On December 15th, hockey fans and sports enthusiasts alike will witness the premiere of, what I think, is the most revolutionary insight into professional sports with the Pens/Caps 24/7 on HBO. I have absolutely loved the presentation of past 24/7 series and the Hard Knocks series but there are elements to the Pens/Caps that set it apart from the others.
Ovechkin vs Crosby
We've all followed and have witnessed this "rivalry" for the past 5 years and this production just fuels this fire that the NHL loves to promote. Though it can be argued that the emergence of Steve Stamkos as a true elite player in the NHL makes this a 3-horse race for 'best player in the world', but Ovechkin and Crosby have always brought out the best in each other when head-to-head.
These teams have a enjoyed a recent heated rivalry especially after the Penguins elimated the Capitals in the 7th game of the 2nd round during the 2009 Playoffs. The Penguins would go on to be the eventual Stanley Cup champions so expect HBO to devote most of, if not all, of an episode on that.
Hard Knocks has gone into the dressing rooms, meetings, personal lives, and on-field dynamics for NFL teams but this will be the first time we'll get an in-season look where the games actually matter. Two teams that will, most likely, make the playoffs will show viewers just how damn important two points in the standings mean to everyone involved - players, coaches, GM's, and owners.
Perfect for Hockey Players
As a hockey player for most of my life, this is a visual delicacy of a culture, if you will, unknown to most people. At about the 8:40 mark of the preview, the footage of skate sharpenings, stick taping, lacing up, applying wax, and putting on gear truly sensationalizes moments we, hockey players, love about what we do. We've all felt, touched, and tasted what the cameras are capturing, serving as a tribute to our wonderful game and the dedication we put into striving to get better.
I cannot wait for this series to air and I am confident it will do wonders for our game.
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