The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers Episodes 1-3 Recap

It’s been 25 years since we last saw Gordon Bombay. His team was able to take glory at his alma mater Eden Hall Academy. As Charlie and crew celebrate their triumphant victory of the Varsity team and the Ducks Logo flag reigns supreme on the school we see Gordon give Charlie a look and then walk away through the crowd. He’d established that he was back doing his law thing, so apparently the Junior Goodwill games did not leapfrog him to an NHL coaching gig or at least a cool consulting gig at Hendrix Hockey…

We fast forward 25 years and it looks like Hendrix has franchised out The Mighty Ducks. The team is no longer a fly by night rag tag crew, it’s now a corporate machine. They have the sponsorship and the one and only goal win at all costs. Growing up in Canada honestly not far off from most hockey programs. Most kids at my school did not seem to be playing just for fun and most kids thought they were gods gift to hockey. There was nothing to me funnier then hearing each kid brag about their hockey exploits and how amazing they were at hockey and how serious it was and competitive it was. Every kid was the savior of their team and they would wear their beanies or whatever gear they had with this sense of false pride. To give a quick update none of the people in my grade ending up in the NHL (though a classmates brother who was a few years older was in the NHL (Mike Cammalleri)).

After Evan (Brady Noon) gets cut, his mom Alex (Lauren Graham) snaps and realizes that the entire Ducks organization is bullshit and that kids should play hockey to have fun as she probably also knows 99.9% of these kids are not going to play college/junior hockey let alone make the NHL. It’s also hard to believe Thor from Good Boys doesn’t take his sippy cup and punch the coach in the teeth. Alex’s tirade goes viral so her son is beyond embarrassed at school, but his Mom is determined to add to his pain by asking him to gather a bunch of other scrubs to form a new team called The Don’t Bothers. The problem is that they have a tight deadline to put together a team. They quickly look for their nearest stereotypes: The super un-athletic kid who is passionate about the sport, the risky daredevil who can’t be tamed, the good looking kid who looks like he should be good at hockey but isn’t, the kid that’s amazing at the video games but doesn’t have any social skills or experience playing actual sports, the weirdest person in the school who wants to add playing hockey to there resume of strangeness and the popular girl who finally realized her friends are assholes. They try to recruit the elusive overachiever who is actually good at hockey but to keep some tension going they have to make this a work in progress.

Alex searches around town looking for a venue to play at and then finds a decent looking building called the Ice Palace. The place looks ok on the outside but it is a complete shithole on the inside. After 25 long years we finally see Gordon Bombay, he’s fixing a Zamboni and it turns out this failing business is his. Apparently good ol Jan left him the place in his will. Honestly he mentions Jan a few times but seems to give 0 fucks about his other mentor Hans, he also makes no mention of the hasenpfeffer (nor does he serve at the snack bar). Gordon takes the same approach as Luke Skywalker does in Episode 8 where he hates everything we thought he loved and held dear. Gordon now hates hockey and hates kids. All of years of being a hotshot lawyer did not pay off as he seems live at the place and eats leftover birthday cakes from his customers.

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Quickly we establish the tension between he and Alex as she knows nothing about hockey and he knows nothing about being sociable. Once the team gets to The Ice Palace Evan realizes who is the sketchy old dude hanging around judging them. It’s Gordon Bombay aka THE Minnesota Miracle Man. Yes most kids have extreme knowledge of all of their states pee wee hockey outcomes. The dude hasn’t coached the Ducks for 25+ years and played pee wee hockey 40ish years ago… Gordon keeps on his whole hating hockey thing pretty hard and is really short and non communicative with the people who are paying him money he desperately needs!!!!

One night Alex stumbles in and realizes Gordon doesn’t hate hockey… He loves it!!! He’s practicing by himself, but due to some deep psychological scarring he acts like an asshole the other 23.5 hours a day. She does some research and it turns out he coached some obscure college, but was fired for an NCAA violation of giving money to one of his players who needed it. So he was forced out and now somehow hates hockey. Unlike most NCAA coaches who face little or no consequences for a relatively petty violation, this turns him in to a downward spiral. What his beef with the new Ducks his has not been unraveled yet, but they are a corporate empire who take hockey seriously. I don’t even think they had a player who knew how to use a rope!?

The Don’t Bothers play their first game and super suck. They get destroyed so Evan is upset as he is used to winning with the Ducks (though he was seemingly a scrub). After Alex does non-traditional coaching methods (such as not having the team practice/learn any hockey fundamentals) they prepare for a game against the Ducks. The Ducks gives them a bunch of shit at school and out and public because they are the little assholes you want to punch in the face. Finally the big game shows up and to nobody’s surprise the Ducks destroy them, but Evan shows a quick flash of greatness and guess what, they score a goal! After the game the Don’t Bothers celebrate like they won the championship and boy does this piss of the coaches of the Ducks. The coach of the Ducks gives a speech on how much they suck for allowing 1 goal though they won by double digits (which for hockey is insane) and curses them for allowing this other team (The Don’t Bothers) to have any joy in their sad pathetic lives.

After the Don’t Bothers get their very important moral victory we see Gordon is close to coming around. We know he’s going to end up coaching the team, but boy are they making us wait. Jan left him the Ice Palace and he knows it’s trapping in to a miserable life, but maybe a cameo from some old players would help (not Goldberg) or him realizing that Alex is his typical woman of choice (vulnerable single moms who like hockey). Finally Evan get good news that the overachiever (who’s nervous about college at age 12) who can actually play hockey who he sort of has a crush on (probably) is joining the Ducks, but she hasn’t told her parents… I’m sure they will have no problems with that…

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