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Saturday December 4, 2010 5:32 am

HBO series and Winter Classic nears




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, NHL,

HBO 24/7HBO released a preview of its upcoming 24/7 reality series that will feature insight into the players on the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals as they near their epic clash in the 2011 version of the NHL Winter Classic. In true HBO form, the show will feature a no-holds-barred look at hockey life in the dressing room, swearing included. The 11+ minute clip featured interviews with the likes of Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, the game’s two premier faces – and most bitter rivals.

The preview also looks like it serves as an introduction for viewers more inclined to watch anything other than hockey as it explains exactly what a “Winter Classic” is. However, the show will go beyond the ice to get into he minds of the players and coaches as they share their thoughts on careers and what it’s like to play in front of 17,000 screaming fans. The show claims it will “pull no punches” in its attempt to take the Washington/Pittsburgh rivalry to a new level.

The show will not only feature Crosby and Ovechkin, but also include interviews with other players and coaches, including Dan Bylsma and Bruce Boudreau, the coaches of the Pens and Caps. HBO wants to pave the road to Hines Field, home to the Pittsburgh Steelers, where the Winter Classic will occur. Players on both sides have admitted that the two teams don’t like each other, and it will show on New Year’s Day when the two battle for the ultimate bragging rights in winning the NHL’s premier game of the regular season.

The NHL must have been in discussion with HBO about this serious well before they decided which two teams would participate. The Capitals and Penguins have the two most marketable players who are polar opposites of each other. One’s an outspoken Russian known for his aggressive and over-the-top personality; the other a Canadian icon well-versed in media speak who is as much a company man as he is a hockey player. Combined they are capable of making this edition of 24/7 a monstrous success.

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