Following the amazing success of documentary experiment leading into the 2011 Winter Classic, Home Box Office and the National Hockey League have decided to renew their experiment for the 2012 Winter Classic. Starting in the middle of December, you will be able to follow the Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Rangers on their separate roads to the Winter Classic. The series will premiere on Wednesday, December 14th at 10PM EST on HBO. You can visit HBO's website for additional coverage when the episodes start.

As someone who watched last year's documentary in a religious manner, I have high hopes in anticipation for this year. The way that HBO was able to piece together the players/coaches, visual imagery, and sound was something to behold. The best way I can compliment last year's effort is by stating that when it was on your television, the world stopped. Any distractions that you might have (work, phones, homework) went away. When 24/7 came on, it was time for 24/7. Nothing else mattered.

Besides the normal interaction between players/coaches and character development, I'm going to keep an eye on what type of music will find its way onto the screen. If you remember from last year, HBO used quite a few memorable tracks, including:

  • Intro - The xx
  • Right Back Where We Started From - Maxine Gayle (Nightingale)
  • Strange Balloons Mount Towards Infinity - Bye Horus

I can't wait to see what type of music HBO will add to this series to make it just as memorable as last year.

If you're looking for a lead-in to this specific series, there isn't much to discuss. In 2011-12 season thus far, there has only been one meeting between the Flyers and Rangers - with the Rangers winning at MSG in a 2-0 final. The two teams will play each other again on December 23rd before they square off outdoors. It is believed that the December 23rd game will air nationally (USA) on NHL Network.

WARNING: For those who were not able to watch the 24/7 series from last year, please be aware that this documentary series is not for the young hockey fan. I would recommend that the viewership should be high school ages and above. The episodes that will be shown on HBO could (probably will) have high amounts of foul language. Remember, this is a raw look into the lives of hockey players. Given that it is created and produced by HBO, anything can be fair game. Also, this series may not be for the easily offended.

You can watch the 12-minute preview below: