When we first found out that “Road to the Winter Classic” was going to be moving off of premium cable to NBCSN, I was a little worried. I wasn’t sure if that meant there would be a drop off in production quality or not. Obviously there’s a lot more censoring that needs to go into the show now and you can’t just listen to a coach go off on a “fuck this, fuck that, fuck you” type of tirade. And then obviously nothing will ever be as good as listening to Liev Shreiber’s golden pipes dance all over the narration. With that being said, it is pretty nice now that the episodes are easily accessible now and can just end up on NHL’s YouTube account. It was such a pain in the ass trying to figure out how to watch the show when it was on Epix. But yeah, here’s episode 1 of NHL’s Road To The Winter Classic and despite the fact that it’s not on premium cable anymore, the show is still the best.
I said this before and I’ll say it again. Any mic’d up hockey is better than no mic’d up hockey. For all of us out there who really love the game, you know that even just the sounds are enough for you. The sounds of the skates tearing across the ice. The sounds of the shots. The sounds of the hits. The sounds of hockey could kick The Beatles’ ass every single day. So any time you give me a show where I can hear that ice crunching under a pair of Bauers? I’m all in.
And no matter what channel this show is on, it’s always great to get a behind-the-scenes look on what the standard day-to-day lives of these guys looks like. As fans it’s always so easy to just look at all of these guys as athletes who are out on the ice to entertain us. It’s always so easy to forget that they’re actual people who have actual lives away from the rink. So whether it’s seeing Pominville’s family playing around in the basement or listening to how much going back to New York means to Shattenkirk. It’s just cool to see a side of these guys that you don’t get to see on the ice. And oh yeah, it’s never bad to see the absolute rockets these guys are always wheeling around.
This is always the best time of the year to be a hockey fan. You’ve got the Road To The Winter Classic. You’ve got the Winter Classic itself. You have the World Juniors. This year we’ll have an outdoor World Juniors game. And then later on in 2018 we’ll have the olympics. December through February. Doesn’t get much better than this.