Laviolette steals the show in this week's 24/7
Move over Ilya Bryzgalov. 24/7 has a new star.
In the third installment of 24/7: Flyers-Rangers: Road to the NHL Winter Classic, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette stole the show.
From the opening scene, this was Laviolette's coming out party. With a flurry of obscenities, he bashed his team for sloppy and lazy play between periods of their game against the Colorado Avalanche. Sure, they were losing, but only by a goal.
"I want you to go out and rip someone's heart out of their [bleep]ing chest. And if you don't, you're probably not going to like your ice time," he told his team.
The team responded to Laviolette, as they often do, salvaging a point thanks to a Danny Briere goal with just 16 seconds left in the game. Although they would go on to lose in a shootout, the team did just what their coach directed. They played with heart, and the intensity that their coach clearly demands.
While that intensity is always there, his temper seems to shift with his team's play.
After the tough shootout loss to the Avalanche, Laviolette was even-keeled, but intense.
After a big win over the Dallas Stars, he was jovial, but somehow intense.
After a disappointing loss to the Rangers, he was livid, and intense.
Perhaps that is the only constant when it comes to the Flyers' coach. That, and using certain four-letter words to reiterate his point.
The language of the show has been much discussed, but there is no question that the team responds to the brash way in which Laviolette conducts himself in the locker room.
He doesn't seem to care that cameras are on him. He doesn't hold back. His locker room vocabulary can almost exclusively be found in George Carlin's famous "Seven Dirty Words" routine.
Perhaps the most memorable moment from this episode were the three words Laviolette had for Stars winger Steve Ott after the two bumped into each other in the tunnel between periods.
Ott took offense to Laviolette heading up the tunnel first, which is usually reserved for the home team.
Laviolette didn't offer an apology. He could barely hide the smile as he deflected questions on the incident after the game.
His words for Ott, in typical Laviolette fashion, were, "Go [bleep] yourself."
Amid all those intense moments that comprise this behind-the-scenes look at life in the NHL, there were also moments that show what a player's life is like off the ice.
With the holidays approaching, there was no shortage of family, and team, bonding.
Some of the Rangers attended an ugly sweater party hosted by Brad Richards. While the sweaters rivaled some of the ugliest ever made, the highlight of the party was Brian Boyle dressed as an elf, tights and all.
Bryzgalov spent the holidays with his family, and made a last-minute attempt to steal the spotlight back from Laviolette as he explained how he separates family life from his life as a professional hockey player.
"You know I have many faces," the Flyers goaltender said to the cameras. "In home, I have one face. In public, I have another face. On the ice, I have a different face. Day off, I have a fourth face. With you, I have a fifth face. No one sees me except my family when I'm being truthful."
Despite a moment that will rival his ponderings of the universe, Bryzgalov was a supporting actor in this episode.
It was more than the 12, at least by my count, f-bombs that Laviolette dropped. It was his ability to show a relentless passion and intensity, one that clearly impacts the way the Flyers play, which allowed him to emerge as the star.
Your move, Bryz.