NHL Winter Classic 2012: Players You Love or Hate After Watching HBO's 24/7
HBO's original series 24/7 Flyers/Rangers: Road to the NHL Winter Classic gives its viewers an inside look at a number of the players on each team, and you may start to be amused by many players you once thought you hated, or vice versa.
The Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers have a storied rivalry that's still alive today, so I doubt these two teams needed an inside look to know how much they really despise one another.
Fans get caught up in rivalries and past events to the point where they'll hold grudges against one player, but all of that will change if your favorite team acquires the players you've been mad at for all these years—or seeing what kind of person and teammate that guy can be off the ice.
Sometimes you may hate a player forever, and nothing can change that.
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Scott Hartnell is the type of player that you either love or hate depending on whether or not he's on your team. There are a number of these type of guys in every professional sport, and most of them enjoy this role.
Hartnell is the ultimate teammate. He defends his teammates, scores goals, and he isn't afraid to drop the gloves if it's in the best interest of his team.
HBO's 24/7 gave its viewers an opportunity to see what kind of a guy Hartsy is off the ice. He's mean on the ice, but he's just another happy go luck dude off the ice.
Most will probably still hate him when their favorite team has to play against him and he ends up tallying a couple points that night, but don't forget it's just another day at the office, and he's just doing his job.
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For those who didn't know Artem Anisimov before watching the first episode of 24/7, the 23-year-old Russian made himself a household name for his post-goal celebration against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Some viewers may have been offended, or some may have laughed at the celebration.
What really capped off Anisimov's celebration was his reasoning behind it all the next day in the New York Rangers' locker room. When asked where he learned that celebration, Artem replied by saying, "Back in Russia, one guy, he scored every goal [and] he celebrated like that every goal, and fans went crazy. I told myself when I score in [the] NHL I'm going to do that."
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Jaromir Jagr, a future Hall of Famer, spent his final three-and-a-half years (2004-2008) of his NHL career with the New York Rangers before returning this season with the Philadelphia Flyers for another stint in the league.
Rangers fans probably don't despise Jagr too much, but you can be assured that Pittsburgh Penguins fans aren't Jags' biggest fans at this point in time. Pittsburgh and Philly have had a Pennsylvania rivalry for quite some time, and it didn't help Jagr's case when many expected him to sign with the Penguins prior to this season before he proceeded to sign with the Flyers.
Whether or not you dislike Jagr for his the sweater he wears, you can't deny what kind of presence he provides a team on and off the ice, and 24/7 displays his positive impact throughout the series.
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Sean Avery hasn't had the best reputation around the NHL for a few years now because of his on-ice and off-ice antics. He loves to trash talk and can be known as one of the NHL's goons.
Avery surprisingly has a bit of a feminine side, and he shows that with his passion for modeling during the show. I guess the guy has a bit of a soft side—or he loves the looks he was blessed with.
Well, as of Dec. 30, the New York Rangers waived Sean Avery, so 24/7 viewers won't have to listen to him anymore.
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Maxime Talbot is in a similar boat as Jaromir Jagr, minus the resume and time served in the NHL.
The 27-year-old spent the first six years of his career with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and 2012 marks his third Winter Classic experience—his first two were played with the Penguins.
Talbot signed with the Flyers prior to this season, and he's been contributing more than ever in his NHL career. In Philly's first 36 games, Talbot has tallied 16 points, including 10 goals and six assists. The most points he ever scored in one season with Pittsburgh was the 2008 season when he racked up 26 of them.
Honorable Mention: Ilya Bryzgalov
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All goalies are a bit crazy, considering the physical abuse they receive on a nightly basis when they have 100 mph shots flying at their heads, chest and legs, and Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov is no exception.
Bryzgalov is an entertaining fellow, and 24/7 exposes what kind of thoughts go through the man's head.
Check out more of Matt Bauer's articles.