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Rangers prepare for their close-up on HBO’s 24/7

Sep 15, 2011, 8:00 AM EDT

John Tortorella AP

Technically, the NHL still hasn’t officially announced this year’s Winter Classic on January 2nd between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers at Citizen’s Bank Ballpark. Yet on Wednesday, the hockey world was given even more proof that the Rangers and Flyers will be participants in the league’s mid-season showcase as HBO’s cameras invaded Rangers practice. The network behind the critically acclaimed 24/7 series was on the scene to capture promotional footage for the mini-series that will air in the weeks leading up to the Winter Classic.

After learning all about the show last year, there are two major questions surrounding the series this season. First, from a competitive standpoint, how quickly will the players be able to ignore the omnipresent cameras. Newly acquired Rangers forward Mike Rupp experienced 24/7 with the Pittsburgh Penguins:

“It takes a couple of days to get used to it. They’re good guys. My experience is that they don’t have crews who are like, ‘We need our footage,’ and will do whatever it takes to get it. They’re easy-going guys who are sensitive to some of the different things we do.”

For both the Rangers and Flyers sake, they’ll hope to acclimate themselves to the cameras as quickly as possible and avoid any long losing streaks during the filming process. All they have to do is ask the Capitals to find out how brutal it can be to struggle on the ice—only to have the cameras around off the ice.

The second question surrounding the 24/7 series is much more interesting from an entertainment standpoint: who will be the breakout star? Last season Bruce Boudreau and his charming Haagen-Dazs eating ways endeared him to hockey fans all over North America. Or maybe it was his #$@*& language in the $#@#*&in’ locker room?

So who is the odds on favorite to replace Boudreau as the most entertaining hockey personality on HBO? Rangers forward Brandon Prust shares his thoughts on the important matter:

“We all have our No. 1 pick,” [Tortorella] He’ll definitely be No. 1. The man with the beard (coach John Tortorella), that will be interesting to see.”

Suddenly I have visions of John Tortorella and Larry Brooks dancing through my head. Forget the games, televising those two in postgame interviews could be more entertaining than following the 40 players on the ice. Then again, 24/7 promises to have the likes of Sean Avery, Chris Pronger, and Scott Hartnell mic’d up during games.

Either way, this should be good. And just as a reminder—as if Avery and Pronger aren’t enough, we could be treated to four weeks of the sheer genius of Ilya Bryzgalov.

Who are you looking forward seeing on 24/7 this season? Are you looking forward to the usual suspects we mentioned or is there another player who you think will steal the show? Let us know in the comments.

  1. philly4lyfe - Sep 15, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    They should start preparing for another season of disappointment.

  2. capsrockva - Sep 15, 2011 at 9:41 AM

    I think John will blow Bruce’s f bombs away just by the way he threw a water bater at the Caps fans 2 years ago

  3. nikolainyr - Sep 15, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    Bryz is going to be the breakout star. Dude is hysterical plus his accent is Malkovich from Rounders, which makes everything better. Pronger will be a riot too.
    From NY, Torts will just be rude and abrasive the whole time. We’ll all feel bad for whomever gets to interview him. Boyle and Zuccarello will be hysterical when they get together.

  4. philk0731 - Sep 15, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    “They should start preparing for another season of disappointment.”

    This is coming from a Philly loser with no championships other than baseball

  5. hanktheking - Sep 15, 2011 at 5:14 PM

    “They should start preparing for a season of disappointment”

    Said the fan of the team who just traded away arguably their 2 best players for unproven children. To the fans of the team who signed the biggest FA prize on the market, as well as every other core forward for the next 3-4 years.

    Philly Flyer fans are such a riot, maybe we should just make a documentary about them.

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