When, Where, How to Watch the Capitals

The Capitals will be on NBC Sports Washington again this season! The Caps announced that the local station will cover 77 games, including pre- and post-Game shows (which will now include Jason Rogers of Japers’ Rink Fame).

From the press announcement today:

NBCSW’s live coverage, including pregame and postgame shows, will continue to available to stream via NBCSportsWashington.com and the NBC Sports app. NBCSW’s live games will be led by Emmy Award-winning play-by-play announcer Joe Beninati, game analyst Craig Laughlin and reporter Al Koken, who are entering their 22nd consecutive season together. Analyst Alan May will again contribute regularly to game coverage. Caps Pregame Live and Caps Postgame Live will be led by May and Rob Carlin, with regular appearances by Brent Johnson. Caps FaceOff Live and Caps Overtime will be hosted by 106.7 the Fan’s Grant Paulsen and Johnson, as well as other contributors.

They also announced the full round-up of local Caps-related coverage planned for the season:

The Capitals Radio Network will provide live audio of every game this season. 106.7 The Fan, one of the region’s strongest radio signals, will again serve as the flagship station, with WFED 1500 AM and Caps Radio 24/7, the team’s 24-hour streaming audio channel, continuing as AM and online homes of the Capitals Radio Network, respectively. The Capitals Radio Network includes 14 different stations throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, from Pennsylvania to North Carolina. Play-by-play announcer John Walton will return for his eighth season calling the action, while former Capital Ken Sabourin enters his 16th season as analyst.

Capitals Radio Network coverage will include 15 minutes of pregame and 30 minutes of postgame coverage, highlighted by player interviews and live audio of head coach Todd Reirden’s postgame press conference. The pregame and postgame shows will be hosted by Ben Raby.

Caps Radio will still provide great coverage available of Hershey Bears and Stingrays games too:

Caps Radio 24/7 also streams live audio of select Hershey Bears and South Carolina Stingrays games, as well as Caps Talk. Hosted by Raby weekdays from 4 to 6 p.m., Caps Talk features the latest news and interviews with players, coaches and media members. Caps Radio 24/7 also includes round-the-clock news updates, player interviews and music selected by players, coaches, fans and staff. Caps Radio 24/7 can be accessed, free of charge, via the Caps Mobile App radio button, the TuneIn radio app and online at CapsRadio24/7.com.

NBC previously announced that they would provide coverage of four games while NBCSN will air eight games.

And in case you missed it:

The full broadcast schedule:

Craig Laughlin, Passing the Torch to the Next Generation

If you follow Washington Capitals hockey then you know the voice and commentary by Craig Laughlin on NBC Sports Washington. “Locker,” as he is known by his fans, played six seasons with the Caps in the 1980’s before retiring from playing hockey in 1989. We say retiring from playing because Craig has never retired from hockey! For him, hockey is clearly “in his blood.”

Craig began his NHL career as a 10th round draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens in 1977. Another “face of the Capitals,” Hall of Famer Rod Langway was part of the 1977 draft, also selected in the second for Montreal. Laughlin played 36 games with them and ended the season with 23 points. The 25-year old right wing made the transition to the Caps in 1982, along with Langway. They joined up with some of the most notable players in Capital’s history, including Bob Carpenter and Mike Gartner. By the end of his first season he had recorded 44 points, seventh highest on the roster. This was the team that led the Capitals to the playoffs in 1983, for the first time in franchise history.  Locker played in all four games and scored his first playoff goal in the process!

Craig Laughlin went to the big show seven times but never made it to the final round with the Washington Capitals, the LA Kings, or Toronto Maple Leafs who he played for in 1987-88 and !988-89 respectively. He scored six goals and had six helpers for a total of 12 points in 33 games. He played a total of 549 NHL games in his career and ended with a nice 341 points (136 G 205 A). An all-around solid player, in his high three seasons he scored 20, 22, and 30 goals. He understands how difficult a hurdle it has been for the current legion of Capitals to make the leap to the final round.

1982 was a time of change for the Washington Capitals. Ted Starkey wrote about owner Abe Pollin’s vision to turn things around for the Caps. According to Starkey, Pollin had four criteria to meet to secure the future of the team, which was playing in Landover:

A season-ticket base of 7,500, (an increase of nearly 70 percent over the 4,200 the team had in 1981-82;

Selling out the team’s first 10 games;

Having the Capital Centre’s rent reduced by the arena’s bondholders;

And Prince George’s County reducing the entertainment tax on Capitals tickets from 10 percent to 0.5 percent for the next three years.

Craig Laughlin was part of the team that turned the tide and made hockey an exciting sport in the District-Maryland-Virigina (DMV) area. Those years with the Caps left an imprint on his life. Although he went on to play with other teams, he was drawn back to Washington, writing articles for the Washington Times and with his wife Linda’s encouragement accepted an offer from Home Team Sports which later became CSN. And as they say, the rest was TV history! Caps hockey would not be the same without Locker and his buddy JoeB.  Chcek out the video from the 1996-97 talking about Adam Oates and Peter Bondra.

The analysis and color commentary he provides night after night for the Washington Capitals has forever endeared him to the Caps Community. He may not always get the names right – we have gotten used to BEAR -a-kovsky for Andre Burr-a-kov-ski. Maybe it is just all part of his way of giving players and friends little nicknames. Either way – fans love his game calling and he and Joe Beninati were seriously missed by fans during the final round. Not to fear, Craig shared his excitement on Twitter:

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In the video “Growing Up Hockey” with former CSN reporter Jill Sorenson, Craig talked about his start skating at the young age of three and the way his dad created ice for him in the backyard. He talks about the passion his father had and that he clearly passed on to his son. Craig has passed that enthusiasm to his daughter Courtney who plays hockey and can often be seen on NBC Sports Washington as well. This is a true hockey family and they are a part of the Capitals history and of their future as well.

Craig, as seen in this video with studio mate Alan May, puts his time and energy in developing young players and helping them to realize their dreams. He is often part of the hockey camps at Kettler Ice Plex  and around the DMV. He has worked with the young children to college-age skaters, sharing his experience and expertise to help them hone their skills. And as you can see from the video, he does it with the same enthusiasm we hear on the air and the same positive energy that encourages success. Craig, and his wife Linda, work year round educating players through their educational program: Network Hockey Development Program (NHDP). They work with PeeWee AA to professional athletes, educating, coaching, and advising aspiring players.

You can be sure that if his fellow alumi are in town or hosting an event, he will be hanging out with them – laughing it up and having a good ol’ time! If you are up at Kettler for practice or see Locker walking around Capital One Arena, be sure to say “hey” and tell him how much you appreciate what he has done and is doing for hockey in the DMV. And be sure to tell him how much you love his commentary. He’s a great guy and we are blessed to have him as part of our community.

The Capitals, Andre Burakovsky, and Alan May…

Things happen during Bye Week– we get a little bored waiting for Caps Hockey to return. It opens the the door for some interesting discussion.

We’ve been watching Andre Burakovsky struggle this season. He signed a two-year contract in July 2017, in part because of a money crunch and in part because of his inconsistent performance. The bridge contract is one offered when a team wants to evaluate a player’s performance before making a long-term commitment.

Our Twitter King, Chris Cleveland, took some time out from his studies at Marymount to ponder the future of Andre and ended up in a “discussion” with NBC Sports Washington commentator Alan May. Continue reading “The Capitals, Andre Burakovsky, and Alan May…”

Oldies but Goodies Back for Capitals Alumni Game

Last night the Capitals gave us the experience of virtual time traveling by putting Capitals alumni on the ice to face off against one another. It was a very cool experience. The teams wore Red jerseys vs White jerseys for the match up.

alumni with refs

A few notable alums on the Red team were Capital’s legend Peter Bondra, Capitals current CSN analyst Craig Laughlin and their coach, former Capital Yvon Labre.

The White team also had some notable players like Olaf Kolzig, Mike Knuble, and Alan May. They were coached by another Capitals Legend, Rod Langway.

The game ended up 8-7 in the RED team’s favor due to a late game winner by Laughlin.

It was so much fun seeing the old guard playing together. There was a fan favorite for all the viewers!! 

A Look Back in Photos: Caps Alumni Game


Caps Fan Fest was held Wednesday June 28th at Kettler Ice Plex.The finale of the day was the Caps AlumnCaps game.  Before the game, Caps alumni sat outside for a Q&A, pictures & autographs.

With an introduction from Coach Trotz, the game began at 730pm. Kettler was packed with fans rockin the red, Wes Johnson announcing,  Red Rockers, Slapshot, Air Slapshot, Winger & the original Winger mascot from years ago. The National Anthem sung by Bob McDonald, with “RED” & “O” extra loud . It was like a normal Caps game at Verizon Center, but this game was special.  As a fan from the Capital Centre days, seeing Yvon Labre and Rod Langway coach the teams was a treat.

Goalies Dave Parro and Brent Johnson in each net and names like May, Laughlin, Druce, Mulvey, Maruk, (Killer) Kaminski, Sutherby, Rausse, Willsie, Hangsleben, Sabourin, Bradley  and Olie The Goalie Kolzig all playing together.

This truly was fun to watch. Especially for some of us older fans who remember these guys when they were the ‘young guns’ of their time! The game was a little different from a normal hockey game. Only two 20-minute periods were played and penalties were treated as penalty shots.

After the 1st period, the Red Team led 5-3. But then early in the 2nd, the Red Team started to blowout the White Team. Leading at least  by two goals most of the period, the White Team came back and tied the game late  8-8.  We ended up going to a shoot out.

My favorite part of the shoot out was when Alan Hangsleben from the Red Team was going for his turn starting to approach the White Team’s net and out of nowhere a water bottle almost takes him and his skates out. I’m not sure who threw it, but there were lots of culprits to choose from on the White Team bench: Alan May, Olie Kolzig, Dennis Maruk.. Take your pick.

The White Team won after Brian Sutherby scored on Dave Parro. No matter who won, we all won; fans, alumni and the Caps organization.  We get to see players from our childhood and relive memories and see how strong a bond the players have from being together as a team and becoming a family.

Coach Trotz always says the Caps team is like a family. There’s a bond in the locker room and we as fans see that bond and we can believe in this team.  It’s a long tradition through the Caps organization to be one as a team and believe in each other. This family bond is not something new; it’s been with the Caps for a long time now. You can see it still in the Caps Alumni!  We believe in this Caps family and are proud to be a part of the Caps family!