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Posted at 11:14 AM ET, 01/ 5/2011

Ted Leonsis: HBO's '24/7' on Capitals, Penguins is 'landmark television'

By Katie Carrera

If somehow you managed to miss the news that the final episode of HBO's "24/7" series, about the Capitals and Penguins leading up to the Winter Classic, will air tonight, consider this a friendly reminder. The fourth installment will premiere at 10 p.m. on HBO and be replayed immediately at 11 p.m.

All four shows will also air back-to-back this Saturday, beginning at 1:30 p.m. on HBO2. They will also all be available on HBO On Demand.

Yesterday, Capitals owner Ted Leonsis discussed the show at length on his blog. You can read the full entry here and an excerpt is below.

HBO showed there are truly no bad guys. The Penguins and the Capitals are all nice folks with intense competitiveness. They both play a great game with passion. Two teams that want to win; want to support the NHL; and want to do their best for their fan base.
The Winter Classic was a classic.
HBO's 24/7 was landmark television.
We helped the cause.
We created drama and interest.
We helped to grow the game. We generated boffo ratings. HBO will win Emmy Awards and deservedly so. This may be best insider sports television programming ever!

By Katie Carrera  | January 5, 2011; 11:14 AM ET
Categories:  HBO 24/7, Ted Leonsis  
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Next: Capitals' scoring slump has Coach Bruce Boudreau looking for answers


Where is our Captain?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 5, 2011 11:29 AM | Report abuse


If you were new to bashing ovie (as in this only this season) you might have more followers.

I agree there is much to be desired in his defensive game...however, you have been his biggest critic for years, and the prior three years he has been voted MVP by the PEOPLE WHO HAVE TO PLAY AGAINST HIM! Don't you think they might know better than u?


to whom are you reffering?

Posted by: capscoach | January 5, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

@capscoach: here's a repost from last night with a little something I put in just for you:

Isn’t it ironic, or dare I say POETIC JUSTICE, that it took a Vermonter (well not really, but since he played at UVM they consider him one) to expose BB’s mistake of benching Johnny E. in favor of Poti? I believe the Hockey Gods have made clear their displeasure once again.

There were three moments that stick-out in my mind about the game. First, the singing of the national anthem; that guy could sing his a@@ off, one of the best renditions I’ve heard so far this year. (I wish the Caps would always televise the anthem, the Bruins do.) Second, there was a guy sitting in the front-row behind one of the goals wearing a #4 jersey. Third, midway thru the second period my oldest son informed me that if we got NHL ’11 for Santa’s xbox gift, I could actually play Erskine in the game…something about the kinetic motion-sensor and actually throwing punches instead of pushing buttons. I don’t know, it sounds too good to be true but you know I’ll be checking it out.

I’m sure many will excuse the loss, citing the emotional drain of the build-up and playing of the Winter Classic. Maybe there’s some merit to the notion. All I know is, we were playing a division foe for first place at home. No offense from the playmakers and snipers...again. The pp did generate a nice breakaway chance...oh wait, that was for the Bolts. I don’t recall much of a forecheck, and it was distressing to see the backline (minus Green w/4) account for a whopping total of 2 hits the entire game. Five dmen and only two hits? WE MISSED ERSKINE'S ABRASIVENESS LAST NIGHT. Hendricks (again) tried to do his part, very nice to see Downie ICING HIS FACE. I also loved the verbal back-and-forth between the two while in the sinbin...that said, it was good that the fight ended when it did.

And lastly, where did Brooks Laich go? I haven’t seen him in ages. Did we trade him or did he get run-over by capscoach and is hospitalized?

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 5, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

LOL when Ovi scores 50-60 goals/year, a lot of his shortcomings get overlooked.

HOWEVER when he is on pace to score less than 30, all aspects of his game get put under a microscope.

You can live with his shorcomings when he scores over 50 every year. But no team can ignore them if he's just a 30 goal scorer.

It's like a great CB who can't tackle or a great WR who can't block in football. As long as they produce, nobody seems to care about their shortcomings. But once they lose a step or two, their shorcomings become an issue.

Posted by: joek443 | January 5, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

as long as Deion Sanders kept picking off the passes, returned them for TDs and shut down the best WRs in the game, nobody cared that he couldn't tackle anyone.

as long as Randy Moss kept catching 60-yard bombs, nobody cared he took plays off and couldn't block anyone.

Posted by: joek443 | January 5, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse


I was waiting for you to come on today (or dreading it :)

I guess the hockey Gods just favor you! I will admit that when you said

"And lastly, where did Brooks Laich go? I haven’t seen him in ages. Did we trade him or did he get run-over by capscoach and is hospitalized?"

I actually thought the same thing during the game...I think it was the tail end of the second and the announcer mentioned Laich in the play I realized I hadn't even noticed him for the entire two periods!

But I didn't run him over...just cut him off on accident :) He was quite the gentleman and didn't even honk...just let my car go by!

Posted by: capscoach | January 5, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse


you say you can overlook ovie's shortcomings when he is scoring 50+ goals, but you never did...u always bashed him

Posted by: capscoach | January 5, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Everyone Cap on the ice was responsible for the MSL goal. None of that matters because they couldn't score a goal. The Caps didn't even have a shot on goal in the OT period.

This is year 6 of the rebuild, the year the Caps are supposed to make a long playoff run and they choose to handcuff the guys with the 10 year contracts to accommodate a few slow Dmen. Good move!


I blame the coach and the GM who hired the coach more than the players. Coaching is way more important to team success at the professional level than at the college/minor league and below. Players learn the fundamentals at the lower levels, but usually teams with the most talented players win.

In the salary cap era, every professional team has talented players so game plans become crucial to team success. That's the coaches job. It's his job to devise a plan to draw defenders away and open up the ice.

Teams like the Detroit don't win because they have the most talented players in the world. They don't have 11 first rounders on their roster. What they do have is a smart coaching staff/GM who understands the game and devised a winning formula. Talent is supposed to help execute a strategy, not be it.

Posted by: ablake70 | January 5, 2011 12:02 PM | Report abuse


so you are saying you finally noticed Laich when they took MP 85 off his line and put MaJo up there, which happened towards the end of the of the 2nd. All I can say is I am not surprised. I also think MP played better after the switch, having two bigger guys out there at his side helped him I think.

Posted by: ThePat | January 5, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse


if every team has talented players and it is really just the coaching that makes the difference, then thats more of an argument to like BB! We have been a playoff team every year he has been here, won the President's trophy...only a handful of coaches did "better" than him.

On the other hand, if you believe the Caps have an above average team and BB has not gotten them to perform on their level...then u can say he is bad.

But if all teams are equal, then every coach who makes the playoffs is above average.

Posted by: capscoach | January 5, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse


What do you teach that you get to be on here all day? I teach grade 9 math and the little guys only afford me maybe 20 minutes a day to check this site.

Posted by: Aldred15 | January 5, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse


I don't think BB/GMGM are the worst pair in the NHL, just that they can't seem to take the next step with this team. I don't think it's realistic to expect to win a Cup because the Caps have Ovechkin.

Posted by: ablake70 | January 5, 2011 12:11 PM | Report abuse


I moved over the summer and am subbing right kids are taking a test today. On other days I am usually on here in 30 minute increments during planning periods. Down here there are literally no teaching jobs...they are laying off teachers left and right due to budget constraints.

Posted by: capscoach | January 5, 2011 12:13 PM | Report abuse


I swear sometimes your eternally optimistic posts "makes my butt twitch" as my wife puts it when she gets fired up about something. I wish I could be as optimistic as you but with age comes having to face reality more and more.

That being said I actually have to give BB credit for finally seeing the need to change his system and play a more defensive style with a CHECKING LINE which I have been screaming for since last year. The main problem I ma having with him now are his personnel decisions, I swear if Beagle gets sent back to Hershey when BGordon and Brads come back I will really go off!

Posted by: PhilR | January 5, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse

never said I overlooked Ovi's shortcomings, just said they get overlooked when he scores over 50 every year.

Posted by: joek443 | January 5, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse


thank goodness you know better than the actual NHL players!

Posted by: capscoach | January 5, 2011 12:20 PM | Report abuse


do you ever notice that at least half my comments have some kind of critique or disagreement with the caps...I think you just want to see red...or whatever color goats blood is.

Posted by: capscoach | January 5, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse


MP needs to be sent back to Hershey, he just doesn't seem to have what it takes to become a full time NHLer. Move either Laich or Steckle to 3rd line center and let Hendricks handle the 4th with MaJo getting experience at the 2nd pivot until a trade occurs.

Posted by: PhilR | January 5, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse


MP was not effective in the TB game, but I thought he looked decent this past week or so. He does get pushed around too much at times...but that whole 2nd line looked terrible, and even though BB moved him down, I don't think he is the cause of Semin and Laich's struggles.

Posted by: capscoach | January 5, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse


I am well aware of that. Or he needs to be packaged with someone else in a trade. Been saying it for about two weeks.

Posted by: ThePat | January 5, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

There are two quotes about the Caps that made me uneasy about BB.

-Mike Babcock said the key to beating the Caps was to throw 3 guys on Ovechkin.

-A Ranger said during the playoff series that the only person who noticed they changed strategy was Federov.

I'm not a hockey insider, but this doesn't seem right. A team can't throw 3 guys on Datysuk and expect to beat the Redwings. In fact, the year the Pens won the Cup, Datysuk (and I believe Rafalski) missed the WCFs and the first 4 games of the SCF. Somehow the Wings managed to win.

Also, shouldn't the coach recognize when a team changes strategy and relay that to his players? Maybe Sergei Federov was the only coachable player the Caps had at the time?


I would package MP and a pick for a center. MP is a scrappy guy, but I don't think he has a future with the Caps.

Posted by: ablake70 | January 5, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse


you are right he is not the main reason of the others struggles. To me its mostly on Semin. His shots are going 5 feet over the goal 90% of the time, so that limits Laich's effectiveness of cashing in on rebounds. Its not like Semin isnt getting shots, he's just nowhere close to the net on most of them.

That being said, they'd be much better off with a bigger guy at 2C and I know you have said the same thing as well.

Posted by: ThePat | January 5, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

@ablake...what 10 year contracts were given to a Caps d-man?

Posted by: boomer44 | January 5, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse


I was referring to Backstrom and Ovechkin. I should have said the guys that have 10 years left on their contracts.

Posted by: ablake70 | January 5, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

everyone talks about ovechkin lack of goal scoring, when was the last time semin or backstrom put the puck in the net? i honestly can't remember??? i think that's a major issue and one reason ovie is shooting his (b)ass off (was it 8 shots last night??)

Posted by: blur991 | January 5, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

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