December 14, 2010
Dave Harmon, a senior producer for HBO's "24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road to the Winter Classic," joined us on Puck Daddy Radio Tuesday and spilled some interesting info on the series, which debuts Wednesday night.
He's seen the footage and the nearly complete first episode. Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury(notes) could be a breakout star. Washington Capitals defenseman Scott Hannan(notes) has received some surprising editorial attention, as a recent acquisition from the Colorado Avalanche that arrived right as the Capitals' slump began.
And it's fairly apparent that the Capitals' struggles have created many a Rex Ryan moment for coach Bruce Boudreau, to draw a comparison to the New York Jets' "Hard Knocks" series that was filled with Ryan F-bombs.
Here's our interview with HBO's Dan Harmon on Tuesday's PDR, with yours truly and guest co-host Troy White:
Now, some choice quotes from the chat, starting with the adult content on "24/7":
Q. As someone who enjoyed all of the New York Jets' "Hard Knocks" series, how does this compare when it comes to vulgarity?
HARMON: I would say this show has more vulgarity than that show. And I'm not just saying that to get you to watch. I'm saying it's because there's a reason: This is the regular season. This isn't preseason. And what the Capitals in particular are going through, and what Boudreau is like, have all merged to be a show that [for] the nighttime version, you're going to have to hide the kids.
Q. There's been no change in the access for the Capitals [having lost six in a row]?
HARMON: There hasn't, and I'll give you one example. In the Rangers game, during the timeout Boudreau called, you saw on TV that he was giving hell to his team, but you couldn't tell what he was saying. We have every word that he said. At one of the lower moments a team like that could ever have, you'd imagine in one of, they'd say "you can't use that," but no: They said "he said it, you shot it, it goes on the air."
Q. Do you have to be wary of the fact that a lot of fans tuning in already know the dynamics of this relationship between Crosby and Ovechkin? How aware are you about going over territory that's already been tread, but at the same time not alienating the casual viewers who might be new to the rivalry?
HARMON: It's a good question that we talk about it a lot. I think we'll revisit that during Show 3, when the Penguins play the Capitals. But how we dealt with it so far is that at the beginning of the series we explain what you just said: There's a rivalry between the teams, there's a rivalry between Ovechkin and Crosby. But then, these teams go off and play other teams in the NHL on this show. There's no interest in us or the teams talking about each other when they're worrying about the Rangers, the Maple Leafs and the Panthers on a nightly basis -- not each other.
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We're even more fired up for this after hearing Harmon's take. He's right: The NHL is the breakout star here. It sounds like we're going to get mic'd up fights and penalty box chirping and hot-headed coaches ranting in the dressing room.
Hope the Capitals and Penguins PR staffs have braced themselves ...