Playoff '24/7' could help NHL bounce back

Updated: December 27, 2012, 10:15 AM ET
By Craig Custance

The NHL Network has a bit of a void to fill lately, so that means repeated showings of old episodes of HBO's "24/7" documentary featuring the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals before the 2011 Winter Classic.

"Almost every day," said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, one of the breakout stars of the first Winter Classic documentary. "It's ridiculous."

Yet even with the constant repeats, Boudreau has never sat down and watched it all from start to finish. When you're there in real life, it's unnecessary. Plus, he's not a fan of watching himself on television.

There is one part he did enjoy, though. The game in which the Capitals snapped their losing streak.

"I knew how the guys felt," he said.

Oh yeah, and one other part.

"I loved it when they caught [Sidney] Crosby swearing; his image was so clean," he said. "I'm glad they showed that stuff."

Being a part of the original series is something Boudreau is proud of, and he knows it's part of his legacy. In some respects, it's changed the way he's perceived. The jovial Boudreau we often saw in media scrums was certainly contrasted by the coach dropping F-bombs in the dressing room in front of HBO's cameras. The impact of the documentary was so large that it's still brought up to him by people around the game.

"All the time," he said.

There is no new NHL "24/7" being televised this month on HBO because the lockout wiped out the Winter Classic. We're being robbed of behind-the-scenes footage of Brian Burke, from whom we hoped to get an answer as to whether he actually knots his tie in the morning, or if he just starts the day with it loose around his collar. The world isn't being exposed to the sense of humor of Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk or touching images of goalie Jimmy Howard taking the ice with his 1-year-old son, James.

We remain hopeful that hockey will return in early January, but it's already much too late to save the Winter Classic.

Perhaps it's not too late to save 24/7.