HBO’s second episode of 24/7 ran last night, once again giving us the type of fantastic behind the scenes access so many hockey fans like myself crave.

Let’s take a look back at the highlights from last night and reflect.

Henrik Lundqvist plays guitar, because he’s desperate for women to find something to like about him.

Kay, Henrik, sit down. Listen to me here: you’re kind of f***ing over the rest of us dudes.

You were blessed with looks, la-dee-dah. Congrats. Those help in this world, I hear. But then you were given insane athletic ability too, and the rest of us were kind of like “fine, you’re better than us, women (and men) probably like you.” Then you got really, really rich. That should’ve been enough, even for a greedy person.

So to take up guitar, then practice with another celebrity so you can play at A CHARITY EVENT was just an extra kick in the junk for the rest of us. We (other men) hate you, please at least have the courtesy to unlearn guitar.


The New York Rangers travel looks soooo hard.

Okay, correct me if I’m wrong here, but did someone bring one of the Rangers a bowl of Kix to eat in his leather recliner? Maybe it was fruit on yogurt or something, but what the hell. That team plays the majority of their games within a few hours of home, and when they have to fly, they take a gigantic bean bag chair with a thousand masseuses and nine personal chefs and I assume a small hammock near a tiny pond where guys can go fishing to relax. I’m over the “hardships of travel” for NHLers. /minor league sleeper bus’d


Sometimes John Tortorella is really nice to his players.

Heading into the new season of 24/7, most people were looking forward to seeing John Tortorella fly off the handle. And while he does that a few times (usually in a controlled manner), I was mostly impressed with how he speaks to his players outside of game time. In a video session he tells Michael Del Zotto he thought he was their best d-man on both sides of the puck, which is always nice to hear. (Though I do kinda think that was meant as motivation for the rest of the D, it was still cool.)


Bryzgalov enjoys the role of completely bonkers goalie, other guys don’t seem as thrilled.

I know Jaromir Jagr is joking when he gets up and sits at a different table alone once Bryz sits down, but you kinda get the feeling he’d rather be left off the HBO blooper reel. It seemed like guys will dip into Ilya’s World for a few minutes until they’re mentally spent, then they have to leave.

This was once again evident when Bryz tried to hook up one of his teammates with his husky, explaining that the white fur and blue eyes is basically just a gorgeous blonde woman with blue eyes. If I man use the stylings of Peter King: His rocker? He’s off it.


Zack Rinaldo reminds me of my mother when video games just came out.

After we got a Nintendo, every gaming system was a Nintendo to my mother (and most people of her generation, I think). For some reason that reminds me of how older people can’t conjugate Twitter (“are you gonna Twitter that?”) these days.

Anyway, Zack Rinaldo says he used to “play Jaromir Jagr on Sega Genesis all the time,” (“Sega Genesis? Not “NHL ’94″ or anything?) including the claim “I didn’t used to be him though, I didn’t like that kind of player. I was always Lindros.” REALLY? Tell me more about this “Sega Genesis” game where you stayed one player the whole time.

I mean… did he make that up? That was weird.


Laviolette and Scott Hartnell had a great discussion about their careers.

Laviolette: “Congrats Hartsy, 200th goal. 200 more than I had.”

Hartnell: “Never had one?”

Laviolette: “…..”

Hartnell: ” …..”

Laviolette: “Twelve games. Zero points.”

I don’t know their relationship, so my take: that conversation was either super socially awkward or hilarious.


John Tortorella continues to say “end zone” like that’s a term other people say.

“We want to play in their end.” = Normal

“We want to play in their end-zone.” = Not even normal for football

Also, that man seems to have a ton of energy, doesn’t he? I dunno if I could work up the fire to rant for as long as he does. I’m jealous.


 Peter Laviolette is inspiring.

Am I the only one who thinks every one of his pre-game speeches are almost Braveheart-esque? The man’s an excellent motivator.


Mike Rupp says something refreshing during our very-PC times.

“I don’t always agree with staying out of the lineup until you’re 100%. Sometimes I think you just have to be good enough to get by.”

Obviously from a medical standpoint, that’s dumb dumb dumb. But I kind of agree that once you sign a contract, you’ve made a commitment to a team and those teammates that when you can go, you go. After knee surgery you probably should wait til you’re near perfect. After a concussionyou should wait til you’re perfect. But there’s a lot of injuries I don’t want to see my teammate taking a day off with.


Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in awhile: Bryzgalov made a good point.

In sum: “D-man are supposed to block shots. They don’t have goalie gear on. So who’s crazy – me or them?”

That sound logic came after he shared a sentiment similar to how I felt as a hockey player. “Sometimes I love it. Other times I hate it.”

Meanwhile, the GM who signed him to a nine-year contract is thinking “but you never actually say that. Now people are going to think you’re disinterested when you’re playing poorly.”


Referees in the NHL are so great because they communicate.

If you’re a hockey player, you’ve dealt with The Ref That Won’t Talk To You. He won’t explain anything, he’s a dictator. His way or the highway. It’s infuriating.

Notice the amount of respect (for the most part) that goes back and forth between the players and refs? You have to, or you lose those talking privileges. I really admired Laviolette saying “frickin’” instead of swearing when he was talking to the ref. He was furious, but there’s implied respect there.

I’m going to write more on this later. We had an awesome moment when the ref agrees with Max Talbot – “that was a bad call” – but explained to him why he made it. I wish we always had that access – seeing them chat about calls and non-calls in their dressing room was mesmerizing.


 The HBO cameras caught Mike Rupp’s eyebrow starting to bleed.

Like, the very first drop. It was incredible.


Fedentenko stayed down on the ice after getting a high-stick to the face, and I assume a chainsaw to the legs.

I have no problem with guys going down after a stick to the face. It stuns you, and you want to make sure you get the call (of course). But we’re really gonna stop the game so you can hold your face? Get off and get it sewn up, you’re an adult. (I hate sounding like that, but come on. Am I right here or no?)


Scott Hartnell is Dr. Hook McCracken. Or possibly Carl Racki.

Down 4-0, Hartnell tries to run a Boston Bruins player and has to answer to Johnny Boychuk.

After they fight and are skating in different directions, Hartnell yells over his shoulder “I’ll f**kin’ put my stick in your teeth!”

Geez. Settle down big fella.


All in all, I’d say episode two was a little less thrilling than episode one (but still great), mostly because it started off with the Lundqvist-plays-guitar sequence, and not something hockey-based. Most of the “humanizing” pieces are good, I thought that one missed.

For more thoughts and analysis, tune into the Backhand Shelf Podcast, which should post around 2 p.m. EST. Once again, we’ll be bringing the audio clip thunder.