If you thought Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin saturation levels were already at 100 percent, think again. With tonight's debut (10 p.m. EST) of HBO's 24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road to the NHL Classic, the media attention surrounding the two superstars will reach new heights. With high expectations surrounding the legitimacy of the show thanks to leaks of Bruce Boudreau's use of profanity, the series is set to unveil the less-polished public personas of two of the NHL's most popular teams and the league's most popular players, a la HBO's NFL training camp series "Hard Knocks."
Media coverage of the show has been building throughout the week, and the debut will receive coverage worldwide. This is a unique opportunity for the NHL -- major media coverage for the league that doesn't involve the Stanley Cup, on-ice violence or injury. The show will chronicle the Penguins' recently-ended 12-game winning streak, as well as Crosby's ongoing 19-game point streak and give fans a personal look inside the locker room of a Stanley Cup favorite. (Watch a preview interview with Crosby and Max Talbot at the HBO Sports site.)
For the more morose fan, the interesting part of the show will be how the filmmakers chronicle the Capitals in the midst of their current six game losing streak. Bourdreau's job security has been questioned, but owner Ted Leonsis and General Manager George McPhee have remained quiet. Ovechkin's off-ice habits, from his training regiment and nutritional habits to his sex life, have come under fire as fans search for a fall guy to end this streak. Will HBO give fans an inside look at a team's collapse and a coach struggling to keep his job or will they focus on the superstars, shying away from the controversy?
Wall-to-wall coverage coverage of Crosby and Ovechkin followed by every media outlet on the continent analyzing each episode? It's a Flyers' fan's dream come true.