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Road to the Winter Classic: Episode 3 Recap

By Ericka McFee
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Road to the Winter Classic: Episode 3 Recap

Finally, an episode that Blackhawks fans could watch without interrupting a game!

Here’s a quick recap of some highlights:

On the Washington Capitals side…

As far as game footage, we got an inside look with the games against the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Rangers. There was pretty heavy emphasis on the latter, since the two teams are currently neck-and-neck in the fight for a spot in the playoffs. The stakes are high for the Caps, especially new head Coach Barry Trotz, who was brought in specifically to get the team to its first postseason birth in quite a while.

The individual player spotlight fell on Joel Ward this time, who was seen enjoying the holidays in New York City with his girlfriend, skating at Rockefeller Center. Barry Trotz and his family were seen enjoying the holidays at home in D.C., hosting their grown children who flew in from Nashville and making pierogis from scratch (yum!).

On the Chicago Blackhawks side…

The episode began in the same somber tone as the last episode ended, with views of the locker room and mention of the game against the Maple Leafs. At first I thought they would have showed footage, but I suppose that the production crew halted all filming that day out of respect. Makes sense.

They went on to show the pre-Christmas Eve game against the Winnipeg Jets, which we all know didn’t go so well. Coach Quenneville, much like the team, looked absolutely exhausted. Disappointing as the loss was for everyone, it was totally understandable and – under the circumstances – excusable. Coach Q just told the guys to put it in the trash, and just enjoy the holidays with their families.

It was nice to see the Swedish Christmas celebration, with Niklas Hjalmarsson giving us a tour of the various traditional dishes that are served. It was also nice to get a glimpse of the Quenneville family enjoying their time away in Vail, having dinner, hitting the slopes, and just enjoying some time away from the crazy world of professional hockey.

Of course on both sides, you had the usual colorful language. And it struck me just how much Coach Q really loves peanut butter. Don’t understand what I mean by that? Watch the episode, and you’ll see.

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