For the next four weeks, HBO will be documenting both the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals leading up to the NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1. HBO will produce inside hardly-before-seen access with players, coaches, and other key figures from both teams. Inside and outside the rink, nothing will be held back. 24/7 is shown Wednesday night’s at 10:00 p.m. on HBO. If you think this is “nothing but a Crosby-Ovechkin all the time” type of show, you are sadly mistaken. Check back next Thursday for a recap of next week’s episode.
Last night’s episode was both a win and loss for the NHL. HBO started filming the Capitals right as they were beginning their now seven-game losing skid. Thats the bad news. The good news is that it got to people to watch to see how a team that was losing hockey games would act and react compared to a team that was winning games (the Penguins extended their win streak to 12 over the weekend).
It introduced casual hockey fans to Washington head coach Bruce Boudreau, who dropped more f-bombs than most episodes of South Park. Hockey players all over the world can relate as they have had that one coach somewhere along their hockey life that when the losing and bad play started to increase, the profane language started to pick up as well. The worse coaching tirades were during the Florida game at home as well as the second intermission in New York where the Rangers picked up a 7-0 victory.
On the other side of the record ledger, the Penguins were about as light, easy going, and focused as head coach Dan Bylisma. Bylisma is a young, fiery coach who made viewers look like the coach every hockey player wants to play for. The Pens show off their state-of-the-art team room facilities at the Consol Energy Center, where they have one of the largest team locker rooms I have seen for a professional team. There was also lighter moments such as the “mustache boy” contest where the player that fails to score in a shootout at the end of practice must wear a ‘stache for the entire month. Matt Cooke was the player who lost for the month of November and he did not hesitate to shave it off after practice. Defenseman Paul Martin was the December mustache boy victim. Sidney Crosby wore his creepy-man mustache for the duration of the teams winning streak. Not with that being over, hopefully it will be shaven off during next week’s episode that will chronicle losses to Philadelphia and New York Rangers.
Three Thunb’s Up for This Week:
1. Max Talbot sitting on Santa’s lap during a team Christmas party that “I want for Christmas your two little helpers”. There was two very attractive women standing and smiling behind St. Nick dressed up as elves.
2. Bruce Boudreau and his profane language. He gave Rex Ryan a run for his money when the New York Jets were profiled on HBO’s Hard Knocks.
3. Ben Lovejoy and Mark Letestu for being good sports and keeping their cool when beds, desks, and furniture was moved from their hotel room in Buffalo to the lobby/elevator area down the hall. This is what happens when a team wins hockey games and what they use to stay light and loose. Thank you Greg Wyshynski for the video footage.