Capitals-Penguins 24/7: HBO Takes Us Through The 2011 Winter Classic

 

  • The Penguins hold a morning skate, where we learn that Jordan Staal will play in the game.
  • At around 5 p.m., the Penguins and Capitals have a police escort that will take them to Heinz Field for the Winter Classic. We see both teams entering slowly, with Alex Ovechkin holding his phone for a camera.
  • Mike Knuble cues up his Rocky anthem, Alex Ovechkin curses at the Penguins (saying f*** this s***tsburgh team) and a brilliant montage begins as both teams go through their normal routines, stuff we've seen in previous episodes. 
  • Bruce Boudreau gives his pregame speech, saying "let's make the best of this." "Let's f***** shoot the puck," he stresses. Dan Bylsma stresses that Ovechkin will hit players and that they can't retaliate. Sidney Crosby will start the game, as Bylsma announces. Boudreau, meanwhile, tells the Capitals that they are the league's best team and they will prove it tonight.
  • They pan to the crowd as the national anthem plays in the background, showing the fans, the owners and everyone. 
  • The fireworks go off. The terrible towels are out. It's gametime. 
  • The ice is, as expected, sticky. Staal's first shot hits the post, and he's all over it on the first shift.
  • The Capitals earn a power play early, and Boudreau begs Ovechkin to actually shoot. They don't listen.
  • Sidney Crosby is taken down, and he can't believe there is no penalty shot. "I've watched 80 f***** games, and that's a penalty shot."
  • Both teams continue to curse at each other, with John Erskine saying "F*** you Cookie," talking to former Capital Matt Cooke.
  • Erskins then proceeds to fight Michael Rupp, which fires up the Capitals. The ice remains uneven as the first period ends scoreless.
  • At the end of the first period, both coaches stress that the teams need to adapt to the ice's conditions. Boudreau encourages the players to chip the puck in instead of trying to stick handle through the zone. 
  • Boudreau again tells the team that they're overpassing and that they need to shoot the puck much more often on the power play.
  • "We're where we want to be. Now it's our turn. Let's go after these guys," -Boudreau
  • Rain begins falling in the second period, but both teams keep soldiering on as much as possible. Ovechkin is stoned by Marc-Andre Fleury, and only a minute later, after Matt Cooke complains about a high stick, Evgeni Malkin scores Pittsburgh's first goal.
  • The Capitals earn a power play, prompting the Penguins to while as usual. This time, of course, the Capitals score, charging the net to tie the game.
  • Alex Ovechkin takes a big hit on a hip check by Crosby, and then comes the big play. Fleury lapses in losing the puck and Eric Fehr scores. A Penguins goal is called off, and the Capitals have the lead for good. The Penguins whine about a penalty.
  • Now, they show the clip of Sidney Crosby getting hit by David Steckel. Crosby comes kneeling to the sideline, but mostly, they are quiet for now. 
  • That is, at least until they get into the locker room, where they are battered and beat.
  • Boudreau: "It's a grunt out f***** game tonight."
  • Crosby said "I don't know what happened. I just turned and got hit," when asked about the Steckel situation. Dirty play, huh, or something you just didn't see coming.
  • Boudreau stresses that the Capitals need to protect the middle of the ice and play with passion. Meanwhile, Crosby is still smarting about being hit by Steckel.
  • It keeps raining, and the Penguins keep attacking. The Capitals botch a clear, leading to a power play, but Semyon Varlamov continues to be on his game and saves all of Pittsburgh's shots.
  • Matt Cooke continues to stir things up, telling Nicklas Backstrom he'll "take his teeth out."
  • Then, they show Eric Fehr's second goal, which puts the Capitals up 3-1 and ultimately decides the game. 
  • The Capitals only continue to attack, and while it looks like Ovechkin scores, the goal is disallowed. Ovechkin protests, but eventually gives it up. The Penguins never get any significant chances, and then, they start going at each other. 
  • At the end of the game, the Penguins continue to curs at the Capitals, and they go after Ovechkin in the closing seconds, to no avail. The Capitals win, and then they celebrate in the pouring rain. The Penguins, meanwhile, walk off the ice without shaking hands, which the Capitals seem to expect. They're still clearly salty about losing.
  • The Capitals' locker room is jubilant, as everyone cheers going in. George McPhee and Boudreau embrace, as Boudreau says "Not the f***** cup, but it feels pretty good."
  • Bylsma gives his post-game speech, saying that "I know it was an awesome experience. We didn't get the result we wanted ... I wanted to f***** win that one."
  • Boudreau: "The month didn't start off so well, but I think HBO brought us luck." Then, he sipped a Bud Light. That was unfortunate.
  • HBO, of course, has to remind us that there will surely be another chapter in this rivalry. Then, there are random shots of the stadium once it ended, with the pouring rain being the best one.
  • They then end with a monologue on the state of hockey, which I can't reprint as I go, but will try to track down once I can. 
  • "They play with an intensity from another age, a passion invulnerable to cynicism and an energy that embraces whatever next."
  • We then get a few clips of highlight from the entire show, a touching montage that reminds us of why this show was so incredible. Call it a "Best of HBO 24/7" mix. It ends with Ovechkin sitting on a training bench and an empty look at the two teams' locker rooms. 
  • "Hockey won't hold still to give you a better look. You wouldn't want it to anyway. It's the action that makes the possibilities endless. The next practice, the next city, and the next game await."

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