One Year Later – Kuzy and Exorcising the Demons

It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since one of the most memorable, as well as one of the most stress-relieving moments that most Caps fans can remember occurred. “The Save” is up there as well, but the anniversary for that is a month away.

It’s early in the first overtime of Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals, Evgeny Kuznetsov is skating straight towards Penguins’ netminder Matt Murray with Pens’ defensemen Brian Dumoulin and Kris Letang a little behind to Kuzy’s left and right.  A moment later after a quick deke, Kuzy deposits the puck between Murray’s pads into Pittsburgh’s net and glides towards and then along the boards. Continue reading “One Year Later – Kuzy and Exorcising the Demons”

A Capitals Fan’s Guide to Who to Root For in the Playoffs

The Capitals are out of the Stanley Cup playoffs too early (again), but that doesn’t mean that Caps fans no longer have a reason to pay attention to the rest of the playoffs.  Some of the reasons are emotional (teams and fanbases that we just don’t want to see win and some that we do) and some are strategic (draft position), so let’s get to it.

Boston vs. Columbus

Let’s be realistic. No one outside of New England wants to see Boston win another title, especially with championships in the two most recent major league sports (Red Sox in the World Series and Patriots in the Super Bowl). Besides, they won a Cup in 2011 (too soon) and that would leave the Caps as the only Cup winner in the decade without multiple Cups.

While the Blue Jackets are a rival, they have a fanbase that has not had a lot to enjoy, so seeing a city and fanbase that has no other pro sports teams (though the Ohio State University football program arguably qualifies), I would not have an issue with their city getting to enjoy a title. Columbus sacrificed a lot of their future at the trade deadline so their future is not as bright. Besides, they have one of the best hockey bars around (the R-Bar near Nationwide Arena).

Strategically, if the Blue Jackets advance to the Eastern Conference Final, their first round draft pick (owned by Ottawa in the Duchesne trade) drops to one of the bottom four picks.  This moves the Caps’ pick draft up a spot in the first round.

Carolina vs. Islanders

I’m glad this round is over because it was a no-win situation. Allowing Trotz to leave was going to look and feel worse if the Islanders advanced. Seeing the “bunch of jerks” and their late to the party fanbase advance isn’t exactly a joy either, but at least with Carolina advancing to the Eastern Conference Final, their draft position in the first round has dropped to the bottom four in the first round, so that does benefit the Caps.

Dallas vs. St. Louis

If Dallas advances, one of the second round draft picks that Dallas traded to the New York Rangers for Mats Zuccarello becomes a first rounder and we don’t want to see that happen.  As a Caps fan, I never want to see anything that benefits the Rangers, especially since they will select second overall in the upcoming draft thanks to the draft lottery   and they are doing a pretty good job with their rebuild in a short period of time.

St. Louis is the only remaining (and existing) team from the 1967 expansion to not win the Cup. It probably wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world for them to win one. Besides, they went to the Final the first three seasons in the post-1967 expansion NHL, were swept all three times, and haven’t been back since. It may be about time.

San Jose vs. Colorado

San Jose is the equivalent of the Caps in the Western Conference in terms of always doing well in the regular season and always falling short in the playoffs (at least until last season for the Caps). Their core is getting older, Joe Thornton is getting close to retirement, and their pain needs to end sometime. The San Francisco Bay Area has done pretty well with the Golden State Warriors and San Francisco Giants each winning multiple titles this decade, so that works against any sympathy for that area’s fanbase, but they will likely be getting worse before they get better and this may be their last good chance at a title.

Colorado is a feel good story after the horrific seasons that they have endured recently and there is a certain German goaltender that most people in the DMV still have a fondness for, but Colorado still has two Cups, including one during the Avalanche’s first season after relocating from Quebec, which edges this one towards the team with no Cups.  Besides, Colorado is young, talented, has the 4th overall pick in the upcoming draft (thanks to Ottawa), and should only be getting better.

Enjoy (or at least try) to enjoy some great hockey over the next month.

Capitals Excerpts from 31 Thoughts

Each week during the regular season and about once per round during the playoffs, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman writes his popular 31 Thoughts column.  In the current column, two of the thoughts (numbers 20 and 21) were about the Capitals. Continue reading “Capitals Excerpts from 31 Thoughts”

Capitals Player Jerseys – Not Your Ordinary Work Clothes

A player’s jersey is probably one of the most noticeable items that they wear, but what happens to those jerseys during the time that they are being worn is generally not well known. Most players wear three sets of their home and road jerseys and two sets of the alternate jersey over the course of a season with a few extra jerseys worn for only one game for special occasions (milestone games, Jerseys off Our Backs, one game jersey auctions and agreements with hockey card companies, which cut them up and insert them into cards). Continue reading “Capitals Player Jerseys – Not Your Ordinary Work Clothes”

Decade of Excellence – Thankful Even After Defeat

The Capitals have been eliminated from the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs earlier than any Caps fan had hoped. Whether the craziness of this year’s playoffs with all division winners being eliminated in the first round makes it any easier is up for debate. For me personally, I’m disappointed that hockey in the District has come to an end for the season and I have to wait over five months for it to begin again. Continue reading “Decade of Excellence – Thankful Even After Defeat”

Money Saving Tips at Capital One Arena

Two quick money saving tips at Capital One Arena.

If you use the Capital One Cardholder VIP Entrance on 6th Street, just north of F Street by the Green Turtle (you will need to have and show your Capital One credit or debit card), they usually give everyone with a card a $5.00 concession voucher that can be used at most of the concession stands.

At most of the stands, you can also show your Capital One credit card and receive a 10% discount on your food/drink purchase.  The voucher and credit card discount can be combined.

Behind Section 107 and 108, there is a small designated driver booth, sandwiched between Street Tacos 202 and the Rita’s booth. Sign up that you won’t drink alcohol at the game and they will give you an empty soda cup that you can have filled at the concession stands.

Capitals Season Ticket Holder Memberships – Is It Worth It?

Have you ever wanted to be a Capitals season ticket holder?  Do you want to be at all of the games, especially the ones that everyone will remember ten, twenty, or more years from now? Imagine games like Ovi’s 500th goal, his 600th goal, his 1,000th point.  How about the Banner Raising game, the Stanley Cup Finals games, the outdoor games in 2015 and 2018, and (my personal favorite) Game 6 against Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference Finals to get the Caps back into that series? Continue reading “Capitals Season Ticket Holder Memberships – Is It Worth It?”

Win a Chance to Skate at Capital One Arena

After a Sunday afternoon Capitals game years ago, before I was able to get season tickets, I saw a line of people holding skates and I was immediately jealous.  I asked and found out that it was a private skating session for season ticket holders and their guests.  It was one of the things that I remembered when I finally had the chance to get season tickets.

At that time, I didn’t realize all of the other benefits of being a season ticket holder – the annual meet the team party; the chalk talks with the announcers, NHL officials and referees, and team management; the summer movie nights; and summer skating sessions.

Sunday Skate Opportunity

The final season ticket holder skate for this season will be this Sunday (March 24) following the Capitals-Flyers game and your friends at Friends in Cold Places want you to be able to go as their guest and have the chance to experience this event. We have three passes available for our readers.

If you have ever wanted to go skating at Capital One Arena, here’s your chance and there’s only a few conditions.

  1. You must have a ticket to the Capitals-Flyers game.
  2. You must have and bring your own skates.
  3. You must be willing to sign the liability waiver that the Capitals give to all skaters.
  4. You agree that Friends in Cold Places is not responsible for any injuries that you may suffer from participating. (Sorry, but we had to throw in the legal language).

Here’s how you can win passes:

Between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. (EST) tonight (March 22), follow (or be a follower of) FiCP on Twitter, send out a tweet that says “I want to go skating with FiCP” and tag Friends in Cold Places in your tweet.  In your tweet, tell us how many passes you will be able to use. We will randomly pick a winner after 10 p.m. and, if there are passes remaining after the first winner is selected, we will pick additional winners.

Thanks for being a loyal reader and we hope to see your skating skills on display on Sunday.

2019 NOVA Game Worn Jersey Expo Wrap up

Credit for photo above to Francis Rady

Have you ever wondered what happens to the jerseys that your favorite players wear?  Especially those worn during iconic moments in your team’s history or games that you have attended at home or on the road. There’s a good chance that it is owned by and on display in a fellow hockey fan’s home somewhere around the world. Continue reading “2019 NOVA Game Worn Jersey Expo Wrap up”

Capitals Honor O’Ree and Lewis for Black History in Hockey Night

As part of Black History in Hockey Night, the Capitals honored Hockey Hall of Famer and NHL pioneer, Willie O’Ree, and civil rights leader and U.S Representative, John Lewis.  On Tuesday evening prior to the Capitals-Senators game at Capital One Arena, O’Ree and Lewis participated in the ceremonial puck drop with Capitals Captain Alex Ovechkin and Senators player, Mark Borowiecki. Continue reading “Capitals Honor O’Ree and Lewis for Black History in Hockey Night”