ECF Game 6 Recap: Penguins 5 – Lightning 2 – A Stinker

TAMPA, Fla. — The Pittsburgh Penguins are headed home for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final. Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist, and Phil Kessel, Kris Letang, Bryan Rustand Nick Bonino also scored Tuesday night in a 5-2 victory that evened the best-of-seven series at three games. Game 7 is Thursday night, […]

Boucher: SHOWTIME ALL-ACCESS: Quest For The Stanley Cup – Episode 1 Review

The Stanley Cup Playoffs have traditionally been shrouded in secrecy. Whether it’s the injury status of players or which goalie is going to get the start in net most info stays within the locker room. That’s why it was a bit of a surprise when the NHL announced they would allow Showtime to chronicle the final two rounds of their posteseason in their new documentary series ALL ACCESS: Quest For The Stanley Cup. The first episode premiered on Friday while the Lightning hosted the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final.

You can check out the first episode here. **Disclaimer** The show is an uncensored view of hockey so there is most definitely adult language. If you’re sensitive to that or don’t want little ears learning new vocabulary be warned!

This isn’t the first time cameras have been allowed inside the confines of an NHL locker room. The league partnered with HBO for three series of “24/7: Road To The Winter Classic” and it was incredibly well received. It offered unparalleled access to the teams and players and viewers got to know them in ways they never had before. Quest For The Stanley Cup is a condensed, half an hour version of the show starring the four teams remaining in the playoffs. It focuses almost solely on the game day action for the Tampa Bay Lightning, Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks.

The result is pretty riveting. After the first two runs of 24/7 teams didn’t always have opposing superstars or decades of rivlaries to add to the storytelling. All Access’ purpose is built in: winning the Stanley Cup. The intensity is already there. Each of the teams went through two tough series to get to this point. The cinematography is fantastic. It gets you as close as possible without actually being on the ice. Hockey is a fast, fluid and highly photogenic sport. The violent poetry of the games in all their joy and heartbreak is perfectly displayed.

Take the Lightning for example. In the premiere episode we see them in Pittsburgh for the opening games of the ECF. Jon Cooper has the team’s first words and quite a few of them are f-bombs. For fans who have lamented the coach’s unflappable persona in press conferences, look no further than Coop in the room and on the bench. You want fire? He’s got it in spades. The cameras caught Ben Bishop being stretched off after sustaining an injury as we all saw it. They also captured captain Steven Stamkos going over to grab the netminder’s hand as he’s taken down the tunnel. It’s these little moments that are so compelling, so unlike what we’re used to seeing as fans.

The only bad thing we can honestly say about it is that it’s not narrated by Liev Schreiber. Showtime will broadcast episodes weekly through the Conference and Stanley Cup Final. This one is definitely worth your time to check out.

Follow me on Twitter @alexis_b82 please “like” LightningShout on Facebook. You can email us at lightningshout@aol.com.


Bolt Quote

“We’re coming back to Pittsburgh.” – Evgeni Malkin


Erlendsson: Can’t Kill ‘Em

The Lightning appear to have that look. It’s somewhat hard to describe at times. A true definition is often hard to find. But Tampa Bay has that look and some are starting to describe this Lightning team in similar fashion to how they saw the Chicago Blackhawks for the past half-decade – you just can’t […]


ECF Game 5 Recap: Lightning 4 – Penguins 3 OT

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Tampa Bay Lightning are one win away from a return trip to the Stanley Cup Final. Tyler Johnson deflected Jason Garrison‘s wrist shot past Marc-Andre Fleury‘s glove 53 seconds into overtime to give the Lightning a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals on […]