*******SPOILER ALERT. SPOILER ALERT. SPOILER ALERT. SPOILER ALERT. SPOILER ALERT.****************
Episode two of HBO's hit 24/7 aired tonight and it delivered on and topped last weeks episode with two new stars shining through and very interesting side of John Tortorella that one would not expect.
The show started off on the off day between the Rangers loss against the Stars and their road trip to St. Louis. Our first segment featured everyone's favorite Swedish goalie Henrik Lundqvist travelling downtown Manhattan to a jam session with tennis legend John McEnroe for a benefit concert in February...because that is what Henrik Lundqvist does on his day off, also, he drives a Maserati.
Next, we visit Dan Girardi's humble abode and meet the first of the two new stars, his 18 month old son Landon Girardi who stole his segment by ignoring his dad and focusing totally on the HBO cameras that were in his room. This is the stuff that HBO excels at; showing the viewers at home the lives of the players and revealing that they are in fact humans (I did not know Dan Girardi had a son).
24/7 then follows the Rangers on their flight to St. Louis and explains that Tortorella scheduled a practice in St. Louis once the plane lands. So HBO does what it does best and shined a light on what goes on behind the scenes. Showing Rangers equipment manager and his staff quickly load the team's gear onto the plane and unloading it once it got to the arena. As Brandon put it in the open thread "HBO can make equipment movement exciting."
After this short segment HBO took us inside Torts' film session, pointing out that Del Zotto was the best defender both offensively and defensively against Dallas, as well as pointing out to Anton Stralman needs to get back and cover a man.
Then came the game against the Blues and we saw John Tortorella tear into his lifeless team with a very motivated and passionate speech and how the Rangers could not find a spark to their game after that speech is beyond me.
After the low point of St. Louis we were introduced to Liam Trainer, a young Rangers fan who suffers from Cerebral Palsy and suddenly...a giant onion and dust cloud settled over New York. Seeing Torts talk about Liam was a real eye opening moment as it showed the real person underneath the hard exterior.
The last Rangers highlight from this episode came from the Phoenix game and the crazy finish that ended with Brad Richards scoring with 0.1 seconds left on the clock. We also got our first shot of the Broadway Hat being passed in the locker room from Gaby to Richards.
Some thoughts after the jump
I really enjoyed Torts in this episode because we saw the different sides to him: The Coach in the film room and during the practice, the Hardass in the locker room trying to wake his team up and the caring man he is when he talks about Liam.
I want Henrik Lundqvist's car, and clothes...and life
Landon Girardi was going to be the breakout star of this episode until HBO introduced us to little Liam. Man, that dust keeps swirling every time I think of that kid.
Ilya Bryzgalov was, well, Bryz. From flashing the camera the cover of a Tolstoy book he was reading on the plane to annoying Jaromir Jagr at the team meal, and comparing his husky to, and I'm not kidding here, "A hot girl".
Overall, I really can't wait for next week's episode as it will highlight the Rangers taking on their division rivals including the Flyers
So guys, what are your thoughts on tonight's episode?