HBO's groundbreaking series 24/4: Road To The NHL Winter Classic debuts on Wednesday night, and the first episode will focus on the paths the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers have taken over the last week to 10 days or so.
HBO cameras have been embedded with the teams for that time, and Rangers head coach John Tortorella doesn't exactly like the extra attention. Via the Bergen Record:
"Oh, it's a pain in the ass, there's no question. I can't stand it but it doesn't affect my coaching. They're good guys. I just don't want people in our locker room but I know we have to do it. It hasn't affected how we go about our business. I just don't agree with it but it's probably going to be a hell of a show when all's said and done.
I don't even see them, that's where they're really good. We had talked to Pittsburgh and Washington and they said you won't even notice them and we don't, they're good about that. But I still think it's an invasion of privacy. I don't think they should be in the locker room."
At least he understands that "we have to do it," but frankly, Tortorella comes off as a bit of a curmudgeon here. Everybody in the hockey world loves HBO's show, as it's given us a window into the world of the game that nobody ever gets to see unless you're employed by the organization.
Cameras and attention are only a distraction if you allow them to be. The Washington Capitals went through a huge losing streak while the cameras were in their room last season, and they never once complained about their presence. Tortorella probably should stop complaining. Or just complain some more with the cameras rolling. That'll be fine too.