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by Ken Schott

Parting Schotts

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Ken Schott blogs about college hockey & more

HBO has another winner in '24/7 Flyers-Rangers: Road to the NHL Winter Classic'

I was working in the office Wednesday night and didn't get to watch HBO's "24/7 Flyers-Rangers: Road to the NHL Winter Classic," but I did tape it.

Here are some observations.

-- Flyers goalie and Russian native Ilya Bryzgalov could be this season's breakout star. He gave us his thoughts on the universe, about coming to Philadelphia and trying to become the first Flyers goalie to win a Stanley Cup since Bernie Parent in 1975 ("You know where you going? You going to hell. It's a miserable market for the goalie" is what his friends told him after leaving the Phoenix Coyotes to sign with the Flyers. At least us Flyers fans care. Not sure about the Coyotes fans, if there are any left. The team's moving anyway, right?) And Bryzgalov told us that shooting an endangered tiger in China, you would get the death penalty. That is the ultimate game misconduct, right?

-- Rangers coach John Tortorella could be this year's Bruce Boudreau. The former Washington Capitals coach made a name for himself with the number of F-bombs he dropped on viewers during last year's shows leading up to the Winter Classic game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Tortorella is abrasive. This is what he said about Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel after the first period of a Dec. 5 game: "He's a good player. If you have a chance, finish him. Don't [expletive] your pants on him."

Tortorella wasn't happy with the way Rangers center Brian Boyle was playing. And Boyle was wearing a mic for HBO.

"Brian Boyle, we've done that [expletive] coverage all [expletive] year long. You've got that [expletive] mic on. You aren't [expletive] thinking straight!"

-- Not sure if I wanted to see the Rangers' Sean Avery modeling.

-- A Pittsburgh Penguins player didn't take too kindly to a hit by the Flyers' Scott Hartnell in a game last Thursday.

"Hartnell, you [expletive] piece of [expletive]."

Parents, you may want to have your kids watch the PG version when HBO shows it during the day. But if you watch the regular version, you're going to have to deal with the [expletive] language. It's part of the game's culture. And I love the fact the HBO doesn't shy away from it.

In Year 2 of "24/7: Road to the NHL Winter Classic," HBO has once again produced a winner. It's going to help the NHL immensely and bring viewers to NBC's coverage of the Winter Classic on Jan. 2.

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