The new season of 24CH premiered last night ... Tout est a recommencer, tout est a faire

Season two of the behind-the-scenes take on all things Habs, 24CH, debuted in French last night; here's the rundown.

I loved it last year. 24CH, the "reality show", or the cameras that follow the Habs around during hockey season, is back. As with last year, the first episode aired on the first Saturday game of the year, and I wasn't disappointed.

  • Even though the first scene featured a serious-faced Gary Bettmann riding up an escalator during lockout negotiations last season. How come this guy's totally normal face still provokes a raging case of the heebie jeebies?
  • In the last frame of last season's eight-second reminder, we see Lars Eller slamming into the ice after that hit during the playoffs. Disturbing and upsetting and, unfortunately, also a little foreshadowing for this episode.
  • It was cool to see training camp, and the camaraderie, and P.K. marching around, chattering all the time. This guy's clearly always in character. Which means he is just like that. And it's obvious he's one of those loveable pains-in-the-ass. McCarron walks by, dwarfing P.K. - "Big guy, eh? I'll confirm that one for you guys!"
  • They had a team dinner where the prospects were introduced by the players, after obviously providing a couple of helpful personal facts about themselves. Darren Dietz's favourite player apparently is Marc Bergevin. Which was obviously sarcastic. Which elicited a huge laugh. Darren is playing in Hamilton right now, coincidence? I THINK NOT.
  • Bergevin and even Therrien really know how to give good speech. Therrien mentioned, not character, per se, but how in order to make it, your attitude has to be the right one. "You can play with a bad shoulder, but you can't play with a bad attitude." (Except you, Pacioretty. You get better, okay.)
  • Sidebar: Pacioretty will have had more than a week off after missing only ONE game. Who's in charge of the stupid schedule? We wait all summer for hockey and now we have to wait four days between games? Four? Days??
  • The cameras were there, as with last year, for the inter-squad game preceding the preseason, where the fans got to line up to meet the players. This game had extra meaning, besides just the fun and a fan-appreciation opportunity, as any proceeds from ticket sales went to aid the rebuilding of the devastation at Lac Megantic. Goalie Zachary Fucale played his first game in the CH since being drafted in the summer, and was adorable and did not try to downplay his excitement at ALL. "Ca va etre le fun!!" and afterwards, "C'etait tellement cool, tellement cool!" Who says you can't show your feelings? Adorbs. Then Bergevin presented Fucale with his first contract and asked if he was nervous, and Fucale responded with the French equivalent to, "Um, YEAH. Duh!"
  • The Buffalo and Boston games got about 15 seconds of acknowledgment, the best six of which were of P.K. getting pissed at a ref for not calling a trip after the ref suggests P.K. tripped himself. P.K. also revealed his warm and fuzzy big-brother-of-the-year-ness by not tripping younger Bruin goaltender brother Malcolm during his first game in that jersey, even though P.K. wanted to, "so bad." P.S. Who else feels terrible for Malcolm that he has to be a Bruin?
  • Tinordi and Bournival figured prominently, deservedly so, in the preseason footage, both ultimately being rewarded with spots in the regular-season lineup after their exemplary preseason play. Maybe it's the mom in me, but I got a little verklempt when both these young men mentioned their parents as their first thoughts after achieving this moment.
  • We also saw about four seconds of Douglas Murray walking around with a weird kind of pirate eye-patch thing but across his naked chest. What was that thing? And is that all we'll see of Douglas Murray this year? (I hope?)
  • Leblanc got his now infamous "see ya next year, maybe" speech. Expectations are really huge on this young man. He took it like a gentleman, although he was obviously disappointed. The girlfriend, however, ooooh girl. McCarron also got sent back, to get quicker and stronger.
  • P.K. likes to dance for everyone in the locker room. Budaj doesn't like the music. Even after the 6-0 blowout against the Hurricanes.
  • October 1: The traditional season-opener against the Leafs, and Bergevin gives the team a quick pep-talk (wearing tan shoes with a navy suit and grey tie - I just don't know). Bergevin gets lots of camera time, by the way. I mean, if I were a camera I'd spend a lot of time on that face, don't get me wrong. Therrien does NOT get a lot of camera time. I'm thinking this comes down to personal choice, don't you? Therrien, other than when he was laughing at the training camp dinner, always seems grumpy and intense. Which is totally fine with me, by the way. But I can see him telling the cameras to piss off.
  • This is where we see George Parros in the locker room, bouncing on the bench, pumped for his first Montreal game. The energy is high, and although Parros had two fights that night, we only see the horrifying clip of his face slamming into the ice after being pulled down in his second fight with Orr. We all saw it that night, his trying to get himself up, but with that empty look - almost righting himself completely out of inertia. P.K. has a mic and you hear him telling the bench, "His eyes were open, but he's not there." Bergevin, like a concerned family member (and team GM), waiting for Parros at ice level, pacing and shaking his head. I wonder if, as they later showed Bergevin and Therrien alone watching tape, Bergevin was right in stating the Parros was "correct", or "okay though" because he was speaking and only taken to hospital out of precaution; or if he was merely hoping that is so./

That was it, short and sweet - not like last year's one-hour premiere. Still, I wasn't left wanting for more. There's great editing and production on this show, and I hope it goes on and on an on and on forever. Although as our pal @WinterLions mentioned on Twitter:

The English version of this episode airs this Wednesday on TSN and TSN2.

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