As the journey toward Nationals Park on New Year's Day continues for the Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks, the second episode of "EPIX Presents Road to the NHL Winter Classic" examines the truths of winning and losing, teamwork and toughness, and the reality that occasionally the game can take a backseat to family, friendship, loved ones and, unfortunately, lost ones.
Some of the highlights in the second episode of the four-part series, which airs Tuesday night on EPIX, include family skates for both the Blackhawks and Capitals, featuring the loved ones and the little ones that are rarely seen but so important in the lives of the players and coaches.
There are light-hearted moments, such as Alex Ovechkin walking through the concourse at Verizon Center while attending a Washington Wizards game in search of ice cream. There is a segment on Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw, who is affectionately known as "The Mutt" for his uncanny ways of getting under your skin by running his mouth and never holding back. Capitals rookies Michael Latta and Tom Wilson are shown during a lunch in Columbus talking about how pickles are made.
There is also talk of the standings, as early in the show Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville brings up the fact that Chicago can get into first place with a win, and later on Capitals coach Barry Trotz brings up the fact Washington was one point out of a playoff berth.
The show also has a segment showing the demotion of Chicago goalie Scott Darling to Rockford of the American Hockey League, a perfect juxtaposition to the segment on Chicago's holiday party that preceded it.
The end of the episode is when the game is forgotten as the realities of life and death come to the fore.
Chicago assistant equipment manager Clint Reif passed away at the age of 34 over the weekend. His death was felt like a hammer going through a nail around Blackhawks headquarters in Chicago. The emotion is unforgettable.
Beginning Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT and 9 p.m. CT, hockey fans in the United States can watch each episode streamed live for free on EPIX.com, the EPIX mobile and connected device apps, as well as on NHL.com, the NHL app, and the official websites and apps for each participating team. Fans in Canada will be able to see the second episode beginning at 7 p.m. ET on Sportsnet360.
In addition, fans will be able to sign up for a free trial EPIX subscription at EPIX.com to view the entire series on demand through the EPIX online and app platforms. Here is the link to the free trial offer: http://www.epix.com/freetrial/nhl.