BOSTON – Fans and media types alike rarely get to glance behind the scenes of an NHL franchise the way the HBO cameras are documenting the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins’ trial and tribulations for the 24/7 show leading up to the 2011 Winter Classic.
The Bruins in the Claude Julien era have always played things really tight to their vest, with assistant coaches off limits to the media and players obviously urged to stay on message in interviews. There’s no telling how a 24/7 show with the Bruins would go.
If the HBO cameras followed the Bruins, you know that Zdeno Chara, Milan Lucic and Shawn Thornton would be among the lead characters. Lucic, for one, would like to see how things would go with the Bruins as the focal point of an all-access program.
“It’d be kind of odd. Because we try to be on our best behavior when the cameras are around, and this is kind of a behind-the-scenes look, and gives everyone a look at kind of what it’s like when the cameras aren’t around,” said the fourth-year forward. “So definitely that would make things odd, but you’d have to act like they weren’t even there. I think it’d be fun.”
Chara is famously regimented, especially when it comes to his in-season efforts on and off the ice. While as the captain the cameras would want to be on him a lot, he’s not sure how he’d be able to handle it.
“That’s a tough one. You want to be yourself, but to have always someone watching you … that’s a tough one. I’m sure they have privacy. … But that’s hard,” he said.
However, Lucic thinks that if there were cameras around all the time people would get a different look at the league’s tallest player.
“I think Zee, for sure, because when Zee’s in a good mood, he likes to laugh, giggle and have a lot of fun and what not,” said Lucic when asked which player would show a different side on an all-access show. “But also on the other hand, he’s very serious in how he’s in the gym, he’s always working, he’s got this going on or that. Definitely, he’d be an interesting guy that a lot of people would be interested, I think, in how he goes about his routine in the room.
“And Savvy [Marc Savard], too, because it’s funny, he always knows how to cheer the guys up, loosen the room up and make the guys laugh.”
Thornton’s almost constant presence on the local airwaves would certainly continue if HBO got on the Bruins beat. Cable television would eat up his ability to deliver coherent analysis of the games and the team, and his dual personality – which allows him to duke it out with the goliaths of the NHL and then be quick with the one-liners off the ice. He says he would welcome the cameras behind the Bruins’ closed doors.
As for an unsung personality that might shine on the show, Thornton picked his good buddy Mark Stuart. At first, Thornton wanted to save the reveal for a potential broadcast down the road, but then admitted that the gritty, hard-hitting Stuart can be a more bubbly personality away from the rink than the “average person” might think.
A lot has been made of the F-bombs Washington head coach Bruce Boudreau spewed during the show’s series premier. Thornton is pretty certain that’s not a big deal, when you compare it to every other locker room and coach’s speech around sports. Lucic, though, admitted the players would probably be guiltier of foul language on a Bruins show.
“Our coaches, it’d probably be PG-13. They throw an F-bomb here and there,” said Lucic. “It’s not in their regular vocabulary. But the players … it’s a different story for sure. But sometimes coaches lose their cool. I’ve heard my fair share of F-bombs from coaches. So I can see how [Boudreau’s] lost his cool a little bit with them being on a little bit a skid here.”
So what would Bruins 24/7 Bruins be like? We’d see a more charismatic side to the usually stoic Chara and Stuart, the requisite amount of sports-show F-bombs, and probably plenty more things no one – not even the players – would predict.