I know 24/7: The Road to the Winter Classic debuted on Wednesday, but I didn’t watch it until last night. Overall, I think HBO does a kick ass job of showing some behind the scenes stuff. It’s more than just practices and meetings, but you get to see what the guys are really like. Our blogger covering Steel City doesn’t have HBO so he won’t be watching, but the Caps blogger has a few insights here, and here. This is my take on it:
At the time of filming the first episode, the Penguins were in the latter stages of their 12 game win streak. So HBO shows the guys having fun, playing pranks, and getting along very well. Coach Dan Bylsma is upbeat, his pep-talks are positive, and the players seem into what he’s saying and respond well. Contrast that to the Caps, who are currently loser of 7 straight. The show captures them during games 3 and 4 of the streak. Bruce Boudreau drops f-bombs left and right, making Rex Ryan look like a choir boy. The players look dejected, we see them moping around, with sad expressions on their faces. In reality, this is just good editing by HBO to set the mood. Come on, players might be pissed and depressed after a loss or in a losing streak, but they don’t go into a depression.
HBO hasn’t shown us a real meeting or some chalk talk, where the coaches get the boys ready for an opponent. But we’ve seen some of the talks during intermission. Bylsma looks like a coach, and Boudreau looks like an idiot. Bylsma says a few things to rally the troops, hits on a few pointers that were likely mentioned in meetings, and lets the guys relax and go about their business. Boudreau comes in, screams random shit, doesn’t do any actual coaching, and storms out. He calls out the team for looking dejected, and says not one thing of substance that will help the team play better. How is this man a coach in the professional leagues? Shit, I can do a better job than him and I’m 100% sure of that. Give me 3 good assitants that will help put the details together of a system I want to run, and let me work out the kinks. It seems to me that Washington’s success was based on pure talent, and nothing to do with their coach.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind the cursing at all. But there’s a way to use it effectively, and he doesn’t seem to have a grasp on how to do that. At one point, the Caps go down 1-0 late in the second period and head into the break that way. A good coach would point out some forechecking issues, maybe some poor puck movement, or something else the team can tinker with to get a win. This idiot comes in, tells the guy that they looks like sad sack of shit and storms out. What the hell is the benefit in that? You’re getting paid to tell them the same thing that the drunk guy in section 211 is yelling. Really, that’s all you have to say to the team? Caps owner Ted Leonsis said that he expects the team to be in the playoffs every time for the next decade because of the talented group that they have. But he badly wants them to win a Cup, and anything short of that is failure. guess what Ted: You won’t win shit with Bruce” Fucking Fuckity Fuck Shit Ass Fuck” Boudreau coaching your team.
- Ovechkin’s wardrobe is entirely his own clothing line.
- Boudreauwears a super tight red outfit for practice, and with his pot-belly, makes him look like an under dressed Santa.
- HBO didn’t make this the Crosby/Ovechkin show. They feature plenty of other guys.
- Bylsma meets with the GM to give some player reviews, and his brutal honesty is interesting to see. Especially, since the players probably watched the show.
- Malkin, sitting out due to injury, laughs at a TV when watching Crosby try to rough somebody up.
- Seeing how psyched up the players get just before hitting the ice for a game.
- Bylsma calls out his starting 5 by their numbers. Boudreau calls out a centers name and says his line starts. Bylsma’s team looks a bit more into it.
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