Caps Have Tough Decisions in Free Agency

By Daniel Johnson

With the 2018-2019 Caps season coming to an abrupt end, they now have some difficult decisions to make with impending free agency. With their Salary Cap having little room for error, there are some pretty significant contracts to ponder. Continue reading “Caps Have Tough Decisions in Free Agency”

Caps Get Blown Out in Raleigh 5-0, What Now?

Monday’s game was hot garbage, plain and simple. The Caps were dominated in every aspect of the game and Carolina fed off of a capacity crowd that has waited 10 years for the Hurricanes to be back in the playoffs. So the question the Caps have to answer is: what now? Continue reading “Caps Get Blown Out in Raleigh 5-0, What Now?”

Predators Dominate Caps 7-2

The Capitals went into Nashville hoping for a spark on offense and a win that would right the ship. Unfortunately, the very talented Predators had other ideas. With a hat trick from Viktor Arvidsson and 2 goals from Nick Bonino the Predators took control from the start and ran away with a convincing 7-2 win snapping their 2 Game losing streak.

What Worked:

  • The power play actually looked and felt like the Power Play that was so dominant last season. The passing was crisp and the execution was near perfect. Going 1 for 2 is a step in the right direction.
  • The penalty kill is also getting on track with 5 penalty kills out of 5.

What Didn’t Work:

  • The Caps started the game sluggish for the third straight game. These slow starts have had the Caps behind early and the team has struggled to gain any consistency.
  • The offensive production we are so used to seeing out of this team has been struggling to score. Only 4 goals in the last 3 games.
  • The Caps are giving up a lot of goals on the road ranking in the bottom 5 of the league in GAA on the road. This even though the team has 13 wins away from DC.

Should we be concerned?

No. The Caps has a similar stretch of games last season where the team seemed to be struggling. Each team battles adversity at some point throughout the season. They need to figure it out quick as the metropolitan division is closer than ever before.

What’s Next?

The Caps and Head Coach Todd Reirden get a few days to lick their wounds and go back to the drawing board before Former Coach Barry Trotz brings the red hot Islanders to Capital One Arena for a Friday night matchup. There will be a pre-game ceremony to honor Brooks Orpik’s 1000th game before the game so be in your seats early.

 

Much Improved Capital One Arena Opens to Larger Than Expected Preseason Crowd

Tuesday night had Capital One Arena open it’s doors for Caps pre-season hockey. 14,952 fans came to see the game, or maybe they came to check out the renovation. While many of the arena’s major upgrades have been complete, there are still lots of items left to complete in the 400 level.

This was the first Caps game (pre-season) to be at Capital One Arena since the major phases of the renovation were completed. This included replacing 100% of the seating in the arena. According to a letter sent out to fans from Monumental Sports, the arena will be 100% renovated by opening night when the Caps raise the Stanley Cup Champions banner. There will be brand new flooring throughout the arena, the concourses will all be modernized and there will be more concession options on each level.

One of the more exciting upgrades on the 400 level were cup holders at the seats! This has been long overdue and a welcome addition. The seats are ergonomically designed and are very comfortable. Gone is the color purple and in is a sleek black design.

The concession areas were extremely overwhelmed with many stands not fully stocked. One major change this season is all drinks will not have plastic lids or straws due to a policy change at the arena to reduce plastic waste. Also, if you are a Capital One bank customer, you receive a 10% discount on all concessions! This carries over from last season.

A great addition to the arena this season is the much improved sound system. Many more speakers have been installed and provide a richer, deeper, louder sound that you just didn’t have in the past. A welcome upgrade!

The arena is going to be fantastic once all renovations are complete as Capital One Arena looks to be the Caps home for many years to come.

Rookie Inexperience Helps Bruins Sweep Preseason Set from the Caps

If only the preseason were the regular season. The Bruins came out firing and ran away with another win 5-2, sweeping the preseason set from Washington.

TJ Oshie, Nicklas Backstrom, Dimitri Orlov, Matt Niskanan and Braden Holtby made their pre-season debuts in front of a much larger than expected crowd for Washington’s first pre-season home game since the team won the Stanley Cup. With the five veterans, there were a lot of rookies and it showed as the game went on. Continue reading “Rookie Inexperience Helps Bruins Sweep Preseason Set from the Caps”

Capitals Blood Drive at Kettler a Huge Success

On Saturday, July 14th, Kettler Iceplex was host to another successful Washington Capitals Blood Drive provided by INOVA Blood Donor Services. According to INOVA Blood Donor Services, the Washington DC Area needs at least 250 Units of blood and blood products daily. One blood donation can save three lives and donations are needed constantly.

All appointment slots were fully booked and there were many add-on appointments.All participants received an “All Donated” Capitals Stanley Cup Champion T-Shirt and a Chandler Stephenson bobblehead.Those interested in donating blood can contact INOVA Blood Donor Services at 1-866-BLOODSAVES or visit inova.org/donateblood. We love how this event brings the Caps community together in a special way that blesses others.

Stanley Cup Chaos at Caps Fan Fest

By Dan Johnson

Today was the exciting day that Lord Stanley’s Cup graced the hot sunny sky of Northern Virginia at Kettler Iceplex in Arlington, VA.  Oh, and it was also Caps Fan Fest.

My brother and I arrived at 8:15 AM and parked as close to the top as we could (Level 7) of the Ballston Common Garage. The line quickly formed behind us. Around 8:45 AM, the garage was closed to incoming cars due to the large line of people that then stretched all the way down to the bottom.

We didn’t see any Caps personnel until after 9. At that point they handed out tickets to individuals and groups. We were told that as long as we kept the ticket we would get a picture with the cup.

We were luckily to be in the shade of the garage for the first couple of hours. The line didn’t move very quickly as it seemed like the staff was unprepared for the massive response. Once we got to the top of the garage, the line moved faster. You got 30 seconds at most and the photographer took one picture. The great thing was that the photo could be downloaded online for free and about 15 minutes after we had our picture taken we had a digital copy of it.

Many others weren’t so luckily as has been reported. I sincerely hope the Caps organization makes it right and have additional opportunities for something many fans have been waiting 43 years for.

The staff gave out ice cold water and Mountain Dew Ice once you got out of the garage.

I will give a shout out to the Red Rockers. They braved the heat and walked up and down Ballston Common Garage keeping fans’ spirits up.

What could have been better? More staff and better communication throughout the line to see the Stanley Cup. Lots of people were unaware lining up that they wouldn’t get a picture with the cup and left hot and upset. It might of served better to have the event at another venue that could handle larger crowds. It was extremely difficult to leave the garage with so many people standing in the middle.

All in all, it was a fabulous day to see and touch the Stanley Cup that so many legends have hoisted. It was great conversing with fans young and old and hearing how they became fans. The sense of community was definitely there. Let’s hope we can do this again soon!

With Trotz Gone, What Next?

By Dan Johnson

With Barry Trotz resigning on Monday, many Caps fans were left stunned and confused. The question I heard from many of my friends who are Caps fans is what now? Who do we get? Here is a list of possible candidates:

  1.  Todd Reirden: what seems to be the most obvious choice to many. Rierden has bided his time since arriving with the Caps in 2014. With the Caps not allowing him to interview with other teams, the line of succession was created. Reirden brings stability and experience in the organization and creates a smooth transition if the Caps decide to give him the keys to the kingdom.
  2. Sheldon Keefe: Fresh of an Calder Cup Championship with the Toronto Marlies, Keefe has come up on multiple lists including the new franchise in Seattle. He brings great experience in taking young players and developing their individual talents to help the team succeed. It may take time to develop chemistry but he is fully capable to do the job.
  3. Alain Vigneault: The former NY Rangers coach has won two Conference titles.
  4. Dan Bylsma: The Stanley Cup Champion coach is coming off a bad stint in Buffalo but has won the Cup and knows what it takes to win one.
  5. Darryl Sutter: Former L.A. Kings coach has also has won the Stanley Cup and has the experience.

We will see in the coming days where the coaching will go from here. One thing is for sure, the challenge to win back-to-back Stanley Cups is on.