Before each episode of HBO's "24/7" airs, both the Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins are shown a rough version of their team's footage in upcoming show. They don't have editing powers, but if they object to certain strategy or injury information being aired, they can voice concerns to the producers. Capitals General Manager George McPhee, however, said he has made no such requests.
McPhee has traditionally declined to discuss things like contracts, trades and injury information, but in the rare instance of this show, the Capitals' general manager has made an exception. He's even gone so far as to insist that the players comply with requests that they wear microphones during practices or games.
"It is an unusual stance for us," McPhee said. "We don't disclose much, but we just wanted this to work. I wasn't hesitant [to allow footage of Mike Green's MCL injury]. I don't know why, really... I just wanted them to make sure they have everything that they needed to make the show work for us and for hockey. You want to make sure that they get everything so that people can see and learn what goes on, and are entertained by it."
Scott Boggins, a coordinating producer for HBO who is responsible for the Caps segments on the show, said that McPhee has encouraged the camera crew that's embedded with the team to keep up their work, even if it means filming one of the worst stretches in the team's recent memory. All told, there are eight people spending every day with the Capitals during the show's production, and they send at least 10-12 hours of footage back to the HBO studio on a daily basis.
Upon viewing the finished first episode, McPhee said he was pleased and believed that it was an accurate portrayal of what life is like as part of an NHL team. As for his favorite part? The interaction between Alex Ovechkin and Brandon Dubinsky, from the chatter early in Sunday's game to the fight itself.
"The comments earlier in the game, from upstairs it looks like they're trash talking and you realize they're just talking and being good sports," McPhee said. "They end up having to fight one another 30 minutes later and it's the kind of fight in hockey that you accept. You have a frustrated player who blows off some steam, they wrestle around for 30 seconds and when it's over, there's more respect between them.They both said: 'Good job buddy.' It was good hockey talk, and that's what most fights are like."
FROM THE POST
More reactions from the Capitals and hockey community about the first episode of "24/7."
Check out Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby's appearance on "The Price is Right." (Bog)
AROUND THE WEB
Ted Leonsis finally watched the opening installment of "24/7". (Ted's Take)
As the Capitals continue to slide, their lead on the rest of the Southeast is shrinking -- and quickly. (The Sporting News)