by Dan Rosen from NHL.com
Oftentimes, the personalities and experiences around the game that fans and media don't get to see are the most interesting of all.
That's where EPIX has come in these past four weeks, serving as the window to what is usually an unseen world inside a dressing room before a game, on the ice during a game, at home with the players on off days, in the hotel, on the plane, and everywhere else they go where we don't.
The final episode of "EPIX Presents Road to the NHL Winter Classic" doesn't disappoint in bringing the viewer all of that and more. The questions you might have had once the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic was over are answered in the episode.
There was the family skate the day before the game, when Ovechkin introduced Washington coach Barry Trotz to his parents and Trotz told Mikhail and Tatyana Ovechkin that it has been a pleasure to work with their son.
There was Trotz on the ice skating with his son Nolan, who has Down Syndrome and has recently started showing an interest in skating.
Meanwhile on the other side, Trotz is shown sharing a unique victory drink with his coaching staff.
"Winning beats losing," the Capitals coach is heard saying as the cameras pan away.
It seems so obvious, but in a game like the NHL Winter Classic, amid the hype and the spectacle of it all, there might not be a truer statement that anybody can make.
The game counts in the standings and it will forever go down as one of 1,230 regular season games in the 2014-15 NHL season, but for four weeks EPIX has shown through this reality TV series that it means so much more than that to the people directly involved.
They're not characters, they're real. And now we know them better than we ever did before.