#90 - Thin Ice Season
A hot-head hockey player is on his way to the NHL, but Mac has to talk some sense into him first.Trope(s):
[Frequently used Tropes are listed in the first post
- Mac's hockey career that floppedThoughts:
This whole town apparently shuts down for a hockey championship game.
Mac is coaching the college hockey team - but I have a question here, can someone not on the school's payroll officially coach the team? I mean, I know Mac has friends everywhere, but doesn't the school team have to be coached by a school faculty member? (Though, this is MacGyver, so he may be some sort of adjunct or something.) [btw - the imdb summary for this episode says this is high school hockey, which - wrong, per the giant banner on the rink]
There's a hockey scout at the game for a team known as the Mustangs. I'm not sure if this is supposed to be an NHL team or more one of the minor leagues (I'll update this if it's clarified later.) This scout though, he's all about 'dirty hockey'. Now, this is a thing that has happened in hockey and may still - though the NHL has introduced rules to cut down on the 'fighting' element a lot. Back in the 80's and 90's teams used to bring in 'enforcers'. Sometimes they were used as 'bodyguards' for valuable, top-tier players - for example, Marty McSorley was in place to protect Wayne Gretzky when they played for the Edmonton Oilers and the LA Kings. These were big, stocky guys meant to be brick walls between the scorers and the other team. They also tended to be pretty rough in their style of play and frequently spent time in the penalty box. That was their role. (Seriously, these guys were NOT going to win the Lady Byng!)
Anyway, Mac's not overly pleased about this scout hanging around trying to talk Kirby (the star college player) into playing this rough 'bad boy' version of hockey. Especially since it's this sort of crap that got Kirby booted off Team USA... though this has me confused too.
This episode aired in 1988, so which Olympics was Kirby supposed to have participated in? This is college hockey, and he's a senior, that puts him at about 22 years old. Assuming it's 1988 in the show, I suppose he could've been chosen for the 1988 Olympics and fucked it up right at the beginning (this episode aired in February prior to the Olympics). But, Kirby's dad says that he got off a plane from Finland, as though that's where the Olympics were being held. The 1988 games were in Calgary (decidedly NOT in Finland) - and that was decided in 1981, so the show writers would've been able to find that out. It's also possible that Kirby played in the 1984 games, he would've been 18 and fresh out of high school. But those were in Serajavo (also not in Finland). So, I'm a little confused about which games he was supposed to play in. Or, like the 'Mustangs', did they make something up? Do they have to pay for the rights to use the official Olympmic venue cities like they would for utilizing 'real' sports team names in dialog? (Obviously team logo placement isn't an issue - there's a NY Islanders banner on the wall in Kirby's dad's shop and, later, Mac has LA Kings jerseys.)
I don't know if someone legit shot that puck at the goalie, or if it was added in later, but it is DEFINITELY a set-up. That goalie moved exactly on cue and didn't look like he was trying to save that shot at ALL.
I love Mac's commentary for rod hockey w/ the all-star team - Esposito, Sanderson, etc... =)
Quickly back to the Olympics thing - they mention that the coach (the one in hospital) was at the Squaw Valley Olympics in 1960. This is the correct venue. So, I'm not sure what that earlier reference to Finland was all about. Also - Mac mentions that he was 8 years old when Turk (the coach) won that medal in 1960, which officially puts Mac's birth year in 1952 (though, apparently, his passport in "Every Time She Smiles" says 1951 - given that the Winter Olympics are in February, if 1951 is correct, Mac would've been 9 for the 1960 Olympics).
Okay - maybe the Finland thing was pre-Olympics? Like qualifying rounds or something? Though, it still doesn't make that much sense - why would they be in Finland for the Olympics in Calgary?
I am still confused about whether this is supposed to be high school or college hockey, since Mac says he couldn't wait to get to high school to play for Turk.
BTW - this episode has the game footage that the guys are watching in a later episode - "The Battle of Tommy Giordano".
Staged fall is staged. That didn't look natural at all. It also looked cobbled together from about 3 different shots.
Ah, Kirby's dad is trying to justify Kirby knocking out Eddie (the opposing team's guy) and putting him in the hospital. It's Eddie's fault for taking off his helmet and picking the fight. Sorry dad-dood, but no. If Eddie started it, all Kirby had to do was walk away and boom, no fight, no concussion.
Update from earlier in the ep - the Mustangs are supposed to be an NHL team. And apparently they can mention NHL teams, just not that someone might be drafted to play for one, b/c the Mustangs are supposed to play the Flyers. Either way, Kirby says 'nope' when he finds out the NHL team only wanted him b/c he would beat people up. He tells the guy to fuck off and then he decides to quit hockey altogether.
Cue Mac's speech/story about his potential shot at the Olympics and pro-hockey after high school, but he got himself busted up playing hard-nosed hockey and told himself it wasn't worth it. (Gotta say, self-defeatist doesn't really sound like Mac, though it comes up again in "The Widowmaker" and a couple references when his mom's death/funeral is mentioned, so there's some consistency, at least.)
Kirby changes his mind and comes back to play in the last game. Meanwhile, Mac talks to Kirby's dad again, trying to figure out a way to mend their relationship.
Oh Mac, what *is* that jacket?
And there's Garry Chalk again (we saw him back in "The Ten Percent Solution") as an Olympic committee guy.
Every time Kirby just lays on the ice after a hit, he irks the shit out of me. What the hell is he waiting for? Someone to come pick him up and kiss his booboo? (I know it's for 'dramatic tv', shut up.) Good hockey players don't lounge around face-down on the ice unless they're seriously injured. Kirby was board checked and lost his feet... get the hell up and go help your team, you mook. (Note that 'board checking' and 'boarding' are two different things. One is totally 'legal' and the other will earn you one hell of a misconduct penalty.)
And, I'm pretty sure that's Dan Shea (RDA's stunt double) as the equipment manager guy there by the bench. That made me giggle. And, I think this is the first time in the countdown that we've legit seen him. Oh, I'm sure he's been there in the episodes being 'stunt double' guy, but he wasn't seen as a legit character. (He shows up in two other episodes as not!stunt double a little later.) He is credited as the 'hockey technical consultant', so that probably is him.
Dan Shea was a stunt double and actor on RDA's other show - Stargate SG-1. He played Sgt Siler - sort of a fix-it/handyman guy. He could frequently be seen in the background of shots, often with, I think, Martin Wood. (Obviously I need to do an SG-1 re-watch.) Shea is also a really fun guy to talk to or listen to. He's been to several Gatecons and he's got a great sense of humor. And stunt stuff is fun to hear about. He actually sometimes has stranger stories than the actors. =)
I am pretty sure I talked more about hockey in this write-up than I did about the episode. I like this episode *b/c* of the hockey, but it's not necessarily one of my 'go-to' MacGyver episodes. I feel like I say this a lot, but I don't actually *hate* any of the episodes. (The closest I get is that "Trail to Doomsday" movie, omg, wth is that thing?) But I don't hate any of them. I do like some more than others, obviously, but I'll watch 'em all. Except the clip shows. Ugh. *g*Mirrored from the original entry at Dreamwidth. Reply there using your own Dreamwidth account or OpenID!
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