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Posted at 7:32 AM ET, 12/17/2010

George McPhee's take on the first episode of HBO's '24/7'

By Katie Carrera
Morning Roundup

Before each episode of HBO's "24/7" airs, both the Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins are shown a rough version of their team's footage in upcoming show. They don't have editing powers, but if they object to certain strategy or injury information being aired, they can voice concerns to the producers. Capitals General Manager George McPhee, however, said he has made no such requests.

McPhee has traditionally declined to discuss things like contracts, trades and injury information, but in the rare instance of this show, the Capitals' general manager has made an exception. He's even gone so far as to insist that the players comply with requests that they wear microphones during practices or games.

"It is an unusual stance for us," McPhee said. "We don't disclose much, but we just wanted this to work. I wasn't hesitant [to allow footage of Mike Green's MCL injury]. I don't know why, really... I just wanted them to make sure they have everything that they needed to make the show work for us and for hockey. You want to make sure that they get everything so that people can see and learn what goes on, and are entertained by it."

Scott Boggins, a coordinating producer for HBO who is responsible for the Caps segments on the show, said that McPhee has encouraged the camera crew that's embedded with the team to keep up their work, even if it means filming one of the worst stretches in the team's recent memory. All told, there are eight people spending every day with the Capitals during the show's production, and they send at least 10-12 hours of footage back to the HBO studio on a daily basis.

Upon viewing the finished first episode, McPhee said he was pleased and believed that it was an accurate portrayal of what life is like as part of an NHL team. As for his favorite part? The interaction between Alex Ovechkin and Brandon Dubinsky, from the chatter early in Sunday's game to the fight itself.

"The comments earlier in the game, from upstairs it looks like they're trash talking and you realize they're just talking and being good sports," McPhee said. "They end up having to fight one another 30 minutes later and it's the kind of fight in hockey that you accept. You have a frustrated player who blows off some steam, they wrestle around for 30 seconds and when it's over, there's more respect between them.They both said: 'Good job buddy.' It was good hockey talk, and that's what most fights are like."

FROM THE POST
More reactions from the Capitals and hockey community about the first episode of "24/7."

Check out Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby's appearance on "The Price is Right." (Bog)

AROUND THE WEB
Ted Leonsis finally watched the opening installment of "24/7". (Ted's Take)

As the Capitals continue to slide, their lead on the rest of the Southeast is shrinking -- and quickly. (The Sporting News)

By Katie Carrera  | December 17, 2010; 7:32 AM ET
Categories:  George McPhee, HBO 24/7, Morning Roundup  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Capitals acclimating to HBO presence
Next: Caps breaking in Winter Classic equipment in practice

Comments

Since I'm first, I would like to say on behalf of my fellow Kool Aid drinkers...Good Job GMGM, and Thanks!


........and go!

Posted by: j3rockstar | December 17, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Glad someone finally told me what was said during and before the fight...I stopped watching when it got to the Rangers part...couldn't live through that again.

All right caps...one more practice before the game. Make it a good one.

The only problem I had with the last game (besides the outcome) was that we were afraid to lose...and it showed.

Don't be afraid to lose! It really can't be worse than it is already...play like you love the game and want to win. Losing happens to every team and if you let it control you then the season is lost. Play good hockey. Thats all I ask.

Posted by: capscoach | December 17, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

I'm really glad McPhee allowed HBO free access, it really made the show great, and fans learned about Green when we wouldn't have any other way. I seriously still think this losing streak as bad as it is, is the best thing that could've happened to this show. Watching Pittsburgh was really boring...I even think if we were winning we wouldn't have been that boring. But I only say that because I go to a lot of practices and they are always so funny when we are winning. But anyways, I hope we can get come wins udner our belt. Thrashers are one 1 point behind us and Tampa is 2points. so let's get the W's!!!!

Going to practice this morning, maybe I'll see some of you there.

Go Caps!!!

Posted by: capsfan387 | December 17, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

While I appreciated the show and enjoyed seeing the behind the scenes footage of the Caps and Guins. Something tells me that this streak will last into the new year until the camera's disappear. Distractions like this have a way of wreaking havoc. That being said I think the Caps are one of the few teams in the NHL that can endure a month long losing streak due to distractions, disease and injury and still make a run at the playoffs. I'm starting to believe however that Boudreau is wising he or the Caps had never agreed to this.

Posted by: us11231 | December 17, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

I shouldn't say it, b/c it might be a jinx. but how cool would it be if the Caps pulled out of the slide right as the Pens entered one...now THAT would be good tv

Posted by: capscoach | December 17, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

@ capscoach
It's the stuff dreams are made of. :)

Posted by: _Mark | December 17, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I know this will never happen and I'm not saying I'm for it, but just throwing out an idea to just talk about(so don't go ballistic on me).

Lets say that the Caps are not able to acquire a high end #2 center because the asking price is too high. Or maybe they are able to acquire a #2 center(lets say Jason Arnott) but it requires trading Fehr, prospects and maybe nother contract.

What would people think of the thought of acquiring Alexi Kovalev at the trade deadline? He could probably be had for about a 6th round draft pick as Ottawa is just looking to unload his salary.

The negative is that he is not the grinder or checking line player the Caps need or are looking for.

However, the positive is that he could play 2nd line LW and allow Laich to move full-time to the checking line LW on the LSB line(so it is sort of like acquiring a checking line forward as it allows Laich to fully play that role).

In addition, Kovalev would be awesome to have on the point on the PP with Mike Green, allowing Ovie to move down lower to a better scoring position. Kovalev has a lot of expereince on the point on the PP and is a much better puck handler than Ovie.

Lastly, he would probably cost almost nothing in terms of compensation(late draft pick) so there wouldn't be too much risk.

So the lines would look like

Ovie/Backstrom/(Semin or Knuble)
Kovalev/Arnott/(Semin or Knuble)
Laich/Steckel/Bradley
Chimera/BGordon/Hendricks

Again, I know this won't happen but I'm just throwing out a new idea to talk about.

There are definitely negatives to acquiring a player like Kovalev(doesn't always give a good effort), but there are positives too. In addition, he could be rejuvanted for a late push in Washington.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 17, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I'll be at the Pens game Dec23, the only game I plan going this season. I'm not very familiar with the DC scene... Anyone knows any good pre-post game events around DC?

Posted by: guer_j | December 17, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

@sgm3

I would be in favor of the changes to the Caps lineup that you propose. The extra forwards would be either Perrault or Beagle at center and A. Gordon at wing.

Posted by: MReilly9 | December 17, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

@MReilly9

When you look at the line combinations it looks pretty good. Two good scoring lines, a solid checking line and an energy line. The 3rd and 4th lines each have a center very good at faceoffs and a winger(Laich and Hendricks) who are solid at faceoffs. That is important to have on the defensive lines. Arnott and Kovalev(he did win a SC) would also bring in a lot of playoff experience.

The extras would be the guys you mentioned and also MJ and DJK would be in the mix.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 17, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

guer_j -
A good place before the game is The Greene Turtle or Bar Louie (this is where I usually go, both are essentially connected to The Verizon Center). Then after, down the street is RFD (crazy amounts of different beer) or Fado, an irish bar. There of course is always your run of the mill chains (Hooters, Ruby Tuesdays, etc.) in walking distance as well. Hope this helps.

Posted by: j3rockstar | December 17, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

@sgm3

I really think that the LSB played a very good game the other night and very effective.

Posted by: MReilly9 | December 17, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I really think that the LSB played a very good game the other night and very effective.

Posted by: MReilly9 |

I agree and hopefully we see more of that. I hope BB doesn't switch up the lines if they have a bad game and just lets them keep on playing.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 17, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I am not putting down your scenario sgm, but I would personally be upset if they picked up Kovalev. He's the opposite of what this team needs to be more competitive. I'm seeing a lot of passive behavior from this team, and it disturbs me. I watched the Bruins/Habs game last night and both teams looked very energetic. The pace was quite good, and there were some great hits. There was passion. I haven't seen passion with this Caps team since mid to late last regular season. I strongly believe that Kovalev would bring us down another notch...

I would be just fine with giving up Fehr and a prospect/pick for Arnott however.

Posted by: sca187 | December 17, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I am not putting down your scenario sgm, but I would personally be upset if they picked up Kovalev. He's the opposite of what this team needs to be more competitive. I'm seeing a lot of passive behavior from this team, and it disturbs me. I watched the Bruins/Habs game last night and both teams looked very energetic. The pace was quite good, and there were some great hits. There was passion. I haven't seen passion with this Caps team since mid to late last regular season. I strongly believe that Kovalev would bring us down another notch...

I would be just fine with giving up Fehr and a prospect/pick for Arnott however.

Posted by: sca187

That's fair and that is definitely the possible downside of acquiring Kovalev. I'm not saying I'm for it, but when I looked at the possible line I liked the look of them and I think it would make the PP much better(very important for the Caps possible success in the playoffs). But the downsides you mentioned are all reasons not to do it.

Like any trade, it is always hard to judge because we are never sure what other options the Caps actually had a chance to go after.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 17, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I think we need to step back a bit from the trade talk. All the pieces are there, it's just making them fit the puzzle. So they are losing right now. So what? I would rather them lose now then in April. Have their slump now, get it out of the way to focus on the run later.

It's reminds me of the Terps back in 2000-2002. They had 2 games against Duke, both where they lost big leads. But in 2001-2002, they found themselves crowned NCAA Division I Champs. I look at the Caps the same way. A frustrated team for years, on the verge of something big and one day everything falls into place.

Posted by: taocpa | December 17, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I thought it was a great episode. A little too "Pittsburgh is such a happy place", but other than that, it was very good.

Posted by: taocpa | December 17, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

taocpa,
With the Pens' recent streak moving them near the top of the Eastern Conference and the Steelers leading the AFC North I'm sure things are pretty happy in the 'Burgh right now. It's a great sports town.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | December 17, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

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