Fans of the HBO ’24/7: Road to the NHL Winter Classic’ (and let’s be honest, who isn’t) are about to be spoiled with a double dose of “behind the scenes” television with ‘NHL Revealed’. Sure, we’ll get to see the critically acclaimed series detailing the respective journeys of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings as they gear up for what will be one of the highest attended hockey games in the history of the NHL on January 1st, but Canucks hockey fans may be more excited for a new series. ‘NHL Revealed’ is being described as an all access television series that will feature an exclusive look behind the scenes at the four 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series games, the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, and finally, the 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic between the Vancouver Canucks and Ottawa Senators, and it will focus on several top players from the teams involved in the five outdoor games. The first episode (all airing on CBC) will air on January 23rd, 30th, February 6th, 27th (double episode), March 6th, and March 13th. Sportsnet will also offer additional later viewings.
Of course, here at The Canuck Way, we’re focused on all things Vancouver and I, for one, couldn’t be more excited to have an inside look at my favourite team. I’m the guy that looks at all the Behind The Lens photos on canucks.com, so when you tell me that we’re going to get a 6 episode series, with one double episode, dedicated in part to Vancouver’s team, I’m understandably excited. While the series will focus on a select group of players and will follow them through the Olympics and through the outdoor classics, we’ll no doubt get a look at some of the other Canucks. For example, in the past, we’ve been exposed to the personalities of Pittsburgh’s Pascal Dupuis, Philadelphia’s Ilya Brysgalov, and New York’s Brian Boyle. That much is clear from the awesome teaser released last week.
If only just to see what it is that gets the opposing team so heated, you have to be looking forward to what Alex Burrows has in store for the cameras. He’s been a lauded pest in the league for a while now and has certainly has a reputation. I imagine a great deal of his “colorful” banter will have to be censored, but I think it’s fair to say that we’ll get the general gist of his message. Burrows admittedly is not having a great season so far, with several injuries and no goals so far this season, it’s been a year to forget for the Pincourt, Quebec native. He’s out with a broken jaw for the time being, but that might add an interesting dynamic to the show (I’m really looking for a silver lining on that one, I know). It’s too bad we didn’t have a microphone during the whole Stéphane Auger ordeal, but settling for some world class chirps from the Canucks winger will be just fine.
Now, this might seem like a predictable one, but I could put an asterisk next to Roberto Luongo and say I’m more looking forward to “@strombone1“, Luongo’s long time supposed, and all but confirmed Twitter account. In short, Luongo is hilarious. While we’ve been accustomed to long, drawn out media scrums asking him how he feels about being traded, how he feels about not being traded, how he feels about being a backup goalie, how he feels about being a starting goalie, yada yada yada, I’m hoping we get some of that wit and sarcasm we’ve seen from time to time. The Vancouver media has placed a spotlit magnifying glass on Luongo, but that’s to be expected in one of the most hockey-crazed cities in the world. A behind the scenes look may just enlighten a few people following the Canucks as to just how human this supposed “diva” is. Sure, his contract sucks (he said so himself), but that doesn’t mean we should condemn this world class goaltender for the rest of his career.
This guy will quickly find himself in front of a lot of cameras. Bieksa has a certain je ne sais quoi about him that plays out really well on TV. He’s dependable and hard working for the Canucks on the ice, and brash and honest off it. Sounds a lot like John Tortorella which is why many believed that players like Bieksa and Kesler would be staples under the Torts regime. In many ways those predictions have panned out. Being called a gunslinger, though Bieksa claims to not know what that means, has to be a good thing coming from a guy who could have gone toe to toe with John Wayne or Clint Eastwood back in the day. Bieksa hasn’t had the consistently offensive season that perhaps he would like, but he’s been pretty solid on the blue line. In addition, he’s been critical in the development of upstart waiver-pickup Ryan Stanton. For the cinematic experience, Bieksa is sure to offer up some gems.
“Stork” has endeared himself to Canucks fans over social media, and proven himself quite the media darling in his short time in Vancouver. Playing second fiddle to Luongo for the last couple years has been anything but routine or easy, but it appears Lack has grabbed the role and made the most of it. After playing in Winnipeg for the Manitoba Moose and for the Wolves in Chicago, Lack has assumed the backup spot in Vancouver and has played relatively well (which is generally what you’re asking for from your backup). The Canucks have been spoiled with stellar goaltending from Schneider and Luongo for the last several years (playoffs not included), so to be disappointed in Lack’s 3-2 record, 2.41 GAA, and .911% is understandable. Those aren’t great stats, but it is his first year and I think we can only expect better things to come as the young Swede matures and learns what it takes to compete at the NHL level. Lack has shown he likes to have fun by taking tweet shots at Luongo and some other teammates, and I think we can expect good things from this young goalie, on the ice and in from of the ‘NHL Revealed’ cameras.
Last, but certainly not least, I’ve always enjoyed the quirky Dane who sounds like his voice hasn’t made up it’s mind as to which octave it would like to project in. His interviews are always pretty funny regardless of the content, and again that might be due to how he sounds. That being said, he’s an incredibly hard worker and determined player. His nickname on the team suggests this, as teammates have taken to calling him “Honey Badger” after a viral YouTube video (it’s rather profane, so I’ll let you do your own viewing). On numerous occasions, Hansen has busted his hump to be the first in the zone, break up opposing chances, and get in the face of some of the other teams’ best players. If there is any inside look as the Canucks training schedule or practices, expect Hansen to be at the front of the pack and sucking wind by the end of it. His hands and skills are not often lauded, but his hard work and desire to play for the big club have never been doubted.
Of course, this is just a small sample size of the players to really look forward to come and I, for one, am looking forward to pretty much everything. If you think I’ve missed someone, feel free to leave a comment.