Tonight, HBO will air the first part of their four part series “24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road to the NHL Winter Classic.”
The series will cover both the Capitals and Penguins during the weeks leading up to the Winter Classic on New Years Day in Pittsburgh. The cameras will be behind the scenes of these top contenders, and will give the audience a taste of what it is like to be a professional hockey player.
The two teams are taking different paths towards the much anticipated New Years showdown. The Penguins have been unstoppable of late, winning 12 straight until last night when they fell 3-2 to the Flyers. The Capitals have lost their last six games, the last loss coming at Madison Square Garden against the Rangers where the Caps played their worst overall game of the season, losing 7-0.
The series will also have arguably the two most talented players in the NHL, Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin. Crosby has had the hot hand during the Penguins recent win streak. Crosby has a 19 game point streak after recording two assists last night against the Flyers. Ovechkin has been ice cold during the Capitals six game skid, recording just three points (2 G, 1A) in those six games.
The success and survival of this four part series will depend on how well part one can capture the audience and keep them interested in what happens in the following episodes. The series has the ingredients to be successful: two top flight teams in the NHL who have developed a rivalry at the top of the Eastern Conference and two elite players in the NHL who are always sitting atop the NHL league leaders in points.
The two teams will meet one time during the HBO series and should be a good preview for their outdoor duel on January 1.