By Stefan Kubus –
Head coaches Mike Babcock and Randy Carlyle face the cameras quite a bit in the second installment of HBO’s “24/7” episode. Both teams are struggling as we near the halfway point of the season, so you can imagine the coaches on both sides becoming rather animated. Here are the things that stood out to me during the second “24/7” episode (warning, there are some spoilers):
- Jimmy Howard was shown in a purple hospital gown getting the MRI in Detroit that revealed his MCL sprain.
- Justin Abdelkader and Brendan Smith live across the hall from each other in apartments.
- Smith said Babcock asked him if he wanted to be matched up against Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby.
- Riding down to The Joe, you see a person spin out in their truck on the snowy Detroit roads. It was a friendly reminder of the nightmarish road conditions metro Detroit experienced last week.
- Abdelkader was shown talking to doctors in the locker room after taking the hit to the head by Pittsburgh’s Derek Engelland against Pittsburgh.
- Babcock told Tomas Tatar at the end of that Pittsburgh game not to hang his head, calling it “bad body language.”
- The Maple Leafs celebrated their big, 7-3 win over Chicago to “We Can’t Stop” by Miley Cyrus, something forward Tyler Bozak said enforcers Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren seemed to like.
- When Tomas Jurco was called up, he and Babcock were looking at the depth chart when Babcock told him not to worry about where he’s playing, just to go out and have fun.
- Many of the Maple Leafs players have their own ping-pong paddles and hold intense games in the locker room.
- A group of young Maple Leafs went to dinner, racked up a $735 dinner bill and threw their credit cards in a hat to see who would pay it.
- HBO captured the NHL Winter Classic Legacy Initiative event at Clark Park, that MiHockey was there to cover.
- The referee called both Dion Phaneuf and Pittsburgh’s Harry Zolnierczyk for unsportsmanlike conduct for jousting before a face-off, saying “You know what, f*** both you guys. Let’s go,” before sending them to the box.
- Phaneuf and Crosby’s conversation with the referees and themselves about dirty hits provided some colorful language and entertaining chirps.
- Babcock joked that his 16-year-old daughter was ready to go in the lineup when he was talking about the injuries and depth chart.
- Toronto forward Nazem Kadri said nobody knows him better as a player than his father, Sam, whom HBO showed Kadri having a conversation with before his game against Florida. Kadri said his father likes to give him a scouting report before games.
- One peculiarity is that the Florida Panthers went 3-0 against both the Red Wings and Maple Leafs across the first two “24/7” episodes.
- After the first period of both Toronto’s game against Florida and Detroit’s game against Anaheim last Tuesday, Carlyle and Babcock did not want HBO in the locker rooms, with Babcock even telling the cameraman to “get the f*** out” after he was already in the room.