It’s a blood feud, in more ways than one. Let’s discuss week 3 of HBO’s 24/7 Penguins/ Capitals
-Conceptually, this was a very interesting episode. The NHL schedule did HBO a great favor by scheduling a game between the Pens and Caps in the run up to the winter classic. It allowed for most of this episode to take place during just one game, which meant viewers got to see the inner workings on both sides more closely than we have before. The decision to cut back and forth between the two coaches during their intermission speeches was a great one. It helped to build the drama. And without having to focus on multiple games, we really got to see the emotions on both sides that come out during the minute by minute action. We saw both Crosby and Ovechkin go off on the refs after getting called for penalties. And the fact that the game was tight into Overtime and ended up in a shootout made it even better. The NHL couldn’t ask for anything more.
-Speaking of emotions, Bruce Bodreau seemed to keep his in check this week. Perhaps he’s been reading my email. I got this note from commenter Bhersk earlier in the week:
Great show and it is making me appreciate hockey, however Bruce Boudrou’s cursing is out of control. It makes him sound dumb, I never understood when my father told me not to curse so much because it makes me sound stupid, I always though it just emphasized a joke and made it funnier. Until I listen to the coach speak, literally every other word is F it’s insanity!
But this week, Boudreau laid off the curse words. Sure, a few slipped out, but overall he sounded far more calm and a bit more cerebral by leaving the fucks at home.
-This was the most cringe worthy hour of TV I’ve seen in a long time. It started with Mike Knuble at the dentist (and you know how I feel about dentists.) That was only the appetizer in a buffet of images that made me wince. Ben Lovejoy made me want to puke. First it was the image of a syringe sticking out of his face wound. Then it was the shot of the doctors actually stitching him up, complete with a blood soaked napkin. But the real treat was seeing his face swell up like Rocky Dennis because of the air pressure on the plane. Who’s Rocky Dennis? Come on, you remember Mask.
But it didn’t stop with Lovejoy. Nope. We got to see Mary, the tv timeout coordinator, take a puck to the face. At least the ref made sure she got that puck as a souvenir.
-Is this all for naught? This episode should go a long way towards convincing casual sports fans to tune in New Year’s Day. Except, this game may not be played on New Year’s Day. The forecast calls for rain and temperatures in the 50′s. There’s talk that the game may have to be delayed until either Saturday night or Sunday afternoon. No matter how much excitement this series may build, the Winter Classic will get completely swallowed up if it has to compete head on with the final Sunday of the NFL season.