While the consensus seems to be that the second episode of HBO's 24/7 Penguins-Capitals wasn't nearly as good as the first installment, there's no questioning that it's still fascinating, riveting television for any hockey fan.
That's only helped by the gamut of emotions displayed in episode No. 2. It all starts off exactly where last week's episode finished off: the Penguins are riding a 12-game winning streak, feeling invincible, while the Capitals can't seem to buy a win, despite the fact that they make tens of millions of dollars.
But all of that quickly changes. The Penguins touch down in Philadelphia, where after a lot of swearing directed towards the Flyers in the tunnel under Wells Fargo Center, they finally lose a game and we finally see a glimpse of how the Crosby's boys act after a loss.
Meanwhile, in Washington, the Caps begin the episode with more F-bombs from their coach and more losing. Oh, and lots of sad general managers walking around press boxes:
But by the end of the episode, everything's back to normal. After back-to-back losses, the Penguins get back on the winning side of things with a win over the Phoenix Coyotes. More importantly, the Capitals finally break their loooooong losing skid with a come-from-behind win over the Ottawa Senators.
Afterward, we get out first glimpse at how they celebrate a win:
Ladies and gentlemen, your New Jersey Capitals.
Some other highlights from Episode 2:
- Mike Knuble's get-the-fuck-up-and-play speech after the second period of the Caps game in Boston was just awesome. We don't really think of Knuble as a leader on the Capitals, but it all makes sense. He's a veteran, one of the oldest players in the locker room, and he proved it with that speech.
Today it's 3-0, and it will not fucking be one of these laughers again. It will not fucking turn into a 5-0, 7-0 fucking laugher, where they're fucking giggling getting out of their fucking mess here. We are fucking down 3-0 and we are going to come back and we're gonna fucking win this thing. We're not fucking going in the tank. That is enough right there. That's fucking more than a year's worth. It's not going to happen again.
The coolest part is that the Caps almost came back and won.
- Mario Lemieux still has it. I found myself sitting up on the edge of my seat watching the part of the episode where members of the Pens organization take the ice for a pick-up game. It's not just an average pick-up game when No. 66 is out there.
"They woulda showed that one all over the Internet if he made that one." Hey, guess what. We're showing it all over the Internet anyway.
- Sidney Crosby wears a lucky cup. He's worn it for years, and it very well might be the most disgusting piece of sports equipment on the planet.
- Alex Ovechkin lives with his parents. "Who else is going to take care of me?"
- Hey, referees are people too. After the Pens-Rangers game last Wednesday, former Director of Officiating and current NHL referee Stephen Walkon congratulates partner Dean Morton for his "ballsy" call that disallowed what would've tied the game at 2-2. New York went on to win big. No regrets in the officials locker room, though:
- Mike Green rides a Vespa.
Next week: the Penguins and Capitals keep winning, just in time to meet each other head on.
(Video H/T: The Pensblog)