the final series.
For those that have already seen the games will get a little bit of a different look this time around with mics on the ice and cameras in the locker rooms. The Pittsburgh Penguins now hold a 2-0 series advantage over the San Jose Sharks heading into Saturday night's Game 3.
Watch how the series got to this point with the full, unedited version of "All Access: Quest for the Stanley Cup" Episode 3. NOTICE: Strong language. Viewer discretion is advised.
Here are some of the highlights from the Episode:
1. At home with Matt Murray (3:30). One thing that can often be forgotten is that when a player gets called up from the minors, he doesn't have anywhere to live in the new city. Murray allowed cameras inside his quaint temporary apartment, where he's been staying since the team moved him out of the standard hotel room he had been living in previously.
2. Media day. The cameras spent a lot of time following Sharks forward Joe Thornton around. He was one of the most popular players at media day, going from individual interviews with the TV networks carrying the series to having a crowded media scrum. Jumbo Joe keeps it loose, though. Don't miss the little shoutout he gives to one of the media day attendees who happened to have a pretty great beard. "Respect!"
3. Game 1. Game 1 had a lot of momentum swings, which made things interesting for the bench demeanor of both teams. You can hear Sidney Crosby trying to motivate his teammates after the Sharks tied the game and Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer barking orders and motivational barbs at his players throughout the contest. The microphones also catch the exuberant goal celebrations for both teams.
4. Matt Cullen's kids have a unique classroom (15:40). Between games, the producers of the show catch up with Penguins forward Matt Cullen as he drives his kids to "school." Cullen's kids work with a tutor, who sets up shop right in the team's practice facility four days a week to keep the Cullen boys progressing in their education. All three bring their hockey bags and get their daily physical activity on the ice. There's also a cameo from Pascal Dupuis, who is practicing on his own. Dupuis has essentially been forced into early retirement after blood clot issues.
5. Mike Sullivan's proud dad watches practice (17:00). The episode spent some time profiling Mike Sullivan, who is getting his first crack at a head coaching job since he led the Boston Bruins a decade earlier. His father was taking in practices and in a brief interview expressed his pride and how "this was meant to be" for his son.
6. Evgeni Malkin gushes about his newborn son (19:00). Evgeni Malkin became a new father between Games 1 and 2. He called his son's birth the "best moment in my life" and that he hopes he can have two best moments by winning another Stanley Cup. The light-hearted Malkin also showed off a picture from his phone of him holding his boy, who weighed in at 7 bounds, 1 ounce, Malkin's jersey number.
7. Game 2. The show does a nice job of setting up Game 2, with the birth of Malkin's son and they also touch on the family tragedy Justin Braun was going through before Game 2 with the passing of his father-in-law. Then it gets to the game action and it shows the desperation starting to set in for the Sharks. One of the best moments is the way they ended up building the drama into Conor Sheary's game-winning goal, bringing a touch of artistry to that huge moment in the series.
It's been fun to get a look inside of the playoffs with these shows. Considering the importance of these games versus the more festive Winter Classic that previous behind-the-scenes shows have been about, "All Access" is capturing the drama pretty well and packing it into a pretty fast-paced half hour.
Episode 4 is set to air Friday at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime.