On Thursday I mentioned eight things I expected to happen during this year’s HBO 24/7, specifically for the Red Wings. Now just because one team is a perennial contender and the other was just chosen for the Winter Classic because of their fan base’s ability to buy tickets doesn’t mean there won’t be some interesting things to look out for from that team too. Here they are, or at least what I think they will be:
Joffrey Lupul will love every minute of it
This one’s not hard to see coming. There are times when he’s basically the only guy in the room who shows a shred of personality and I can’t wait to hear all the funny stuff he has to say to the cameras. Besides, he’s gonna have to keep himself occupied with something while his teammates are out there being not injured. For the record, his full name is Joffrey Douglas Sheldon Lupul. Fantastic.
Phil Kessel won’t
I’m not going to say that Kessel’s uncomfortable around cameras, but there is no one on this team that seems less suited to be playing in hockey’s largest market. There are various clips of him online that confirm what I’m saying here; just put “Phil Kessel awkward” into YouTube and enjoy.
James Reimer will be completely adorable
Those who follow the team are already aware of Reimer’s sweetness in interviews, and have been since he arrived in the middle of the 2010-2011 season to give them their first look at competent goaltending since before Bettman Lockout II. He’s basically a small town guy who smiles. A lot. The Leafs might be one of the league’s most hated teams, but by the end of 24/7, Reimer will be one of the league’s most adored players.
The cameras will catch footage of Leafs management using highly advanced stats to evaluate players
Just kidding. Plus/Minus and Punched Faces for the win!
Trevor Smith said something really cool after scoring the OT winner against Dallas
That wasn’t his first time scoring an overtime goal in pro hockey. Here he is in game six of the AHL’s Eastern Conference Finals. Here’s the goal against the Stars. If he didn’t shout out “IT’S ON LIKE DONKEY KONG!” as he meets Phaneuf and Gardiner on the boards there, he’ll have left me very disappointed. Seriously, that should be his thing.
Dion Phaneuf will throw the big Christmas get-together
He wears the ‘C’, and it’s not like his wife (Elisha Cuthbert) isn’t used to the cameras. While we’re on the subject of Phaneuf, I should point out how excited I am to hear what his pissed off teammates have to say on the bench after getting hit by one of his slapshots. I mean sure, by the eighth or ninth time it’ll get a bit boring, but at first it will be really cool.
The Leafs will have changed their post game victory song
Earlier in the season it came out that they were using Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” as their victory song, and I fully expect that by the time HBO cameras catch them celebrating two points in the locker room, it will be something different. This is less of a prediction, and more of a wish. Anything else. Please.
“Greatest fans in the world” will be said at every opportunity
If there’s anything Leafers love more than the actual team, it’s being told how loyal and supportive they are. The Leafs PR team seems to have picked up on this, and they do a good job instructing their players to comment on how great the fans are any chance they can. I’m guessing JVR will be the first guy to say it, but don’t be surprised if Smith drops a few in there. Of course, Liev Schreiber will be sure to mention ‘The Passion That Unites Us All’ with every establishing transition shot.
And that concludes my HBO 24/7 predictions. Stay tuned for weekly post-episode awards, and feel free to leave your own predictions in the comments.
Born a hockey fan, will die a hockey fan.