The second episode of the "Road to the Winter Classic 2022" was released Wednesday and was the first to focus on the Minnesota Wild, putting the spotlight on captain Jared Spurgeon and the team's winning streak.
The episode previewing the runup to the NHL's showcase outdoor game gives a glimpse of Spurgeon away from the ice, recovering from his lower body injury, as well as Wild wins over Tampa Bay and Toronto.
"Minnesota's such a hockey bed for people, and to be able to have an outdoor game and our team be playing well right now is obviously something special, and showcase the state, the city and how great it is to be here ... I think Minnesota is a pretty hidden gem, and not a lot of people know how great of a place it is, " Spurgeon said about the Jan. 1 game at Target Field vs. the St. Louis Blues.
"With myself being out, I would think it's tough," a voiceover from the defenseman says during a scene showing him watching the team play Tampa Bay at Xcel Energy Center. "But we have so many guys in there that speak up and are leaders in their own way, so they take over."
Along with goals by Nick Bjugstad and Victor Rask to beat the Lightning, the high-profile shootout win vs. the Leafs and some footage from the Wild locker room surrounding both games, Spurgeon's home life also is featured.
"When you're injured, there's a little more family time, so we try and do everything as much as we can together," Spurgeon says while playing with his kids and heading to a son's hockey game in Burnsville.
The latest iteration of the long-running series debuted Dec. 2 as part of TNT's postgame NHL coverage. Instead of the pieces of episodic television as in the past, these are more miniweb videos, running 5 or so minutes. A new one is shown each Wednesday after TNT's game, and Turner-owner Bleacher Report has posted the episodes on its YouTube channel.
The first episode featured Blues captain Ryan O'Reilly on the ice and similarly behind the scenes. That episode does start with some Wild locker-room team-building.