Road to the Winter Classic: Episode 1

Welcome to guest blogger, Elodie (@hockeyfied), who will be recapping EPIX’s Road to the NHL Winter Classic for us! We are very happy to have her. She’ll help you relive the show’s highlights and get ready for every Wednesday night. Reminder: If you missed Episode One (because you were watching Episode VII of something else!), you can see it on Just create an account and log yo’self in – it’s free.

And now, we turn to Elodie…

epix wide

With weeks to go until New Year’s Day and its symbolic game, this year’s Road to the NHL Winter Classic is back on EPIX, this time trying to give us a glimpse of the lives of the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins.

If you don’t know, this is a rivalry for the ages. One of – if not the – most bitter in the NHL. To this day, these teams have faced each other more than any other two teams in the league, and they simply really, really dislike each other.

The kids who spawned a thousand memes.

The kids who spawned a thousand memes.


Let me be honest – I’m a Bruins fan, inclined to turn a side-eye to every bit of the show that is about the Habs. Yet even I have to admit that if there’s one thing this first episode of Road the the NHL Winter Classic did well, it was keeping the focus on a player that it is almost impossible to hate: PK Subban.

Related: PK as Don Cherry makes Strombo pee his pants.

Related: PK as Don Cherry makes Strombo pee his pants. [Video]


There’s a beautiful moment, in the opening for the Habs’ section of the show, where PK putting on the most outrageous red fur coat. My friends and I couldn’t help but wonder, does he dress like that all the time, or is it just for the cameras? We could completely believe he wears this thing out every day.

Note quite this suit from the NHL Awards, but close.

Echoes of his NHL Awards suit


Turns out, the coat is for the cameras, but his teammates fall for the joke and their reactions are glorious.

There’s also this pretty interesting bit where PK lets us in into one of his “hobbies”: suit designing. He says it himself, he likes to look good. And he does. Can’t wait to see what he pulls out for the Winter Classic.

Okay, enough Habs. None of this compares to the delightful moments with the Bruins we get to see! From Zdeno Chara walking around Boston, going to his favorite barber (the same one that shaved his playoff beard after winning the Cup, the one Chara brought the Cup to) and stopping by a youth hockey team from Halifax for pictures and autographs, to Brad Marchand soulfully gazing out of his bedroom window before putting on a (very sharp) suit, it’s all pretty intimate.

[Editors note: You know I didn’t write that about Marchand! *P]

But no moment is more intimate that the few minutes we get with Patrice Bergeron. Bergy, flawless, perfect Patrice, is famously known his discretion.  Never would I have expected to see 8-week old baby Zack featured on the show. And yet, this happened…

:: synchronized swoon ::

:: synchronized swoon ::


So ovaries everywhere imploded in hushed whimpers. The show also featured Stephanie Bergeron gushing about how good a father Patrice is, and I had to rewind and rewatch a couple of times, making pained noises throughout the whole thing.

The preview for the upcoming episodes also seem to show that we’ll be introduced to Tuukka Rask’s tiny blonde Finnish baby, which is something that nobody expected either, because these guys, they don’t share.

Cindy Lou Tuuk? Cindy Tuu Who? I can't make this joke work.

Cindy Lou Tuuk? Cindy Tuu Who? I can’t make this joke work.


Other awww-inducing moments of note: Patches and his tiny child playing about in the bowels of the Bell Center:


Yankees hat. This kid is good.


Mainly, my brain short-circuited post-Bergy and I retained very little of everything else. To be fair, as first episodes go, this one was heavy on exposition. Hopefully they’ll find the hooks they had least year, like Latta and Wilson’s bromance, or a bevvy of family holiday skates to pack it all up with cuteness and babies everywhere. I am eagerly awaiting more baby Bergy, and Rask, and the exceptionally cute baby Krejci:

From the lovely Mrs. Krejci - @naomikrejci

From the lovely Mrs. Krejci – @naomikrejci


This show has always been at its best when there’s more than a rivalry narrative to hang onto, so I’ll look forward to next week’s show. The Bruins played some good games (sayonara, Penguins!) while Episode 2 was filming. I, for one, will be satisfied with babies everywhere, but I may be easy to please.

[Thanks, Elodie! See you next week. *P]

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