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Entries with the tag: washington capitals

24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road to the NHL Winter Classic Receives Sports Emmy Award

From the Penguins:

NEW YORK (May 2, 2011) - Winners for the 32nd Annual Sports Emmy® Awards were announced today in New York City at the Frederick P. Rose Hall in Time Warner Center.

24/7 PENGUINS/CAPITALS: ROAD TO THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC received one Sports Emmy Award.  The award is for the following category:

OUTSTANDING EDITED SPORTS SPECIAL

For a complete list of all the winners go to http://www.emmyonline.org/sports

 

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Capitals Win Winter Classic over Penguins, 3-1

Well, it’s over.  (And I’m sure many say, Thank Goodness)

Kudos to the Capitals for the win.  To me, it became apparent as the game went on that the Caps did a much better job of adjusting to the ice and weather conditions than the Penguins.  Specifically, give the Caps’ coaching staff credit, they soon realized that conditions made it near impossible that anyone was going to dangle threw the entire defense, and they simply set up a pseudo-trap that the Penguins never really countered.

Looked like a great atmosphere at Heinz Field for fans of both teams.

Some other observations:

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HBO And NHL Scoring With 24/7 Penguins/Capitals

From Forbes’ Mike Ozanian:

Early indications are HBO’s series 24/7 Penguins/Capitals is going to be a big success for both the Time Warner cable channel and the National Hockey League. Based on audience tracking to-date it is expected that episode 1 of 24/7 Penguins/Capitals will attract approximately 2.8 million viewers, including linear and on-demand viewing (the final HBO audience numbers will be tabulated when the series run is completed). In its second outing, 24/7 Penguins/Capitals held strong, with 555,000 viewers across its premiere and encore replay. And episode 2 of 24/7 Penguins/Capitals on Dec. 22 attracted the same premiere night viewers as Episode 1.

To give some perspective to these ratings, consider that the Dec. 14 contest that saw the Philadelphia Flyers stake past the Pittsburgh Penguins to the top of the Atlantic Division averaged 750,000 viewers on Comcast’s Versus network, according to Nielsen data, to rank as the most-watched regular-season NHL telecast in Versus history.

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Report:  Jordan Staal to be in the Lineup Tonight vs. Capitals

According to various reports, Jordan Staal will in the lineup at tonight’s Winter Classic vs. the Capitals.

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Winter Classic Alumni Game Highlights

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Jordan Staal, Matt Cooke and Max Talbot with Heidi Androl

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Winter Classic Alumni Game Streaming Live Now

You can watch the Winter Classic Alumni Game live right now on either http://nhl.com http:,//penguins.nhl.com, or http://capitals.nhl.com

The game is currently tied at 3 in the first half.

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“24/7” Episode 3:  Now That’s Hockey

Naturally the third installment of HBO’s “24/7” focused much of the hour on the pre-Winter Classic showdown between the Penguins and Capitals at the Phone Booth, won by the Pens 3-2 in a shootout.

Of course, that wasn’t all that was shown.  Plenty of other fascinating insight into both teams.

Some observations:

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Final Rosters Set For Pens-Caps Alumni Game Friday At 9:30 a.m. at Heinz Field

From the Penguins:

Final rosters have been set for the Penguins-Capitals alumni game Friday at 9:30 a.m. at Heinz Field – featuring the return to the ice of Penguins great Mario Lemieux.

The alumni game will be the first official event on the Winter Classic rink at Heinz Field.

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U.S. Seizes Fake Jerseys Ahead of NHL Winter Classic

From Reuters Canada:

U.S. authorities said on Wednesday they have seized shipments of counterfeit souvenirs, including National Hockey League jerseys ahead of the league’s Winter Classic game this weekend between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals.

In the past month authorities in Pittsburgh scanned incoming packages for counterfeit goods and intercepted shipments from overseas of almost 800 fake items. The counterfeits included NHL and National Football League jerseys, hats, T-shirts and other souvenirs worth an estimated $100,000, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said.

Pittsburgh is hosting the Winter Classic game between the Penguins and Capitals on Saturday, New Year’s Day. The teams will play a rare outdoor game on an ice rink set up on the field of a professional football stadium, Heinz Field.

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NHL’S Winter Classic/Heritage Classic Alumni Roster More Than 100 Strong

From the NHL:

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals who participate in the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Heinz Field will join a privileged group of 121 athletes currently on NHL rosters who have forged their own memories of playing in a special NHL game in a unique setting.

      Since the NHL’s first outdoor game, the 2003 NHL Heritage Classic, was played in Edmonton, more than 150 players currently on NHL rosters have played in a major outdoor game—at least one from each of the League’s 30 Clubs.

      A select 10 active NHL players have played in multiple major outdoor games, with St. Louis goaltender Ty Conklin the only man to have appeared in three. Those players who have dressed for two outdoor games include Boston teammates Michael Ryder and Daniel Paille, Buffalo’s Ryan Miller, Calgary’s David Moss, Dallas’s Adam Burish, Chicago defensemen Brian Campbell and Duncan Keith, Minnesota’s Eric Nystrom and Tampa Bay’s Adam Hall.

 

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Round One Goes to the Penguins

Capitals fans spouted “We Want Pittsburgh” during their recent home win over the Devils.

Well, you got ‘em.  Anything else we can help you with?

Helluva hockey game at the Phone Booth last night.  Pascal Dupuis’ goal in the bottom of the 7th shootout frame gave the Penguins a 3-2 win over the Caps.  The win was the third straight for the Penguins, who have now gone 17-2-1 in their last 20 games.

Notes:

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Various Media Platforms Ring In New Year with Blanket Coverage of Winter Classic

From the NHL:

Through its media and social networking platforms—NHL Network™, NHL.com, NHL Radio™ and NHL Mobile—the National Hockey League will provide fans with the most complete coverage surrounding the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® as the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Washington Capitals at Heinz Field on New Year’s Day.

Star-laden lineups, fierce rivalries, a spectacular outdoor venue, unpredictable weather and a sold-out crowd of more than 65,000 passionate fans from Pittsburgh, Washington and beyond will combine to make the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic a highlight on the North American sports calendar. In special programming over the days leading up to and following the main event, the League’s media platforms will cover the wealth of storylines and convey the on-site excitement.

The build-up begins tonight on NHL Network U.S. when Washington and Pittsburgh meet for the last time before the New Year’s Day extravaganza.  NHL Network will have pre-game coverage beginning at 7 p.m. ET and live intermission studio reports from NHL On The Fly™.

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Winter Classic Public Skating Opens Friday at 3 p.m.

From the Penguins:

Winter Classic public skating will open Friday, Dec. 24 at 3 p.m. at the “Winter Classic Community Rink at Stage AE,” adjacent to Heinz Field.

The Christmas Eve public skating session will take place from 3-9 p.m. There will be a special “Skate With Santa” from 4-6 p.m.

The rink will be open for public skating and/or youth hockey every day through Jan. 2. The cost for public skating is $7 per session, and skate rental is $3.

The complete public skating schedule is:

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“24/7” Episode 2:  Less Pizzazz, But Plenty of Action

Last night’s Episode #2 of HBO’s “24/7” series featuring the Penguins and Capitals definitely didn’t have the flair of the initial show, in fact I’ve read some Tweets this morning describing it as boring.

Yeah, it didn’t have the inspirational pre-game pep talk of Penguins’ Head Coach Dan Bylsma nor the F-bomb laden chew-out session of Caps’ coach Bruce Boudreau, but there were still plenty of fascinating shots in Episode #2 that we as fans simply rarely get to see.

Had HBO not included the 6-1 drubbing of Phoenix this past Monday, it would have made for a pretty ho-hum Penguins’ portion of the show, with the only games being the losses in Philly and at home to the Rangers, followed by four days off.  On the other side of the tracks, we witnessed the Capitals wildly celebrating after

winning the Stanley Cup

finally breaking their losing streak with a win in Ottawa.

Other observations:

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Capitals Talk About Facing Penguins

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NHL To Create Free Fan Festival Outside Of Heinz Field In Celebration Of Winter Classic

From the Penguins:

The National Hockey League in conjunction with the City of Pittsburgh will extend the celebration of the New Year’s Day outdoor game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals with its official 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® Spectator Plaza, a free, two-day fan festival just outside the gates of Heinz Field. 

On Friday, Dec. 31 and Saturday, Jan. 1, Art Rooney Avenue and W. General Robinson Street will transform into an outdoor hockey and entertainment festival for fans of all ages with live musical performances, interactive hockey-themed attractions, prizing and giveaways, food, beverage and merchandise tents. 

Weather permitting, Spectator Plaza will be open to the public from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET on Dec. 31 and from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on Jan. 1, just prior to the puck drop at the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

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Highlights Of NBC Sports’ 2011 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic Conference Call

From NBC Sports:

Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins host Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals in the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic from Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers, on New Year’s Day airing live at 1 p.m. ET on NBC. The game will also be live streamed on NBCSports.com, a first for the Winter Classic.

Bob Costas will host the event for NBC Sports and will be joined for coverage by Mike “Doc” Emrick, (play-by-play), Eddie Olczyk (game analyst), Pierre McGuire (inside-the-glass analyst) and Mike Milbury (studio analyst).  NBC Sports conducted a media conference call today with Costas, Emrick, Olczyk, Milbury, and Sam Flood (NBC Sports’ executive producer).

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NHL Announces Musical Performers For 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic

From the NHL:

The 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® will feature an exciting mix of musical performers for the highly anticipated outdoor game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on New Year’s Day, the National Hockey League announced today. The youngest among this year’s performers will be Jackie Evancho, the 10-year old singing sensation from Pittsburgh who gained notoriety for her big voice on NBC’s America’s Got Talent. Evancho joins a line-up that includes Juno award-winning singer Steven Page, multi-platinum selling rock band Hinder and Pittsburgh-based rock band The Clarks.

“The Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic is as much a celebration of the host city as it is a celebration of the roots of the game,” said Brian Jennings, NHL Executive Vice President of Marketing. “This year’s performers have strong ties to hockey and to the city of Pittsburgh, which will add an extra level of excitement for fans at Heinz Field at home.”

 

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NHL Network U.S. To Broadcast Penguins-Capitals Showdown On Dec. 23

From the NHL:

NHL Network U.S. will televise a clash between two of the NHL‘s hottest rivals on Thursday, Dec. 23, only a week before the teams meet again in one of the NHL’s coldest games of the season—the highly-anticipated 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on New Year’s Day.  For fans in the United States, NHL Network will provide live coverage when Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals play host to Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday, December 23 at 7 p.m. ET.

      Thursday’s game, broadcast in high definition from Washington’s Verizon Center, will pit a Capitals’ team that has struggled in the past month against a Pittsburgh team that recently won 12 straight games. Nevertheless, with a victory Sunday night in Ottawa, Washington trails Pittsburgh by only four points in the Eastern Conference standings.

      NHL Network will broadcast the game beginning at 7 p.m. with an abbreviated pre-game show before the puck drop.  Brian Duff, host of NHL Network’s daily signature program NHL On The Fly, will be joined by former NHL goaltender and On The Fly analyst Kevin Weekes. The duo also will host full intermission reports with game analysis, highlights and interviews with key players.  NHL On The Fly will immediately follow the game.

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Homework has Already Begun for Rink-Builder Craig

From NHL.com’s Dan Rosen:

Dan Craig watched from his couch as CBS’s cameras caught fantastic images of the snow swirling around Heinz Field on Sunday afternoon during the Steelers’ game against the Jets. Through his own television screen he could tell where snow was piling up, which end zone got worse, and in which direction the snow was blowing heaviest.  This wasn’t just another Sunday on the couch for Craig. This was homework for a man who, starting around midnight Friday, will take over that very same field in Pittsburgh to begin its transformation into a hockey rink so the Penguins and Capitals have somewhere to play the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

“I did watch it as a fan, but it’s one of those things where there are patches on the ground that I was watching within the field and I was watching the way the snow was swirling,” Craig, the NHL’s Facilities Operations Manager, said during a conference call Monday. “You take record of it. You say, ‘OK, that’s what is happening at this end zone and that end zone,’ but until you stand there and really are able to work with it you (don’t) get a true appreciation.”

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Pens Notes:  Long Break in the Action

Weird quirk in the schedule this week for the Penguins, with the rest of the week off after their loss to the Rangers on Wednesday night.  They’ll host the Coyotes on Monday night.

Someone’s always got something to say about the Penguins, positive or negative, but the level of discussion was ratcheted up a notch or two this week with the lead-up to the Winter Classic.  The first episode of the HBO “24/7” special prompted dozens of articles from MSM and bloggers alike.  It appeared to me that overall the majority of hockey fans enjoyed the first show, with it’s unprecedented access in the locker rooms among other things.

Other stuff:

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Full 24/7 First Episode Now Available

If for some reason you haven’t seen the first episode of HBO’s “24/7 Penguins/Capitals Road to the Winter Classic”, it can be found here (sorry, can’t embed it).

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Crosby, Ovechkin Appear on “Price is Right”

I’m just the messenger, folks.  Enjoy, I guess.  Courtesy of The Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog,

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Lemieux, Bondra Lead Rosters For Winter Classic Alumni Game At Heinz Field

From the Penguins:

Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux will return to the ice – this time in the unique and majestic setting of the Winter Classic rink at Heinz Field – as the Pittsburgh Penguins alumni team takes on Peter Bondra and the Washington Capitals alumni Friday, Dec. 31 at 9:30 a.m.

It’s all part of the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Weekend on Pittsburgh’s North Shore.

The Pittsburgh Penguins also will hold an open practice session at the Heinz Field rink Dec. 31 at 11:30 a.m. One ticket, for $25, will enable fans to attend both the alumni game and the Penguins’ practice. (The Washington Capitals 2 p.m. practice will be closed to the public).  Seating capacity for the Dec. 31 events will be 10,000. Tickets will go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. at http://www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 1.800.745.3000.

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Episode One of “24/7” is a Rousing Success for Hockey

“Bruce Boudreau’s potty mouth made Rex Ryan sound like Dora the Explorer.”

That was the Tweet from ESPN’s John Buccigross last night.  And trust me, there’s hundreds more Tweets just like that as the overwhelmingly glowing results pour in after the first episode of HBO’s “24/7 Penguins/Capitals, Road to the Winter Classic”.

And oh yeah, the Penguins have lost two in a row now.  They need to knock that shit off.

OK, back to the show.  Some observations:

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66 Buries It

Damn it’s cold in here.  That must be the reason I’ve got goosebumps right now.

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HBO Drops Puck On ‘Road To The NHL Winter Classic’

From Multichannel News’ Mike Reynolds:

Although the cameras will certainly trail the faces of the league, Crosby and Ovechkin, [Ross] Greenburg said that with team sports, the squads take their leadership cues from the coaches, who become focal point for telecasts.

“[Capitals coach Bruce] Boudreau is Rex-like,” said Greenburg, alluding to New York Jets head man Rex Ryan, who became the star of the network’s Hard Knocks look at the team this past summer. “[Penguins coach Dan] Bylsma is more controlled. But off the ice, behind the- scenes, at team meetings, you’ll see a more flamboyant side.”

Road to the NHL Winter Classic will also premiere episodes on Wednesday Dec. 22 and 29 and Jan. 5 in the same time slot. The finale debuts four days after the Winter Classic, with cameras tracking all the same-day drama.

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Watch Out for Bylsma in HBO’s “24/7″

From the New York Times’ “Slap Shot” blog’s Christopher Botta:

Move over, Rex Ryan. Bruce Boudreau and Dan Bylsma are about to take over HBO.

“24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road to the Winter Classic” — doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue like “Boardwalk Empire,” does it — will make its debut on HBO on Wednesday at 10 p.m., Eastern time, with an immediate replay at 11 p.m. The one-hour episode is the first of three setting the stage for the Winter Classic between Pittsburgh and Washington at Heinz Field on New Year’s Day. There will be a final installment, on Jan. 5, focusing on the big event.

If this four-act play features enough drama, Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin could see their fame extend beyond hockey nation. The teams both have plenty of funny and insightful “character actors,” from Pascal Dupuis and Eric Godard in Pittsburgh to Brooks Laich and D.J. King in Washington, who will undoubtedly emerge as leading players.

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Crosby, Ovechkin and Roenick to Guest on Dec. 20 Edition of “The Price is Right”

I just pass this stuff along, folks.  From the NHL:

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and former NHLer Jeremy Roenick are guests on the Monday, Dec. 20 edition of THE PRICE IS RIGHT (11:00 AM-12:00 Noon, ET; 10:00-11:00 AM, PT) on the CBS Television Network. The trio will introduce an NHL-themed showcase that includes a trip to Pittsburgh for the highly anticipated 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, played outdoors at Heinz Field on New Year’s Day.

Host Drew Carey, Roenick, Crosby and Ovechkin will unveil the showcase that features tickets to watch the Penguins play against the Capitals in the historic outdoor game; VIP passes to the NHL’s New Year’s Eve Bash; field/ice-level access during the Capitals and Penguins team practices at Heinz Field on Friday, Dec. 31; and a brand new 2011 Honda CR-Z Sport Hybrid car.

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One of These Years, Mother Nature Won’t Cooperate with Winter Classic

image

In my opinion, this is something that most hockey fans have thought to themselves, but not a lot want to admit it.

The previous three episodes of the Winter Classic have pretty much gone off without a hitch, a tad bit too much snow in Buffalo not withstanding.  The weather conditions in Buffalo, Chicago and Boston couldn’t have been much better for outdoor hockey, creating fantastic atmospheres for the NHL.

But as we all know, Mother Nature can sometimes be a testy dame.

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Winter Classic:  The Rivalry

You can see all of the Winter Classic videos the NHL has compiled to date here.

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TV Guide Magazine - 8-page NHL Winter Classic Pullout Guide

image

Attached is an 8-page pullout guide of the Winter Classic that will be in the Dec. 20, 2010-Jan. 2, 2011 issue of TV Guide.

It’s a .PDF file, you’ll need Adobe to view it.

TV_Guide_Winter_Classic_special_section_Dec_20-Jan_2.pdf

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Penguins, Capitals Winter Classic Pulls Record Sponsorship

As a reminder of what the bottom line of this game really is:  From the Pittsburgh Business Times:

Sponsorship revenue for the NHL’s upcoming Winter Classic has increased 20 percent from 2010 numbers, putting total revenue for the event in the mid-seven-figure range. The outdoor game on Jan. 1 at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field pits the Penguins against the Washington Capitals.

According to Keith Wachtel, NHL senior vice president of integrated sales, the NHL sold out of its sponsorship inventory two months prior to the game. “Last year we sold out about a month before [the game], and in 2009 it was a few weeks, and in 2008 we were selling up until the final days,” he said.  Heinz Field affords greater infrastructure for signage and branding opportunities, as well as a bigger audience than the last two hosts — Chicago’s Wrigley Field and Boston’s Fenway Park. The football stadium will seat about 67,000 fans, compared with 38,000 at Fenway.

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Countdown to the 2011 Winter Classic Begins

From the Penguins:

With just one month until the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, the countdown to the much-anticipated outdoor match-up between fierce rivals Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins and Alex Ovechkin and Washington Capitals at 1 p.m. ET (noon CT) on New Year’s Day has officially begun.

The rivalry between the NHL’s two biggest stars takes center stage as the Penguins and Capitals meet at Heinz Field, home of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers.  Linked since entering the League together at the start of the 2005-06 season, Crosby and Ovechkin have forged one of the most exciting rivalries in all of sports. 

Now a yearly tradition, the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic marks the fourth consecutive season the NHL has played a regular season outdoor game on New Year’s Day.  In anticipation of the Jan. 1 game, fans can expect to see the following from the NHL over the next month:

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“Preview To 24/7 Penguins/Capitals:  Road to the NHL Winter Classic”  Premieres This Sat

From the NHL:

New York (November 17, 2010) - HBO Sports® will present “Preview to 24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road To The NHL Winter Classic,” a 12-minute preview of the upcoming NHL reality series featuring the spirited rivalry between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals, which is set to air exclusively on HBO.  Debuting this Saturday, Nov. 20 at 12:15 a.m. ET/9:15 p.m. PT (or immediately following the conclusion of the live World Championship Boxing telecast from Atlantic City), the special will serve as a primer to the acclaimed series for new viewers as well an introduction of the players and coaches from the Penguins and Capitals, who will appear on the all-access series. 
 
      The Capitals are guided by Bruce Boudreau, while the Penguins’ head coach is Dan Bylsma.  The two Eastern Conference rivals led by superstars Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby will meet in the NHL’s Bridgestone Winter Classic on New Year’s Day at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
      “Preview to 24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road to the NHL Winter Classic” will air a total of 14 times on the main service plus five times on HBO2.  The preview will also be available 24 hours a day at HBO ON DEMAND®, starting Nov. 29.

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HBO to Present “Preview to 24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road To The NHL Winter Classic”

From the NHL:

HBO Sports® will present “Preview to 24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road To The NHL Winter Classic,” a 12-minute preview of the upcoming NHL reality series featuring the spirited rivalry between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals, which is set to air exclusively on HBO.  Debuting Saturday, Nov. 20 at 12:15 a.m. ET/9:15 p.m. PT (or immediately following the conclusion of the live World Championship Boxing telecast from Atlantic City), the special will serve as a primer to the acclaimed series for new viewers as well an introduction of the players and coaches from the Penguins and Capitals, who will appear on the all-access series. 
 
      The Capitals are guided by Bruce Boudreau, while the Penguins’ head coach is Dan Bylsma.  The two Eastern Conference rivals led by superstars Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby will meet in the NHL’s Bridgestone Winter Classic on New Year’s Day at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

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NHL’s Collins Driving Force for HBO’s ‘24/7’ Venture

From NHL.com’s Dan Rosen:

John Collins, Chief Operating Officer of the NHL, knows this not from just being an avid viewer, but from experience. As part of his gig during his 15-year tenure at the National Football League, Collins worked hand-in-hand with NFL Films President Steve Sabol and HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg to make sure the phenomenon that is “Hard Knocks” got launched properly in 2001.

He’s at it again, and Collins thinks the upcoming “24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road to the Winter Classic,” a joint venture between the League and HBO Sports, is can’t-miss programming for the NHL and its fans.

The “24/7” program will offer fans four shows of unprecedented access into the world of the NHL’s best present day rivalry starting in December and running through the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. HBO episodes are scheduled for Dec. 15, 22, 29 and Jan. 5 (all at 10 p.m. ET, with encores at 11 p.m. ET each of those nights)

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Winter Classic Ticket Drawing Registration Begins Today Only on NHL.com

From the NHL:

NEW YORK (September 17, 2010) – The National Hockey League (NHL®) today announced that beginning today, fans can sign up on NHL.com to enter a general public, random drawing for an opportunity to purchase two of the limited number of tickets remaining to the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® – the outdoor NHL regular-season game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals at 1 p.m. ET on January 1, 2011 at Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  The game will be broadcast on NBC in the U.S. and on CBC and RDS in Canada.

Fans seeking a chance to win an opportunity to buy tickets to the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic can go to http://www.nhl.com/winterclassictickets for Official Rules, complete details and to sign up for entry.

Registration for the general public, random ticket drawing will begin on Friday, September 17, 2010 at 2 p.m. ET and will run through Monday, October 11, 2010 at 11:59 a.m. ET.  Registrations received after the deadline will not be accepted.  There is no fee to register.  Limit one entry per person or household.  Registrants selected in the drawing will be notified by Tuesday, October 26, 2010 of their opportunity to purchase one pair of tickets (seated together) subject to seats available at time of purchase transaction.

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Longtime Penguins fans get left out in the cold for Winter Classic

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Shelly Anderson:

For Carl DiGiorgio, the geometry doesn’t compute.

Placing 18,000 Penguins season-ticket holders among some 65,000 seats at Heinz Field for the Jan. 1 Winter Classic shouldn’t leave such wide angles, he figures.

“I expected my seats to be in the lower bowl,” DiGiorgio, of Upper St. Clair, said this week. “Instead, I’m in the upper bowl, section 531, near the top of the stadium.

“Maybe I’m just being naive, but I thought you would get rewarded for being a longtime season-ticket holder.”

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2011 Winter Classic Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / JULY 27, 2010

THE NHL’S HOTTEST RIVALRY READY FOR COOL OUTDOOR STAGE AT HEINZ FIELD
ON NEW YEAR’S DAY IN THE 2011 BRIDGESTONE NHL WINTER CLASSIC

Game Live On NBC/CBC/RDS/NHL Radio Jan. 1 At 1 p.m. ET

Bridgestone Returns As Title Sponsor For Third Consecutive Year

      NEW YORK (July 27, 2010) – Representatives from the National Hockey League, the Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Steelers, the National Hockey League Players’ Association, the city of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County gathered today at Heinz Field to discuss plans for the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®.  The League today also unveiled the official logo for the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and the special team logos for the Penguins and Capitals.

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In Pittsburgh, Summer Gives Way to a Winter Classic

From NHL.com’s Shawn P. Roarke:

Despite a near-perfect summer day Tuesday, Pittsburgh already is thinking cold, as in what could well be a winter wonderland Jan. 1, 2011.

Some of the plans for the biggest event of the NHL’s regular season—the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic—will be unveiled during a Tuesday afternoon press conference at Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers and site of this coming season’s Classic.

The fourth installment of the Winter Classic, to be played at the sparkling home of the Steelers, will feature the hometown Penguins hosting the Washington Capitals in a marquee matchup that will pit the game’s two biggest stars—Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Washington’s Alex Ovechkin—against each other before a national television audience in a game broadcast by NBC in the United States and CBC in Canada.

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Caps/Pens 2011 Winter Classic now official

In the worst kept secret department, from the Penguins:

The Pittsburgh Penguins will host the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Saturday, January 1 at Heinz Field, it was announced today by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.

“The Winter Classic has become an iconic event in its four years of existence, and the opportunity to host the game here in Pittsburgh, before a packed stadium of 65,000, is a tremendous honor for our organization,” Penguins president David Morehouse said. “With the cooperation of our friends at the Pittsburgh Steelers and Heinz Field, it will give us an opportunity to showcase the city to an international audience while celebrating Pittsburgh’s reputation as one of the premier sports towns in the United States.”

The 1 p.m. game will be televised nationally by NBC in the United States and CBC and RDS in Canada.

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Call Cooke dirty if you must, but then include Ovechkin in the same breath

NHL Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals

As much as I’m not going to continue to beat to death the “head shot” issue, I’m not going to defend Matt Cooke’s actions either.  Whether it be a terribly confusing set of rules that deal with hits to the head, or intents to injure, or whatever, there’s just gotta be a way that shots to the head can be removed from the game as much as possible.

Having said that, so you want to call Cooke a dirty player?  Fine, knock yourself out (no pun intended).  I won’t even argue with you.

But if you do it, you had better call Alex Ovechkin one as well.  And please, before you spew about at how “high level” Ovechkin plays at, watch the multitude of clips at the jump.

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NBC’s Penguins/Capitals Ratings Tie Season High

And boy doesn’t this tie into the last post.  From Puck the Media’s Steve Lepore:

According to Sports Business Daily (reg. required), NBC’s telecast of the Penguins/Capitals Sunday showdown scored a 1.3 overnight rating, tying the two weeks ago telecast of Pens/Flyers for the network’s best rating for an indoor game this season.  It’s also the best overnight rating to date for Pittsburgh-Washington, which the NHL has attempted to promote as it’s biggest rivalry.


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Assessing the NHL/NBC decision to play Pens-Caps on Sunday

Queue the “he’s only whining because the Penguins lost” tape (not that I agree with that).  From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Rob Rossi:

Reckless and disgraceful; no better words describe the NHL and NBC’s decision to have the Penguins and Washington Capitals play Sunday at Verizon Center.

From my dialogue over the weekend with folks at the NHL and with the Penguins and Capitals, I can deduce only one reason that the league would risk the safety of two teams, fans and arena workers – ratings, as in whatever Nielsen hits the NBC “NHL Game of the Week” could garner between the Super Bowl Sunday hours of 1-3 p.m.  That span of time represented treasured TV real estate, it was explained to me, because many Americans are searching for programming to fill the gap between the meat of Super Bowl pregame shows and the actual contest itself.  Plus, dare I forget to mention, Sunday was NBC’s only regular-season opportunity to broadcast a game featuring league top draws SIDNEY CROSBY and ALEX OVECHKIN. (An email to NBC was not returned Saturday.)  To paraphrase what an agent once told me : This is a terrible, disgusting business; and we’ve all sacrificed something we would rather have back to be a part of it.

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Penguins faceoff with travel dilemma

UPDATE 10:16:  Penguins have landed in Newark, approx. 5 hour drive via bus to DC.  Also, per the Capitals, “As of 10 p.m. ET Saturday, the Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins game scheduled for 12 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 7, at Verizon Center remains as scheduled. The Penguins are en route to Washington, D.C., and are expected to arrive tonight.”

UPDATE:  From the Pittsburgh Tribune Review’s Rob Rossi’s Tweet,

Pens to fly into Newark, NJ tonight ... four hour drive to DC.

From the Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s Dave Molinari:

Washington is one of many cities in the East being battered by snow today, and reports this morning indicate that travel into and out of that area is treacherous, at best.  That’s an issue for the Penguins, who will face Montreal today at 2:08 p.m. at the Bell Centre but are scheduled to play Washington at the Verizon Center Sunday at 12:08 p.m.  Team officials still are trying to settle on the best way to get the team to Washington after the game against the Canadiens Because virtually all air traffic into that region has been stopped, one option might be to fly as close as they can, then take a train or bus the rest of the way.  Of course, that assumes that the trains are running or that the highways are passable.

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McPhee, Shero guests on “NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman”

From the Penguins:

Washington Capitals vice president and general manager George McPhee and Pittsburgh Penguins executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero are today’s guests on NHL Hour With Commissioner Gary Bettman on NHL.com and SIRIUS XM Radio at 6 p.m. ET.

    The Capitals, who defeated the Boston Bruins 4-1 Tuesday to set a franchise record with their 11th straight victory, are home to the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins on Sunday in the NHL on NBC Game of the Week beginning at noon ET. The contest reignites the rivalry between two teams who staged a memorable seven-game duel in the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoff Eastern Conference Semifinal and between two players—Washington’s Alex Ovechkin and Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby—who traded hat tricks in Game 2 of that set.

    As one media member put it, “The two top stars in a series dripping with talent have not only lived up to the hype, they’ve surpassed it.”

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The Sid-Ovie surprise, Canucks’ not-so-hard road, more notes

From SI.com’s Michael Farber:

The topic of the day, class, is which is more surprising: Sidney Crosby leading Alexander Ovechkin in goals or Ovechkin leading Crosby in assists?

(You there, in the back of the class. Stop smirking! If you are Ovie-ed out or can’t abide another word about the erstwhile Sid the Kid—gracious, he’s 22 and totally legal, so banish that Kid stuff—pack up your books and go home. They are the two most dynamic and significant players of the post-lockout generation. You couldn’t ignore Jack and Arnie if you came to golf in the 1960s or Magic, Bird and MJ if you studied basketball in the 1980s. Same deal with these guys.)

Now, where were we? Yes, are you more stunned that a brilliant playmaker like Crosby has one more goal (37, albeit in eight more games) than Ovechkin or that he has seven fewer assists than Ovechkin’s 41?

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Memo to Mario:  I’m afraid it’s time to lock out the Capitals fans now

So let me get this straight:  After all, I’m not the head of neither a major company nor a professional sports team.

Washington Capitals owner Uncle Teddy Leonsis, who I honestly respect for his integration of bloggers into the NHL press box, first creates a policy that prevents potential ticket buyers from the Pittsburgh area from buying tickets to Penguins games at the Verizon Center (unless you buy a minimum of a six-pack of games, that is).  Then he expands it, not only blocking area codes but also including those whose ticket history indicates Penguins games.  It even started including fans selling tickets on Ebay, who would look at “geographical location and ticket history”.

Whatever.  That’s all fine and dandy, Ted.  You’ve got every right to do it.  Although I am curious, I’m just wondering why you didn’t keep all those Penguins fans out of the Verizon Center when you couldn’t fill half that barn.  Sure as hell took their money then, didn’t ya.

But I digress.

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