The ongoing rivalry in the Western Conference Final between Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler and Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen is addressed in a small but telling way during the first episode of Showtime Sports' "All Access: Quest For the Stanley Cup," which debuts Friday at 7 p.m. ET on Showtime, with subsequent weekly episodes premiering Fridays at 8 p.m. ET/PT throughout the playoffs.
Showtime Sports and the NHL will offer the first episode to consumers who do not subscribe to Showtime for free on multiple platforms, including YouTube, SHO.com, NHL.com and the NHL Network.
The behind-the-scenes series takes viewers inside the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, from the conference finals through the Stanley Cup Final.
The opening episode chronicles the first three games of each conference final series, introducing them to the four teams still remaining, the Ducks and Predators in the Western Conference Final and the Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Final.
It includes highlights from on the ice, inside the dressing room, in the team hotel with Predators defenseman P.K. Subban and on a car ride with Penguins defenseman Ian Cole to PPG Paints Arena. There also are the sights and sounds of conversations between officials and players and officials and coaches as penalty calls are explained.
There's also a look at the marriage of country music and hockey in Nashville.
Reactions following victories, including forward Bobby Ryan's overtime winner in Game 1 between the Senators and Penguins, are part of the viewing experience that fans wouldn't normally get to see on a regular television broadcast. The same holds true for interviews on the team plane.