HBO 24/7 has Capitals and Penguins Players Acting Different On the Ice – Pittsburgh Penguins – PenguinPoop Blog

HBO 24/7 has Capitals and Penguins Players Acting Different On the Ice

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettmen trying to get all of his Ducks in a row for when the NHL contract with Versus television runs out this after this season.   Many NHL fans are unhappy with the Pittsburgh Penguins getting their second Winter Classic game while their team hasn’t even played one.  Bettman hoping for a ratings bonanza is clamoring for a bidding war between ESPN, Versus, NBC & Fox for the rights to air the NHL next season.  He’s lined up his two biggest stars Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin for his big Winter Classic game, and has allowed HBO’s 24/7 to come in and do a behind the scenes all access sort of program that will delve into the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals players personal lives.

The two teams seem to be handling this intrusion a bit differently and it may be showing in the on ice product.  If you read the hockey boards around the internet,  fans truly believe it’s effecting the teams play.

Brooks Laich of the Washington Capitals said this when HBO came and was just filming a short promo for the show: “They stepped on the ice today and a couple guys weren’t too happy with that. They kind of interrupted a little meeting we had before the practice. Those boys better watch their step. A lot of our guys have short fuses, especially if they start getting in the way of us winning hockey games and business as usual around here.” On the flipside, the Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero said “For any of our players, if you said you have a chance to be on HBO, how great is that, this is good stuff and it’ll not only help promote our sport, but the beauty of hockey and the personalities involved. Everyone’s going to enjoy it.”

The Penguins who have been to the Stanley Cup twice in the last three years are used to cameras, thousands of them.  Other than Ovechkin who all summer had cameras following him for his new “Alex Ovechkin, the Gr8”  DVD, the rest of the Capitals probably are not used to the publicity which showed when coach Bruce Boudreau said “I thought we were filming a full-fledged movie here

The performances of the two teams on the ice are resembling the two different sentiments about the HBO crew’s filming. Since HBO 24/7 has began primary filming on December 5th, the Washington Capitals have lost 4 games in a row. They have been shut out twice including Sundays drubbing by the New York Rangers 7-0. The Penguins on the other hand have won all three games they have played and have outscored their opponents 12-5. 

The players, the media and the NHL can tell you all they want about the players are not acting different, but think to yourself when was the last time you saw Ovechkin drop the gloves to fight like he did on Sunday.  If you guessed he’s only dropped the gloves once before Sunday in his entire NHL career and that was over 4 years ago, award yourself a gold star.  What are the chances 24/7 would just happen to be there?   What amazing luck.   Is Bruce Laich and his band of merry short fused players ready to take on HBO yet or do they need to lose a few more?

The NHL is trying to make like getting on this 24/7 show is huge coup.  Even if you figure in that HBO’s first televised sporting event ever was a hockey gameback  in 1972 between the Canucks and Rangers, they really haven’t done much with the NHL since. HBO 24/7’s show itself just like HBO is heavily invested in boxing, and even though it has won many sports show awards, the last 24/7 endeavor, Pacquiao-Margarito 24/7 just didn’t have an audience, one of the episodes had less than 300,000 viewers, less than some of the Penguins regular season games on FSN Pittsburgh. The NHL is going to be helping HBO’s 24/7 just as much as 24/7 helps the NHL. 

On top of that the NHL & HBO are creating an imaginary rivalry between Pittsburgh and Washington.  They are saying that it is the top rivalry in the NHL. While the Penguins may possibly be Washington’s top rival as you will witness in 24/7 when they most likely show the Washington team blowing up a fake Penguin or if you happened to see potty mouth coach Boudreau’s carpet commercial where he beats a penguin with a hockey stick.  Ask any hockey fan who the Penguins biggest rival is and they will tell you no question about it, the Philadelphia Flyers, then maybe Red Wings, the NY Rangers and Devils.  A rivalry needs competition and hatred, the hatred is there, but the competition was never, Washington winning 1 playoff series in 5 years just doesn’t cut it.  Until Ovechkin beats the Penguins in a playoff series, there is not a rivalry. 

I will at some point watch the 24/7 series, I have no doubt that it will be well done and entertaining.  Yet I still find myself hoping that the person who wrote that Ovechkin is “Arguably the best player in the solar system” into the preview isn’t the person 24/7 is counting on for their hockey knowledge.  I will also be wondering why when 24/7 airs this Wednesday night at 10PM on HBO that the largest markets that would normally be watching it, both Washington and Pittsburgh have home games.  As a matter of fact the Penguins have games every night all four episodes air and 3 out of the 4 of those are at home. Brilliant.

You can watch the first episode here:  http://video.penguins.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=1  Sorry, the dirty words have been bleeped out!

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  1. tj's Gravatar tj
    December 31, 2010 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    man this is the problem i have with sports media today, what a joke.

    i can tell by just reading this article that you probably have never played any form of hockey, and if you did you clearly know nothing about the sport or what its really about.

    you could not be more further off base with your irrational opinions and as a hockey player thats played at a high level throughout my career thus far, am pretty ticked with some of your irrational none sense opinions and lack of knowledge you truly have for what goes on in the locker room day in&out.

    1)your quote “The players, the media and the NHL can tell you all they want about the players are not acting different, but think to yourself when was the last time you saw Ovechkin drop the gloves to fight like he did on Sunday.” is just rediculous.

    like,really? granted ov is not a goon by any stretch,but he is the captain of super-talented team that is in a brutal slump, you see and expirience that kinda of stuff all the time in hockey. OV was trying to energize his team because he hates losing, thats what captians do…get real man. You honeslty think the guys are putting up a front for the cameras? i dont even have to address that. what a joke.

    Secondly from watching this i think any hockey player would agree this show does an unreal job of showing what hockey is behind the scenes, if youre going to doubt the legitimacy of it, or bash it, like..please dont watch it…even better stop watching hockey. you need to understand the swagger and mentality of hockey players, and all of the different types of guys in the locker room. their personalities are spot on.

    i highly reccomend you learn more about the sport man..because yes, the caps-pens rivalry is a well known heated rivalry with history…and is very much alive…theres no doubt its one of the best in the nhl today, especailly with OV&Crosby rivalry..the two faces of the NHL. get your facts straight. the show never said it was THE BEST anyways, your going over board with you comments.

    you also have no credibility in deciding whether ov is or is not the best player in the universe, just because he doesnt have a cup doesnt prove anything. but i can tell you right now he is the most talented player in the world and most people inside the hockey world would agree. he has a skill set that is just unparralelled and he is easily the most well-rounded player today. he is just an animal.

    its people like you that i just can not respect in regards to sports writing. the show gave me goosebumps and reminded me why i love the game so much. and it showed why all these guys love the game so much.

    yeah i know ive been chirpin for like 65432 pragraphs but we (hockey players) do not not take people like you seriously. thats pretty much it.

    sign up for beer league or something

  2. Jean Pronovost's Gravatar Jean Pronovost
    December 14, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    And now, perhaps, it may have just been taken a step too far:

    ‘The Price Is Right’ For Crosby, Ovechkin

    NEW YORK — The time is right for NHL stars Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin to put aside their rivalry in a bid to promote the Winter Classic.

    The Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals captains will appear together on the game show “The Price Is Right” on CBS on Monday.

    With retired star Jeremy Roenick, they’ll introduce an NHL-themed showcase that includes a trip to Pittsburgh for their teams’ New Year’s Day meeting outdoors at Heinz Field.

  3. Brian Venerose's Gravatar Brian Venerose
    December 14, 2010 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Tonight these 24/7 people will get to see what a REAL rivalry is.

  4. Dr. Hockey's Gravatar Dr. Hockey
    December 14, 2010 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    This review shows how the variations in the way something is presented to human beings makes all the difference in the world — the Pens got the intro that this would be great for hockey, interesting for them, etc. The Caps got to use it as an excuse for their abysmal play of late. Go PENS!!! Blow these chumps right out of Heinz Field and make our New Year’s Day a continuation of the celebration from the night before!!

  5. BitterE's Gravatar BitterE
    December 14, 2010 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    There may not be a caps/pens rivalry, I agree there. Crosby and Ovechkin have a bitter one though. The NHL has been barking up this caps/pens rivalry thing for years.

    Best rivalries:

  6. Qwail's Gravatar Qwail
    December 13, 2010 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    I heard 24/7 will be airing at ten then again at 11 so you can get home and watch it after the game.

  7. JimKAbomb's Gravatar JimKAbomb
    December 13, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    It’s almost like the Capitals team is trying to make everyone like them by become the underdog. The only problem with their plan is they have the most unlikeable player in hockey on their team.

    • Penzrule!'s Gravatar Penzrule!
      December 13, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

      It would write the perfect story for 24/7, perenial loser Washington beats the Penguins during big game. I guess we’ll have to wait to see if the refs hand the game to them.

    • GreenEyedLilo's Gravatar GreenEyedLilo
      December 13, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

      When did Sean Avery get traded to the Capitals?

      • JimKAbomb's Gravatar JimKAbomb
        December 13, 2010 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

        That’s the most hated player in hockey.

  8. GreenEyedLilo's Gravatar GreenEyedLilo
    December 13, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    Ooooh….let’s not get too cocky…we don’t need any premature “We have arrived” moments like Leonsis in his blog last year!

    The Capitals always make me just a bit prouder to be a Penguins fan, and I’m looking forward to 24/7, but I’m superstitious enough to make Crosby shake his head.


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