Here are six takeaways from the second episode of Epix’s behind-the-scenes look at the Capitals and Blackhawks leading up to the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day. Check out last week’s recap here and watch both episodes on demand here.
Later in the episode, Backstrom and his girlfriend take Haley to the park. Babies > roads.
Alex Ovechkin Gets Ice Cream at the Wizards Game
Ovechkin and teammate Evgeny Kuznetsov had front-row seats for the Wizards’ win over the Jazz at Verizon Center last week. Epix’s crew followed Ovechkin as he made a mid-game ice cream run and posed for selfies with admiring fans. “Ice cream,” Ovechkin says. “I need ice cream.”
After the game, Ovechkin, who wore a John Wall jersey, visited the Wizards’ locker room. He met Marcin Gortat and told Nene about the two Olympic gold medals his mother won as a member of the Soviet Union’s women’s basketball team. Nene seemed impressed.
Capitals players and coaches apparently love their ice cream. You might remember that former Caps boss Bruce Boudreau made a brief stop at the Haagen-Dazs in Tysons Corner while doing some last-minute Christmas shopping with his sons in an episode of HBO’s “24/7” back in 2010.
Reliving the 20-Round Shootout Loss
Episode 1 premiered while the Capitals were in the middle of the longest shootout in NHL history, an eventual 20-round defeat at Florida. If you were thinking, ‘Man, it sure would’ve been cool to have experienced that historic loss from the Capitals’ bench,” well, you were in luck.
Rookie Michael Latta was surprised that Trotz called his number in the sixth round.
“No, I’m not [bleeping] lying,” Trotz says.
The bench enjoyed Brooks Orpik’s goal in the 17th. “The triple deke, holy [bleep]!” Tom Wilson says.
“[Goalie] coach [Mitch] Korn has a pitched tent in the stands right now,” a Capitals player says as the shootout drags on.
“Are you [bleeping] kidding me?” Ovechkin says after missing in the 20th.
After the loss, Trotz wasn’t even mad.
“That’s a good point on the road,” he says.
Mike Green’s Speech
The mood in the locker room was decidedly more upbeat after Eric Fehr’s overtime goal lifted the Capitals to a 5-4 win at Columbus two nights later. Brooks Orpik awards the post-game fake beard and stovepipe hat went to Mike Green, who assisted on the game-tying and game-winning goals. Green’s teammates demand a speech.
“You know what, boys, tonight — ” Green starts, before he’s interrupted by cheers throughout the locker room. “Tonight, the difference was the team toughness. We stuck together and that was the [bleeping] difference in tonight’s game, so we keep rolling here, we keep getting our points and we keep winning.”
Cheers fill the locker room again. Jason Chimera is especially excited.
“Stay professional, boys, stay professional,” Trotz says as he walks out of the locker room. “You wonder why I’ve lost my hair.”
Karl Alzner and John Carlson Treat the Equipment and Training Staff
On a road trip to New Jersey, we learn that Capitals defensemen Karl Alzner and John Carlson occasionally treat the Capitals’ equipment and training staffs to fancy dinners as a token of their appreciation.
R.I.P. Clint Reif
The episode ends on a somber note. We’re introduced to Blackhawks assistant equipment manager Clint Reif, who describes the various requests and personalities he encounters in his job. Duncan Keith, for instance, likes his skates relaced after every game. Andrew Shaw doesn’t know how to shut up. On Sunday morning, Reif was found dead in his home. He was 34.
A couple of other notes:
There’s an interesting exchange between Trotz and Ovechkin at practice when the coach becomes frustrated with his star:
Trotz: “Sleep at night, kid.”
Ovechkin: “I was.”
Trotz, lauhging: “OK then, be sharp. Pay attention.”
Carlson’s sock game is strong.