If there was any question about the mutual dislike between the Capitals and Penguins, viewers of the final episode of HBO's "24/7" series got another front-row seat to the animosity between the two clubs. While the Winter Classic's postponement and ultimate outcome were already known prior to the finale, another close up of this rivalry will hardly disappoint.
On to some highlights from the final episode:
--Likely the most popular catchphrase to come out of the finale was spoken by Alex Ovechkin as he prepared to take the ice for the Winter Classic in the visiting locker room at Heinz Field: "[Bleep] this [Bleep]sburgh team." I have a feeling that might appear on T-shirts before the next game against the Penguins.
Then there was Coach Bruce Boudreau's take on the festivities in Pittsburgh: "Two [bleeping] points that we're going to take off these [bleeps] here."
HBO included footage of the Capitals taping up negative stories and columns written about them prior to the Winter Classic as well, so for those wondering if teams are exaggerating when they say they'll post something to the bulletin board, wonder no more.
--The crux of this episode was everything that happened once both teams were in Pittsburgh preparing for the Winter Classic, but watching Boudreau yell at the team for not completing the drills correctly at Chevy Chase Club last week is not to be missed. "C'mon you [bleep]bums, do it right!"
--NHL ice guru Dan Craig explains that it takes 10,000 gallons of water for an inch of ice and that the surface will be passed over 100 times with the hose to build each inch. Makes the 3,000-4,000 gallons they took off the rink before the game on Jan. 1 not seem like that much.
--Perhaps the lasting image of the show, which had so many notable scenes or close looks at players, will be the camera retreating from both teams' locker rooms as narrator Liev Schreiber said: "Hockey doesn't stand still for a portrait." No, but "24/7" managed to capture a moving image of it. What was your favorite part of the series?
FROM THE POST
John Carlson and Karl Alzner are earning more responsibility as the season goes on and have been assigned the task of guarding against opponents' top lines in the past three games.
Read about the charity partnership between Alex Ovechkin and Cal Ripken over at the D.C. Sports Bog.
AROUND THE WEB
Team Russia shocked Canada with a 5-3 win to capture the World Junior Championship in Buffalo Wednesday night. Check out recaps from The Globe and Mail, the Ottawa Citizen and video highlights from TSN.
NHL dubs this year's Winter Classic a success in terms of fan experience and a business perspective.