The NHL lockout has been in effect for nearly two months now, and so, with no actual games to report on, we're going to link to a different hockey video every day until a new CBA is reached. Today: HBO's terrific 24/7.
There may still be an NHL season, but we know already that there will not be a Winter Classic in 2012-13. Staging an event of that size requires considerable prep time, so the league pulled the plug on the 2012 game at Michigan Stadium earlier this month. And without a Winter Classic, there won't be a new season of HBO's 24/7. As far as we're concerned, that's just as disappointing.
We wrote a lot about the show last year, but it's worth repeating how excellent it's been through two seasons as it follows the Winter Classic participants in the weeks leading up to the big game. The show accomplishes so much in just four episodes: It raises the profile of entertaining figures like Bruce Boudreau and Ilya Bryzgalov. It provides some real insight into what goes on in an NHL locker room, not just by showing the coaches' expletive-filled between-period speeches, but in little ways, as well. It humanizes players by providing a look at their lives away from the rink. It allows us to see what's said on the ice and on the bench during games, which is regularly fascinating and/or hilarious. It uses music perfectly. And Liev Schreiber's narration makes even a random December game seem important and worthy of our attention.
And so, on Day 60 of the NHL lockout, here are the final five and a half minutes from last season's 24/7, featuring the Rangers and Flyers. If you're ever looking to turn someone onto the sport, start by showing them this video. It's hockey television at its finest. Enjoy.