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HBO 24/7 Flyers/Rangers Episode 3 Recap: Giroux returns, but Flyers lose Winter Classic Prelude


For once, the episode starts with the Flyers, although not the way most of us would have liked.

Coach Laviolette starts things off by ripping his team a new one after another lackluster performance against Colorado. Coach assumed the Flyers’ blow out loss to the Bruins a few days prior was just a bump in the road, but the team’s play over the first two periods against the Avalanche is unacceptable to Laviolette, and he lets them know it.Andrej Meszaros is checked by Brian Boyle. AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams

In a game the Flyers eventually lose in a shootout, you don’t see Laviolette’s post game speech. However, the beyond disgusted look on his face as the team prepares to fly to Dallas is worth a thousand words.

Meanwhile, the Rangers prepare for a holiday skate in Bryant Park and an ugly sweater party.

'Token reminder of how great New York is' reference of the night- Mike Rupp. Yes Mike, there is no other place in the universe to be in New York than Christmas....

The Rangers then get down to business as Rupp drops the gloves against the Devils and begins what will be a series of trash talking throughout the episode. Rangers’ coach John Tortorella snaps yet again after watching the Rangers subpar play in the first period, but the team later comes alive and pulls out an eventual 4-1 win. This is the Rangers’ third game in four nights. And oh yeah, that lame-ass Broadway hat is awarded again for the player of the game. I know I’m ragging on New York for all its pretentiousness, but that really is lame. Come on...........

The scene shifts back to Dallas, where a hesitant Cluade Giroux is scheduled to play for the first time in four games. After some encouragement from Laviolette, Giroux is on the other end of some trash talking from Stars’ enforcer Steve Ott during when he takes to the ice. Giroux promptly shoves it in his face with a goal seconds after the faceoff.

Ott isn’t finished. Prior to the intermission, Ott and Laviolette exchange words that lead into a shoving match as they walk up the tunnel. Laviolette may have been a little aggressive while trying to beat Ott up the runway, but he was able to laugh it off after the Flyers 4-1 win. Giroux’s return was a strong one, adding three assists in addition to his goal.

Back in New York, Rangers’ right winger Marian Gaborik buys a Christmas tree and the Rangers knock off the Islanders, setting the stage for the Winter Classic prelude against the Flyers the next night.

During the game, Laviolette and his staff are scouting the Rangers at a nearby bar while a replay of his shoving match with Ott is shown on the big screen. It’s one of the episodes funnier moments.Flyers-Rangers photo: Getty Images

Just prior to the Rangers win against the Islanders, Tortorella warns his team not to lose sight on the game at hand, which can be easily done while anticipating the Flyers- which will be (up to this point) the biggest game of the year. The Rangers followed Tortorella’s advice and beat the orange and black rather handily, 4-1.  It was an ugly and physical game, which saw Flyers’ rookie Tom Sestito talking non-stop trash to the Rangers, and Rupp was talking trash to former Ranger Jody Shelley. And oh yeah, there were some bruhahas as well.

Give the Rangers credit, they stepped up, and the Flyers didn’t. The loss put the two teams in a first place tie, and we can only hope that the Winter Classic is a better game.

And yes, the Broadway hat was given to Ralph Fiennes (I mean Henrik Lundqvist).

The episode ends with the teams getting a few days off for Christmas. Scotty Hartnell celebrates by having several Flyers over to his penthouse, while Ilya Bryzgalof spends the holidays with his family and his five faces (You have to watch it to know what I mean). On the Rangers end, you have Brian Boyle, who heads up to Boston to hang out with his family, which consists of (gulp) 12 brothers and sisters!!!

The crew at Citizens Bank Park is then shown setting up the rink for Monday’s game. All three episodes come down to Monday. Let’s hope this lives up to the hype!

Also check out:

Jerry Sandusky to the Eagles: The Top 5 Most Shocking Philadelphia Sports Stories of 2011

Boise State Coach Chris Petersen is Penn State's Number One Priority

HBO 24/7 Flyers/Rangers Episode 2 Recap

HBO 24/7 Flyers/Rangers Epsode 1 Recap

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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