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Pens And Caps To Star On HBO Series To Hype Up Winter Classic 2011

From the Penguins' official site, Jason Seidling explains the overall view of the big news that the Penguins will be co-starring in another high-profile event.

The Takeaway:
> The Penguins and Washington Capitals will participate in the HBO series ‘24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road To The NHL Winter Classic,’ a behind-the-scenes show similar to the NFL’s popular ‘Hard Knocks’ series.
> The four-show series is scheduled to air Dec. 15, 22 and 29 and Jan. 5 at 10 pm., with an immediate encore at 11 p.m.
> Cameras will be following the Penguins everywhere – locker room, weight room, hotel and plane – during production in December leading up to the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1, 2011.
> Players believe ‘24/7 Penguins Capitals’ can boost the profile of both the Penguins and the NHL.
> The Penguins expect fans to be most intrigued by what players do off the ice.

The summer program "Hard Knocks" focuses on NFL training camps and gives an in-depth look at inner workings of football teams that most fans wouldn't get. To get this for hockey should be a major positive. Hockey players wear a lot of gear and aren't as recognizable or as famous as they could be, and this is a great way to market the game.

With colorful characters like Maxime Talbot, Marc-Andre Fleury, Evgeni Malkin on the Pittsburgh side and coach Bruce Boudreau, Alex Ovechkin and Brooks Laich on the Washington side, expect a lot of laughs. Throw in two "larger than life" owners in Mario Lemieux and Ted Leonsis and maybe sprinkle a ltitle Hilary Duff in there too and you've got a wide variety of potential story-lines.

Given the mutual, genuine disgust that each organization has for the other, this program should be very biting and offer great looks at how players and executives really feel. HBO's high production value should make this a treat for all sports fans and help the NHL build a buzz up to the most-hyped and -anticipated regular season game in recent memory.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.