Some people have called it an HBO “curse.” The Washington Capitals’ eight-game losing streak took place on the networks’ “24/7: Road To The Winter Classic” program last year, and they got waxed Dec. 13 against the Philadelphia Flyers with the cameras at Verizon Center.
On the show, HBO’s producers chose to show the highlights – or lowlights, for the Caps – to music and generally move on without emphasizing the 5-1 defeat.
Wednesday night is yet another game that will be featured on “24/7” with the New York Rangers in town. Actually, that’s best in the Eastern Conference New York Rangers.
“I think regardless of the team tonight we need to have a good showing,” defenseman Karl Alzner said. “They beat us last time and they’re a team that works hard. I think you want to have a good showing against them.”
With HBO documenting their every move around the rink and around North America, the Rangers have won five games in a row. They’re 8-3-1 in December and 7-3-1 since the cameras started following them full-time.
Caps forward Matt Hendricks has seen New York clips and knows how good this team is.
“You just know the way that they’re coached and what they’re going to bring every night is grit and that hard work and energy,” he said. “I think if we can do that on a night-to-night basis, it’s going to help benefit our team as well.”
First things first, as several players have pointed out, it starts with one game. That game happens to be against the Rangers, though – an intimidating way to try to again spark a turnaround.
Alzner said he hopes Wednesday night’s game is similar to last week’s against the Nashville Predators, undoubtedly the Caps’ best under coach Dale Hunter.
“Nashville’s a very similar team, I think, to them and they come out and work hard,” Alzner said. “If that’s the case, I hope we can match that if not exceed it. It’s a big game for us; we want to have a nice bounce-back.”
And, at least for fans, have a nice showing on “24/7” that doesn’t feature a music montage of another loss.