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Posted at 7:34 AM ET, 01/ 6/2011

Recapping HBO's '24/7' finale: Capitals, Penguins face off in Winter Classic

By Katie Carrera
Morning Roundup

If there was any question about the mutual dislike between the Capitals and Penguins, viewers of the final episode of HBO's "24/7" series got another front-row seat to the animosity between the two clubs. While the Winter Classic's postponement and ultimate outcome were already known prior to the finale, another close up of this rivalry will hardly disappoint.

On to some highlights from the final episode:

--Likely the most popular catchphrase to come out of the finale was spoken by Alex Ovechkin as he prepared to take the ice for the Winter Classic in the visiting locker room at Heinz Field: "[Bleep] this [Bleep]sburgh team." I have a feeling that might appear on T-shirts before the next game against the Penguins.

Then there was Coach Bruce Boudreau's take on the festivities in Pittsburgh: "Two [bleeping] points that we're going to take off these [bleeps] here."

HBO included footage of the Capitals taping up negative stories and columns written about them prior to the Winter Classic as well, so for those wondering if teams are exaggerating when they say they'll post something to the bulletin board, wonder no more.

--The crux of this episode was everything that happened once both teams were in Pittsburgh preparing for the Winter Classic, but watching Boudreau yell at the team for not completing the drills correctly at Chevy Chase Club last week is not to be missed. "C'mon you [bleep]bums, do it right!"

--NHL ice guru Dan Craig explains that it takes 10,000 gallons of water for an inch of ice and that the surface will be passed over 100 times with the hose to build each inch. Makes the 3,000-4,000 gallons they took off the rink before the game on Jan. 1 not seem like that much.

--Perhaps the lasting image of the show, which had so many notable scenes or close looks at players, will be the camera retreating from both teams' locker rooms as narrator Liev Schreiber said: "Hockey doesn't stand still for a portrait." No, but "24/7" managed to capture a moving image of it. What was your favorite part of the series?

John Carlson and Karl Alzner are earning more responsibility as the season goes on and have been assigned the task of guarding against opponents' top lines in the past three games.

Read about the charity partnership between Alex Ovechkin and Cal Ripken over at the D.C. Sports Bog.

Team Russia shocked Canada with a 5-3 win to capture the World Junior Championship in Buffalo Wednesday night. Check out recaps from The Globe and Mail, the Ottawa Citizen and video highlights from TSN.

NHL dubs this year's Winter Classic a success in terms of fan experience and a business perspective.

By Katie Carrera  | January 6, 2011; 7:34 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Roundup  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Video: HBO Sports president on '24/7' series
Next: Statistical analysis: Midseason Capitals awards


I'm gonna just fill in for Vermontcaps real quick...

BB quote..."it's not a cup but if feels f-ing good!"

VermontCaps response:

Well it is OBVIOUS BB could care less about a cup! Apparently a winter classic win is all he cares about, and this is the guy GMGM chooses to lead our team! He has no heart :)

Did I get it right?

Great episode! Congrats to Russia, and well played Eakin!

Posted by: capscoach | January 6, 2011 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Not just Eakin our 1st rounder from last year was one of the players of the tourney and Orlov was one of the defenders of the tourney. 3 Caps players were stars of the tourney. The future is bright (If they can get them to the states).

How funny is it that Pittsburgh would not shake hands. Very classless and the hockey Gods will pay them back for that one. SORE chump losers.

Posted by: Mike4169 | January 6, 2011 7:58 AM | Report abuse

I was shocked that Pitt scored 8 goals against TB and Crosby only had an assist!

The microphone game coverage of the series was AMAZING! Really gave me an insight into the on ice atmosphere, and their comments were hilarious.

Have to admit that Fleurry was super funny in the shootout drills. BB was pretty funny in this episode as well.

The ref giving Ovie the option of a penalty or incidental contact was priceless, and though Crosby is a truly amazing player (esp. this season) he is one whinny little bi**h! The refs were even getting annoyed with him. And he is a really sore loser.

Posted by: capscoach | January 6, 2011 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Per the Russia win:

Apparently Canadians threw beer cans at the Russians after the game...The anti-Russian sentiment is strong there! I think Canadians almost feel hockey belongs to them, and they also forget that the Cold War is over!

First Pitt won't shake hands (loved BB's "make them come to us" statement)and now this! It really is a shame that both countries can't respect each other more. Russia has had a hard time..government getting over involved in the teams, and they finally pull out a win. I am happy for them, and more happy that our three main prospects played so well.

Anyone think Kuztensov gets a game in the big league? We could sure use his speed and passing ability.

Posted by: capscoach | January 6, 2011 8:21 AM | Report abuse

I especially loved the part where Cooke was whining to the refs about how many cross-checks he had to take before a call was made; then the ref goes over to the Caps bench and says something like "I missed 7 cross checks...I must be terrible at this"! I rolled on the floor! If nothing else, this series gave us a great picture of the interaction between the players, coaches and refs during the games!

Posted by: Thisistheyear | January 6, 2011 8:21 AM | Report abuse

No one has mentioned Mike Green's MOON???

Posted by: cappies | January 6, 2011 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Best Hockey Part Hands Down: Knuble's rant in the locker room after the first period in Boston.

Best Human Interest: Craig Adams's kid naming the Penguins players from their pictures in the Pen's offices.

Most Interesting Insight: The way the refs control the game especially fights and altercations. It's clear they try to make the game "fair" from their perspective. It doesn't always work out that way and they're not always right. Officiating hockey is definitely art and not science.

Posted by: SuperG5 | January 6, 2011 8:42 AM | Report abuse


Thanks for your 6:30 am post. I'll assume you are accurate since you took the trouble of looking into that, good for you.

Possibly the Caps were told not to give away too many penalties because of Tampa's very dangerous PP and therefore were playing conservatively in that regard.

This demonstrates how much tunnel vision one can have when one has an axe to grind.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 6, 2011 8:45 AM | Report abuse

I was shocked that Pitt scored 8 goals against TB and Crosby only had an assist!
Was he even playing? I didn't see his name listed in the "NHL, On the Fly" highlights.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 6, 2011 8:49 AM | Report abuse

"Anyone think Kuztensov gets a game in the big league? We could sure use his speed and passing ability.

Posted by: capscoach"

He's under contract in the KHL until the end of the 2012 season.

Posted by: Steve_R | January 6, 2011 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Really interesting article about how Ovie and Sid are prtrayed in the media.

I by no means think Ovechkin is flawless! But I also recognize how the very distinct cultural differences between Russians and North Americans tends to put Russian players in a more negative light.

A lot of people I know that travel for Business have said things like "Russians are nasty" or Russians are rude...but an entire population can not be that way. There is just a very different culture.

I think we can all admit that we would be very different people if we had grown up in post-soviet Russia! I think it is time to accept these players for who they are, and not expect them to be North American when they grew up in such different circumstances.

the articel is

Posted by: capscoach | January 6, 2011 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Katie/Lindsay/Tarik, maybe a WP article about the performance of Kuznetsov, Orlov, and Eakin would be in order. Did the Post send anyone up to cover the tournament? If not, maybe some phone interviews could be done. Just a thought....

Posted by: zmega | January 6, 2011 8:56 AM | Report abuse

@Steve_R |
my understanding is that it will be easy to get him out of that contract (prbably next season though) if he and the club wants it...

my guess is that they will push him to come to Hershey next season...he seems ready and the longer he stays in Russia, the harder his adjustment to the U.S. will be...look at the difference between Semin and Ovechkin in that respect.

Posted by: capscoach | January 6, 2011 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I was watching some of the Pens feed of their game with the Lightning when one of the commentators said after an early goal, " well it isn't raining in here". This may not be an exact quote but you get the meaning. If only it hadn't been raining they'd have slaughtered the Caps.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 6, 2011 8:59 AM | Report abuse

....look at the difference between Semin and Ovechkin in that respect.
Could that also be due to a difference in their upbringing?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 6, 2011 9:02 AM | Report abuse


oh definitely! I don't know them personally, do I can only hypothesize. But I also think it would have been easier for Semin had he not come for a short stay, then left. The battel to get him back probably didn't help either.

Posted by: capscoach | January 6, 2011 9:05 AM | Report abuse


If you're going to put words in my mouth, I'd say you did a pretty good job ;)
Despite my calls for BB's ouster, I recognize he'll be with us this year. If we don't get to to the SCF or ECF game#7, his removal should be a done deal.

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 6, 2011 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Favorite thing was definitely hearing the on-ice chatter between the teams and with the officials. I especially liked in the very final moments of the final episode, the captions of 2 players talking after a fight, while lying on the ice: "Good job." "Yeah, good job buddy."

An interesting exchange (especially when compared with Erskine and Rupp's yapping between penalty boxes after their fight.

Posted by: stantonpark | January 6, 2011 9:11 AM | Report abuse

@FloridaCapsFan, thanks for noticing. On the last thread some were suggesting that the Caps are somehow defined by the fact that they registered all of 2 hits against the Bolts. In fact, they stand at #9 in hits in the league, ahead of notable teams such as Vancouver, Detroit, and Phila (exceeding their total by 102 hits). TB is last. Obviously the coaching staff thought their best strategy in this game lay elsewhere.

Here's the data

Posted by: Justafan | January 6, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse

My favorite parts were the player/ref comments during the game -- very illuminating -- and Fleury's yapping during the shootout. But my most favorite part of all is being able to watch the Pens lose the Classic on home ice over and over again. It never gets old!!!

Posted by: AmyS1 | January 6, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

To paraphrase Sir Winston Churchill, "Semin is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma".

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 6, 2011 9:21 AM | Report abuse

BB's "these pricks" comment was hilarious as was his direction at the end of the game to, "let them come to us."

There is no doubt in my mind that Cindy suffered a concussion from Steckel's inadvertent hit. Dude got his bell rung well. You can also clearly see Cindy make a wide turn directly into Steck's path and Steck's attempt to avoid Crysby by dipping his shoulder. Orprick can say what he wants. The video does not lie.

I have to agree that The Flower was too funny feeding lines to the players that he stuffed in the shootout.

I also think Disco Dan came off pretty well in 24/7. He seems to have a great disposition and communicates well with his players and GM. I bet he will be around for quite some time.

LOVED the footage of the refs throughout the series. They take a lot of verbal abuse from the players which I found very surprising. It was nice to see a few of them give it back. And the scene in episode two where the ref pushed the goal out of the way to give the players more room to fight was priceless. They clearly understand and agree with the various "codes" of hockey.

I'll miss the footage. What a great view into the world of pro hockey. I hope they start playing "Beat Dat Beat" after a home victory. Watching 18k people pump their fists in unison would be too funny.

Posted by: phknlwyr | January 6, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

my understanding is that it will be easy to get him out of that contract (prbably next season though) if he and the club wants it...

my guess is that they will push him to come to Hershey next season...he seems ready and the longer he stays in Russia, the harder his adjustment to the U.S. will be...look at the difference between Semin and Ovechkin in that respect.

Posted by: capscoach

I'm pretty sure Kuznetsov has an out clause in his contract that he can exercise after his year is over in the KHL.

If I had to guess I think he will be on the Caps next year. It is a complex situation, but I think they will want him over here but they also know that he may not be as willing to come if he is going to be in Hershey full-time(i.e. MJ).

So I think the he will be on the Caps and will get ice time similar to MJ this year, but less 2nd line time. I think it will be 4th line time most of the time with some time on the 2nd line when there are injuries. He may also pop up to the top 2 lines and play some wing.

But I think the main reason for this would be to get him practicing and training with the Caps. Kuznetsov needs to hit the weight room some and I'm guessing that the Caps would feel more comfortable with him working out under the guidance of the Caps trainers and other Caps players. In addition, he will get accustomed to the small sized rink.

I do love that Pierre McGuire said that Kuznetsov reminded him of Pavel Datsyuk. That would be awesome. McGuire also said that Orlov reminded him of Sergei Zubov but with a harder shot. Those were the only two Russian players McGuire compared to NHL players. That wouldn't be bad.

On a side note, the fact that the Russian team could win on different sized rinks than they play on all the time while the Canadians played on rinks the exact same size they always play on, makes it even more amazing.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 6, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Here are my take-aways from 24/7

1) The contrast between Pittsburgh and Washington could not be greater. Pittsburgh reminded me of the rich, private school kid who carries an air of entitlement. the coaches represented this well: Bylsma carried a laptop around while Boudreau uses a yellow legal pad. The Caps came off as blue collar kids. If stereotypes are true then the Penguins should have been representing DC and the Caps Pittsburgh.

2) Crosby played right into every single stereotype of him. He is enormously talented and, I argue, the most important player in the NHL. But, he was selfish and whining. The portrayal of him has been he's a great leader who puts the team first. Notice his chirping at the officials was always about something that happened to him. He never barked at them about something that happened to a teammate. He constantly chirps at the officials, even when things go his way, he barks for more. This was contrasted with Ovechkin. When the ref told Ovechkin to "keep his feet on the ground and he can hit people all day" Ovechkin said, "sure." Ovechkin shut up after the official told him "do you want me to call interference?" After the Ref told Crosby "you got a power play, you're not getting a penalty shot too," Crosby continued to chirp.

3) My respect for the NHL officials skyrocketed after this. They love the game but they just aren't talented enough to keep up with many of the plays. That's why the "miss" so much.

4) HBO desperately tried to help the Penguins image at the end of the WC. The Penguins were unsportsmanlike, classless, brats who missed an amazing opportunity to show the class that is hockey. All the Penguins had to do was show up in the handshake line and that would have been a spectacular image to end the series and show what hockey is all about: the game. Instead, they stormed off the ice. HBO tried to couch it as "the rivalry continues" but, really, the star of this series was hockey. It wasn't about the Caps or the Penguins, it was about the game and the Penguins missed an opportunity to prove that.

Posted by: Matt23185 | January 6, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Definatley liked the on ice comments.

It was really amazing to see the transformation from losing streak to
winning the WC & the opposite for the Pens.

I thought DB looked like he was going to cry at the end of the WC

Liked the goalies messing with players during shoot outs...Jumping Jacks! HA!

Being a dad and getting a good laugh watching the guys trying to get their kids to sleep on New Years. It's the same for all of us!

And more than anything, makes me miss my playing days which I am not too far removed from.

Posted by: Iceman10 | January 6, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I loved Matt Cooke complaining about dirty play! Pot calling the kettle black just a bit!

Posted by: capscoach | January 6, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

How about when Green was talking about having a low key night with a few sodas and some sleep and then they show Ovi enjoying a Corona....not exactly the image he needs right now with him being in such a slump. He probably only had 1 or 2 and didn't affect his game play, but still not good.

Posted by: CAPSHOCKEY2 | January 6, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

SGM - its pierre mcguire, so compliment or not, the guy is an idiot and i would take anything he has to saw with a grain of salt. Watching the U20 games, I'd say kuznetsov reminds me more of malkin - he gets that really wide base and has the height to just circle around the zone, create space for himself while controlling the puck. At the same time, he had a bit of a tendency to force plays sometimes - taking a 1 on 4 vs the canadian defense - something he'll have to adjust when he comes to NA. The datsyuk quality that I did see out of him was his ability to backcheck and steal pucks from opponents breaking out or in a neutral zone transition. If he comes to the NHL next year, i'd imagine that he will be a bit inconsistent, especially in the early part of the season.

Posted by: chatton | January 6, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse


at every meal on both teams virtually all the players were drinking either a beer or glass of wine.

Posted by: capscoach | January 6, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

What show were you watching?
1. Just about every media commentator (even in DC) has mentioned that the series is portraying the Pens as blue-collar, hard-working family guys and the Caps as the primadonnas. In fact, lots of local commentators have complained about it.
2. Can you honestly say that Ovechkin is chirping less to the officials than Crosby and is accepting every call with a sort of us "yes sir??!!" There was tons of b**ching happening on each side. Take off that tinfoil hat of yours along with those red Caps tinted glasses.
3.The officials were stars in my book. Had to give them kudos for putting up with all that crap from ALL the players and acting confidently on their calls. They actually seem to have a really good relationship with the players, and you can tell, despite all the players' b***ching, that they get respect from them...and get the right calls 99% of the time.
4. I don't think you have to "worry" about the Pens image at the end of the series. They didn't shake hands....Bruce wanted them to come to him. Incredible animosity...incredible theatre and opens up for more rivalry in the future. HBO was actually wrong. There have been only 3 WCs and there has been a handshake only in the last 2.Wow...what a tradition those awful Pens have broken! I think they'll take their chances with the hockey gods, thank you.

5. For actually coming out as a fan of the winner of the WC, you are a bitter, angry person, aren't you?

Posted by: vahockeyfan | January 6, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

That TShirt that Katie mentioned may actually work both ways, both as a battle cry for the Caps and as rivalry fodder for the Pens. I'm betting you'll see a Pens fan at the next Caps/Pens game wear a tshirt with an unflattering picture of Ovechkin or of BB with sauce (or dead skin?) on his face with that caption.

Posted by: vahockeyfan | January 6, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Bruce continues to act like a classless punk calling his players shitbums, and using profanity left and right while the substane of his speeches to the players remain sub-par. I hate the Pens like the next guy but I am afraid Blysma came across as a more effective coach. I am not asking for a coaching change. I am just saying Bruce's communication style is embarassing. He should also lose some weight and look somewhat athletic if he gets a chance. But wait he is too busy making commercials and writing books.

Posted by: Gr8_8 | January 6, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

One thing I learned was just how much Matt Cooke whines. Reminds me of Pittsburgh fans......also find it very interesting not one guy on the Pens stepped up to defend Crosby after Stecks drilled him from here to one of the Three Rivers!

Posted by: epwolff | January 6, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I was disappointed that we did not get a audio ("miked-up") of the Erskine-Rupp fight. Does anyone know what Rupp said at the very end of their fight?

Posted by: Jenners | January 6, 2011 1:20 PM | Report abuse

@ Jenners

He said he lost his contact.


I'm a lot of the players have a beer or wine with dinner and I don't have a problem with that. Just a little more gas of the fire when Ovechkin is underperforming.

Posted by: CAPSHOCKEY2 | January 6, 2011 1:37 PM | Report abuse

"I was disappointed that we did not get a audio ("miked-up") of the Erskine-Rupp fight. Does anyone know what Rupp said at the very end of their fight? "
Posted by: Jenners | January 6, 2011 1:20 PM

Something like: "Excuse me Sir, I seem to have lost a contact lens. Could you please stop pummeling my face and help me look for it?"

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | January 6, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

@ Gr8_8

Great post!

Thought 24/7 was top notch for all 4 episodes. Well done HBO!

As for BB he has no leadership skills, looks pregnant and has communication skills that are so poor as to be laughable while inspiring only the s**t house rat in his immature rants. Fire the bum.

The Caps need a new coach to bring the Cup home this year...otherwise it will be more of the same as per the past 2 years...go to the bank on it.

Posted by: capper3 | January 6, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

@eppwolf - the ref made fun of Cookes whining and stood by the Caps bench and mocked him so the Caps bench would hear it...haha

I also generally liked how the refs discussed the game together ...but the scenes from the Pittsburgh dressing room at the end spoke volumes - Bylsma couldn't even look toward the camera (he was almost crying) - just how much they wanted to win that game against the Caps. They pretend it was just another game but I think they are tired of losing to the Caps and even with a full stadium losing again...

So I forgive BB for being so excited about winning it...

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | January 6, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Ok, how's about Greenie showing us some of his plumber's when he turns in for on new year's eve? I was like what ? was that what I thought it was?

Posted by: psamala | January 6, 2011 9:51 PM | Report abuse

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