Tuesday, 29 October 2013

24 CH, 2013-14 season, Episode 2: Notes

1)  The show starts with most Canadiens players being asked what their nickname is, and the much-joked about practice holds true, most are arrived at by adding a "ie" or "er" to their name, so Jarred becomes "Tinner", and Francis Bouillon is "Frankie", etc.  One of the few exceptions is Douglas Murray, whose nickname is Crankshaft, which is awesome, I'd kill to have a cool nickname like that.  As to how it's come about, we can all surmise, but let it be noted that he did date Elin Nordegren for a while.

2)  The team practice in Lac Mégantic is treated soberly enough, nothing too maudlin.  We see the boys seeing the devastation for the first time through the windows of the team bus, and the mood is understandably subdued.

What can't be debated is the natural affinity the locals have for the French-Canadian players.  We see the reception Daniel Brière enjoys with the locals running the show at the arena, easily exchanging with them about the catastrophe and the impact it had, and Francis Bouillon joking around with the fans in the stands after the practice, asking the crowd if they want P.K.'s gloves, and in the autograph line how David Desharnais along with Francis and Daniel enjoy an instant connection with the fans.  Not that the anglophone players are left out, we see a fan ribbing Ryan about why he shaved off his hair, and a kid agog at being so close to P.K. Subban.

3)  Cool moment when we see Jean-Jacques Daigneault and Brendan Gallagher playing video game hockey with Daniel Brière's son, he and Brendan are chirping each other pretty good.  It confirms with me how much I want to be a pro hockey player: how cool would it be to play hockey for a living, and have a huge catered lunch supplied by your employer every day.  It might be too late for me though.

4)  Nathan Beaulieu is called up, and Michaël Bournival is told he's playing his first ever NHL game against the Flyers.  He's so giddy he can't stop himself from giggling.

5)  How scary does that lineup look at the centre position?  Claude Giroux, Vincent Lecavalier, and Sean Couturier.  On paper anyway, they're not quite firing on all cylinders yet, but still.... 


6)  It's up to Daniel Brière's dad to establish his bona fides as a Canadiens fan.  We see the ice rink he built for his son in the back yard, and every picture shows him in a Canadiens jersey.  

I still don't like the signing, still think he's the wrong fit for the team, but it's hard to hold a grudge against the guy when you meet his family like that and see him dealing with others in a genuine, humble manner.  I just hope he can prove me wrong.

7)  Now we meet Maman Bournival.  How weird must it be to be sitting in the stands watching your kid play his first NHL game in the New Forum.

8)  Ryan White with the quote of the night, when told that his penalty might expire and allow him to get back in the game if there's overtime:  "Well I haven't seen a shift in overtime in about ten years, but..." 

9)  Stroke of luck and of genius by the producers of the show, they film a young fan who happened to catch a signed puck from Carey Price, the game's first star.  They follow him home on the Métro, and the boy explains what he'll do with the puck.  We're let into his home, and see him place it on his bedside table next to other Canadiens paraphernalia.  

The thing is, Carey Price is actually his favourite player, he's wearing a sweater bearing his name.  If Carey Price doesn't derive extra motivation from this scene and make an extra five saves this season because of it, I'll eat my Canadiens towel.

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