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Thread: HBO's 24/7 Road to the Winter Classic series is awesome

  1. #1

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    HBO's 24/7 Road to the Winter Classic series is awesome

    I love this behind the scenes stuff. A must-watch for all hockey fans. They did something similar in the minor leagues a few years ago with my local W-B/S Pens back when guys like Brooks Orpik, Marc-Andre Fleury, Max Talbot, Colby Armstrong, Rob Scuderi, Ryan Whitney, etc. were still in the AHL (it's called "Chasing the Dream" I'm going to have to go back into my DVD collection and dig those discs out).

    Getting to see these guys' faces up close in HD, with all the scars, bruises, etc. just goes to show the brutality of the sport. Even Bylsma was showing off his nasty upper lip scar (while at one point, fat ol' Bruce Boudreau was giving an interview with what appeared to be spots of marinara sauce around his mouth...I actually stopped to ask my wife if that was pasta that was on his face). Seeing Engelland's shot and stitches between periods after fighting Colton Orr was eye-opening as well.

    Favorite part of the show: The guys skating with all their kids, and Max Talbot getting hit from behind by one of the elementary school sized youngers. When he realized it was Matt Cooke's kid, he pulled the boy's jersey over his head and faux-pummeled him. Good stuff.

    Good quote from Ben Lovejoy after returning to the hotel from dinner, only to find every piece of furniture from their room in the hallway..."We are going to find out who did this, and likely do nothing."

    Liked how they used some music from Slap Shot at certain junctures. Nice touch. Can't wait for next week's show already (and the fact that the Pens don't have a game this weekend isn't helping).

    Premiere Episode of HBO's '24/7' Series Showcases Camaraderie Among Pens

    Thursday, 12.16.2010 / 12:00 PM

    Features By Michelle Crechiolo

    In normal circumstances, most people only know the Penguins from a distance while the players are on the ice, covered head-to-toe in equipment.??

    But for an hour on Wednesday, that completely changed.? ?

    Viewers got to see the team in a whole new light Wednesday night with the debut episode of HBO Sports “24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road to the Winter Classic” all-access series that airs exclusively on HBO.??

    The first of four episodes in a groundbreaking series, which follows both Pittsburgh and Washington as they prepare for the 2011 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic at Heinz Field on New Year’s Day, showed plenty of on-ice highlights.

    But it was the unprecedented look at how the Penguins interact with each other behind closed doors that truly stole the show. ??

    The HBO cameras began filming the team at their annual Christmas party on Dec. 5 and followed them throughout the rest of that week, cumulating with the Penguins’ 5-2 road victory over Buffalo at HSBC Arena on Dec. 11.??

    The cameras caught the incredible camaraderie between the players, with plenty of priceless scenes surfacing over that seven-day period.

    Viewers also experienced what it’s like when head coach Dan Bylsma addresses his team and names the starting lineup in the locker room prior to games. They watched him grade players in the office of general manager Ray Shero. ??

    Fans even got to see up-close and personal how fights unfold on the ice, with microphones recording the heated exchanged between Deryk Engelland and Toronto’s Colton Orr on Dec. 8. Pittsburgh’s team doctor put three stitches into a resulting gash on Engelland’s forehead in a wince-worthy scene.??

    “This isn’t going to be G-rated,” Shero said back in September. “It’s going to be the way things are done and how we do things. It’s an emotional sport, which makes it exciting. It’s passionate. You’re going to be talking about the game and practices and things will come out. That’s what makes the HBO special so great. We have to be who we are.” ??

    For those who have yet to see this other side of the Penguins, there are plenty of opportunities to catch what you’ve missed.??

    The replay dates for Wednesday’s premiere episode are as follows (all times are EDT)?

    HBO: ?
    Thursday, Dec. 16: 5:00 p.m. and midnight?
    Friday, Dec. 17: 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.?
    Saturday, Dec. 18: 10:30 a.m. and 11:15 p.m.
    Sunday, Dec. 19: 9:00 a.m.?
    Monday, Dec. 20: 5 p.m. and 1:20 a.m.?
    Saturday, Jan. 1: 7 a.m.??

    HBO 2
    Sunday, Dec. 19: 11:50 p.m.?
    Tuesday, Dec. 21: 8 p.m.?
    Tuesday, Dec. 28: 2 p.m.?
    Thursday, Dec. 30: 1:30 p.m.?
    Saturday, Jan. 8: 1:30 p.m.??

    Here’s the scheduled debuts for the remaining three episodes, all of which will air exclusively on HBO
    Episode #2: Wednesday, Dec. 22 – 10 p.m. ?
    Episode #3: Wednesday, Dec. 29 – 10 p.m. ?
    Episode #4: Wednesday, Jan. 5 – 10 p.m. ??

    HBO On Demand availability will begin on Monday, Dec. 20.

  2. #2

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    Re: HBO's 24/7 Road to the Winter Classic series is awesome

    For those who have HBO; Episode 2 debuts tomorrow at 10:00 p.m.

    For those who don't have HBO; You should be able to view the first episode here:


  3. #3
    Pro Bowler

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    Re: HBO's 24/7 Road to the Winter Classic series is awesome

    Awesome. That was a great watch. Thanks for posting, Ruthless.

  4. #4

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    Re: HBO's 24/7 Road to the Winter Classic series is awesome

    Excellent second show.

    Some highlights:

    Getting to see Mario playing on the ice again. Priceless.

    Getting to see Cooke go into the Phoenix locker room to cut the laces on Paul Bissonette's skates and to shove bubble gum into the fingers of his gloves.

    Getting to see Craig Adams' 3 year old son rattling off the names of all the players from their pictures on the wall (including calling his father "Craig" instead of "Daddy") until he had to stop because of a sore neck from looking up at all of the pictures in that hallway.

    By the way, is anyone else ticked off that Winter Classic prequel against the Caps will be taking place at the same time as a Steeler game on Thursday Night Football. We'll get to see half the Pens game before the Steeler game comes on, but I would like to watch it all live in order to try to win something cool in their great gift giveaway instead of watching the hockey game later off the DVR when the contests have already ended.

    (I sold my tickets to the Panthers game because my great-aunt is in town for Christmas from Florida and my dad promised to drive her to Lancaster to see her brother, who is in failing wife just had shoulder surgery 2 days ago, so she was not available to take his place and I couldn't justify exposing either the 6 or 9 year old kids to late December weather after dark, then driving all night in order to get home early on Christmas Eve morning. I may or may not join everyone in the chat room, because I may decide to finish watching Pens-Caps if it is a good game, then starting the Steeler game in progress off the DVR tape delay).

  5. #5

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    Re: HBO's 24/7 Road to the Winter Classic series is awesome

    Oh, and by the way, the Caps unofficial victory song (and the corresponding one armed "dance" thing that the players do to it) is just about the gayest thing imaginable. I think HBO could just play that sequence of 24/7 on a loop, and it would at least equal the content of "The 'L' Word" in terms of gayness on cable TV.

  6. #6

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    Re: HBO's 24/7 Road to the Winter Classic series is awesome

    Watching the Alumni Game this morning was pretty cool (although a 9:30 a.m. start time on a Friday was a bit least I was off from work since it is New Year's Eve, so I was able to watch). It would have a been nice if it was actually televised instead of just being shown online. I couldn't even expand the window to fill my screen...had to watch it on a screen the size of a credit card. That made it a little difficult to follow, plus figure in that multiple players were wearing the same jersey numbers (Francis and Roberts were both 10, Errey and Malone were both 12, Simpson and LeRoux were both 18, Hannan and Taglianetti were both 32, and the Caps had a pair of 2's, 12's, 16's, 20's and 24's as well), so you had to pay attention to which players were wearing helmets, toques, or nothing on their heads to be able to tell them apart during wide shot action. Still cool, though, especially when the sun came out in the 2nd "half" (they only play two 20 minute periods), so you could see the players' shadows on the ice).

    As for the 3rd installment of 24/7, I literally don't know how to respond to Ben Lovejoy's face when they took flight following his 1st NHL fight/1st NHL goal/1st time getting hit in the face with an NHL puck game. They said that the pressurized cabin would cause it to swell, but Jesus Tap Dancing Christ...his face swelling to Bruce Boudreau like levels!

    Speaking of Boudreau, could there possibly be a wider likeability gap between Boudreau and Bylsma right now? Sure, Bylsma swears every now and then (this is hockey after all), but Boudreau drops an F-bomb literally every other word. He makes Rex Ryan in Hard Knocks seem PG by comparison. Bylsma seems to interact quite well with his team and gives the impression of being ultra-studious (watching film on his laptop during intermission, etc.) while Boudreau seems to be grasping at straws regarding what to say to his team. I literally thought that he could be fired in front of the HBO cameras when they were in the midst of their long losing streak, because he really seemed to have lost that team. In this episode, they showed Bylsma playing soccer on the XBox Kinect with his kid on Chrsitmas, and his likeability as a family man really showed through (asking his son about who he would have chosen for the shootout, for instance). Meanwhile, Boudreau's kids have to talk their father out of going to get Haagen-Dazs (AT NINE O'CLOCK IN THE #&@%ING MORNING) when they were supposed to be Christmas shopping for their mother. No wonder this dude transformed his body shape from a hockey player to a manatee after retirement.


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