I took copious notes on this one, so if you all point out something I missed again, that's totally on me.
- The team is packing up in Montreal for their nine-day, four-game road trip out west, and P.K. Subban is ever-prepared with his stetson on already. Alain Gagnon and Pierre Ouellette run us through everything that goes on behind the scenes when the Habs go on the road, and by the end of it, I am exhausted. No detail is missed, down to hockey tape and the straps to keep Carey Price's socks up. P.K. helps out carrying sticks, big smiles and singing "Physical".
- The team boards the plane to voiceover by Marc Bergevin talking about how a lot of the players are from the west and it's a good bonding experience to have the team together like this. "The weather is good and so are the spirits." The guys look all sharp in their shirts and blazers, and Boods (Booooods) shouts to the cameras on the tarmac that Lars Eller is the NHL's "Second star of the week right here, fellas!" and Lars looks adorably embarrassed.
- The cameras then thoughtfully capture the guys in various stages of undress as soon as they get on the plane, getting comfy for the four-hour flight. My notes here say: "Changing on the plane, oooh la la."
- In-flight entertainment for the boys includes several players playing cards, à la Richard-Harvey-Béliveau on the train all those years ago, but best buds P.K. (still in his stetson) and Carey sit and play hockey video games, awww.
- The team's first stop is Calgary, and Rene Bourque is back home. The cameras visit Rene's hometown of Lac la Biche, and his sister Nadia tells us that Rene, being an aboriginal NHL hockey player, sees being a role model as a serious responsibility. We see his childhood photos (and he was cute with a capital Q) and go into the room where his father is "hoarding" all of Rene's hockey memorabilia to the point where his wife is getting mad; trophies, articles, etc., right down to letters he's received from children, which are carefully inserted into cellophane sleeves and filed in binders. His proud dad Gary tells how Rene made the WHL's Saskatoon Blades (although the French subtitles call them the "Blaze"), but decided to go NCAA instead. Gary says that Rene would tell any young person in Lac la Biche, not just players, that education is a priority. Indeed, Rene got his Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin/Madison. We get a glimpse of Rene's girlfriend when they go out for dinner with his parents. Rene stops to sign autographs after dinner - someone in Calgary must have instagrammed or tweeted his location. Or maybe he checked in on Foursquare. Anyway, I guess when you go to dinner with a camera crew you're bound to be noticed.
- Brian Gionta joins the team separately the evening of the game as we now know his son was ill in Montreal. Bergevin says that as soon as Gio told him he had a family matter, for him there was no question that he had to see to that, as family comes before everything - which he repeated several times. Family first.
- The night of the Calgary game - Michel Therrien drops the F bomb even during his pep talks. "The game doesn't start out the way he hopes," however, and being down 2-0 in the first intermission, Therrien summons both Josh Gorges and P.K. into his room. Gorges was kind of there for no reason, as this was really an opportunity to rip into P.K., in that now famous clip that was making the rounds earlier this week. Therrien asks P.K. questions but doesn't really want him to answer:
"What the (beep) are you doing there?"
"I'm trying to get the body up front..."
"Stop. Think you're playing well? Practice like you play. Is this summer (beep) hockey that I don't (beep) that I don't (beep) know? A charity game?"
(It's at this point that Gorges realizes he's really not needed there and just sneaks out of the room)
P.K. then sheepishly goes on to ask, "I got a question, Coach, just when you're, you first three or couple times you told me that, uh, my passing game?"
"I just, I don't know, like - "
"Skate! Move the (beep) puck. The guy was open, skate! You're not (beep) there! I know you're not there!"
- Actually it wasn't until I saw this episode that I knew Gorges was even in the room. All I'd heard previously was audio.
- So then P.K., no poor little petal after that dressing-down, goes out and SNIPES a shot into the net. Yeah, baby. Eller gets the next goal, but alas the Canadiens ultimately lose 3-2.
- In French, "Le coach ne le prend pas" obviously means: "The coach gets pissed the (beep) off". After the game Therrien charges back into his room and kicks a cooler of ice over, and JJ Daigneault and Gerard Gallant silently follow and look down at the unfortunate cooler as if to say, "Buddy, you should have stayed out of his way," and Therrien then leaves the room through the other door. Not a single word was heard in this scene, only what closed captioning tells us are "bips de censure". Some long and some short.
- In Edmonton, the team gets together for a little stretching session is some beautiful zen cupola, and by the end are jumping and laughing, in better spirits after that disappointing game. At the team meeting, Therrien gets each of the players who have scored so far this season to illustrate on the board where on the ice they scored from. Lars takes the longest because at that point he has scored FOUR. The object of this exercise was to show them that they score AT THE NET. "It's pretty simple."
- Budaj loses his mask during the Edmonton game, and we don't see off camera who says, "Atta boy, Boods, how to use your noggin!" but I like to think it was Brandon Prust. Budaj skates to the bench to get some words of praise from Carey, who then engages in a little wedding talk with a ref who got married in the same spot as he did.
- Lars's brother Mads and his dad take in the game in Edmonton, and Lars's doppleganger brother has some sweet words of admiration for him. Although Edmonton scores first, after that it's all Montreal. Brendan Gallagher has some words with a ref after being rammed into the net, after the ref says "No way", presumably to a request for a penalty shot, as Gally retorts, "I coulda scored!" Andrew Ference, trying to get some time on 24CH, apparently agrees with him. No matter, Gally turns around and scores anyway.
- Alex Galchenyuk feeds a beautiful pass to Gally which he doesn't score on, and then Gally apologizes at the bench, telling Galchenyuk that he owes him, especially after "missing the (beep) empty net." Gally then proves himself to be an "homme de parole" (French is seriously the best language) by giving Galchenyuk a beautiful pass of his own, which he capitalizes on and then celebrates.
- After the win in Edmonton, the team is in decidedly better spirits and boards the plane en route to British Columbia. Here, the camera crew visits Carey's home town of Anahim Lake in northern B.C. Carey tells us that the best thing about that place is its "remoteness" - he grew up on a 35-acre property with a creek running through it, which is where he learned how to fish and was also his first rink. Carey's dad used to make goalie masks, and made Carey his first mask. The owner of the general store paints another picture of Carey's dedicated parents who, when it became apparent that Carey was "something special" would drive Carey all the way to the town of Williams Lake two or three times a week to take him to practices and games. Carey's dad then decided it would just be quicker to just get an airplane, then flew him there instead.
- Carey's uncle, Shawn Holte, smiles and tells us that when Carey participated in the skills competition at juniors' tryouts, Carey was the fastest skater - "Goalie, right?" He then goes on, "What kind of a person is Carey Price? He's a real nice person. One of the best." He says Carey is good to the community and a good role model, signing autographs and talking to young people.
- Carey's 86-year-old grandmother shows us a picture of Carey with "his first deer", and says, "He likes to hunt. Skate, too." Carey is proud of his grandmother, who's lived most of her life doing things on her own. Aw, his granny.
- Carey likes to go up to Anahim Lake to "fish, and unwind. There's not a whole lot going on up there, it's peaceful for me."
- Back in Vancouver, before warmups P.K. is in the dressing room alone (with the cameras) and puts some Eric Church on a speaker and sings along to Smoke a Little Smoke. P.K. obviously hates the cameras, hashtag #sarcasm hashtag #ilovehim.
- At warmups, P.K. is in a good mood ... Price is also in a good mood, repeatedly trying to shove Ryan White's helmet off his newly-shaven head, like an annoying little brother. The coach is also in a good mood, skating to the bench and asking for some gum, joking that you seem tougher when you're chewing gum.
- Before the game, we see the team catching some of the Edmonton/Toronto game, then take to the ice for their pre-game skate where the Habs are treated like the "local team" - Habs fans are everywhere (I was there!!), noses pressed to the glass for the only time they'll see their team this year.
- Indeed, the sea of bleu-blanc-rouge erupts with chants of Go Habs Go! when Max Pacioretty scores the first goal and Carey makes some huge saves. The Canucks score in the second period to tie it, and the narrator says the Canucks fans "materialize." The own-goal on Luongo deflated the arena though, and we see the Habs laughing at the bench and the narrator says, "Luck smiles at the Canadiens, and they smile back." (French is the best.)
- At one point when icing is called on the Canadiens, Therrien loses his mind and shouts at the referee, wondering if he's wearing his (beep) Canucks jersey.
- Patch misses a penalty shot (RIGHT in front of me), but Plekanec then makes the score 3-1, and Josh scores too. Price is spectacular, "making Anahim Lake proud."
- After the game, we see a jubilant P.K., then Therrien ("Yeah, yeah, yeah!"), and finally Price come bouncing into the locker room. When you see this episode, by the way, somebody PLEASE make a GIF of Price bobbing his head and high-fiving the room. Please.
- We see Gally, probably just prior to his appearance on HNIC After Hours, with his family, who made the trip to see his game. George Stroumboulopoulos is also at the game, and afterwards P.K. invites him into the dressing room. Strombo chats with Bergevin, telling him to "keep winning." The cameras slow down to show Bergevin smiling, winking and giving him a thumbs up. Don't GIF that, just freeze that frame, blow it up and mail it to me.
More from Eyes On The Prize:
- No discipline from the NHL on Eric Nystrom's head shot on Daniel Briere
- Canadiens vs Predators - Game Recap - Head shots, rule bending, and poor performance ends the Habs' winning streak
- Canadiens vs. Predators: Top Six Minutes - Zebra Safari Edition
- Does Sylvain Lefebvre know what he's doing?
- Can the P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov pairing be the NHL's best?