When Walter White finds himself inside a dim and desolate tavern in the penultimate episode of Breaking Bad, the TV above the bar is by chance tuned to a classic late '90s Wisconsin Badgers men's hockey game. Those details were a mystery when the program first aired, though, and for fans of a series that brims with symbolism, visual foreshadowing and recursive moments, it proved too much to resist.
Hockey was the hook for this Breaking Bad Easter egg, and a few superfans of both the sport and AMC show set immediately to work to try and figure out what game made the Heisenberg grade. It was really only a matter of minutes, really, before the clip's specifics were identified late Sunday night. This info then exploded into Breaking Bad and hockey fandoms on Monday, and served as a reminder of how intense each can be.
The game in question was between the Wisconsin Badgers and Denver Pioneers on Friday, February 13, 1998. It was actually one of the final matches played at the Dane County Coliseum, in a season that ended with a loss to New Hampshire, before the team moved into the Kohl Center the following year. Breaking Bad will soon complete its run as well, and the appearance of that hockey game in the waning minutes of the television show that was winning the Emmy for best drama around the same time was simply the icing on one next-to-last night of reveling in its storytelling.
Here's how this solution was synthesized.