Capitals Defensemen Shine but Team Falters 8-5 to the Blackhawks

The Washington Capitals drooped their fifth game in a row in a 8-5 offensive shootout loss the Chicago Blackhawks in a Sunday afternoon matinee at United Center in Chicago. All five Capitals goals came from defensemen with All-Star John Carlson pacing the way with two while Brooks Orpik, Dmitry Orlov, and Matt Niskanen each added a goal of their own. In the end though, the Caps goaltending couldn’t overcome a Blackhawks attack highlighted by a four-goal afternoon from Jonathan Toews. The Cap shave now dropped eight of their last 11 games and are still looking for answeres. They haven’t dropped five games in a row since the start of the 2014-15 season.

Continue reading “Capitals Defensemen Shine but Team Falters 8-5 to the Blackhawks”

Kempny To the Caps and I Flat Out Love It!

Capitals acquire Michal Kempny from the Blackhawks.

Opinion by Chris Cleveland

Michael Kempny, the 27 year old defenseman, was traded from the Chicago Blackhawks to the Washington Capitals Monday and I flat out love the move for both sides. As a Hawks and Caps fan, I might have more of an interesting perspective on this then most people. Continue reading “Kempny To the Caps and I Flat Out Love It!”

The NHL Draft: My Experience

Lily Rosenberg shares with us her experience attending the recent NHL draft in Chicago, Illinois. 

A couple weeks ago I went to the NHL draft in Chicago. The experience was incredible. So much so that afterwards I was completely drained.

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When we went, we first checked out the Hawks Fan fest. I was probably very obnoxious out there wearing my Caps red as opposed to their Hawks red. We quickly realized that the most interesting things, the Centennial Museum and the Stanley Cup, had pretty much an hour long wait.

We then went into the draft. Midway through the second round we realized that if we could get a special band we could then move to the lower levels. The rules for getting bands were simple. If the person who paid for the seats came, you could leave and find other seats. I convinced my uncle to let us sit in the section where the Caps table was.

I wish I could have heard what they were saying because it was an experience of a life time being this close to the action of your favorite team.

img_0219Then the coolest thing of the whole draft happened! Barry Trotz noticed another kid in a Caps  shirt in my section and asked him if he wanted a picture. My uncle told me to go up and take a picture with him as well. I was extremely nervous but when I asked him if I could also have a picture, he said: “Sure.” That was the coolest part of the whole draft for me!!

Another cool thing was when we were picking our seats. Little did we know that we were sitting next to the family of the fourth round San Jose Sharks pick, Scott Reedy. When he was called they just stood up and cheered!! I also got to see a Vegas Golden Knights pick up close, which was very exciting.

While the draft was going on inside, there was a Draft Fan Fest outside. So basically, there was the Hawks Fan Fest and a Draft Fan Fest at the same place and the same time. At the Draft Fan Fest they had the NHL trophies on display, including the Vezina, the Rocket Richard, and the one the Caps keep winning–the Presidents Trophy.

They also had places where you could try on the new Adidas team gear,  take a picture and even make a hockey card of yourself.

This was an amazing experience and if you ever get the chance to go to an NHL draft don’t pass it up!

Photos by Lily

Caps Silence Hawks in Six Goal Shutout!!

What can we say about tonight? The Caps blew us away–we can only imagine what it was like in the Blackhawks locker room after Braden Holtby held off all attempts at scoring and the entire team came together to wow the crowd at Verizon.

We saw it during warmups–the guys just had that look of determination.

And then the scoring started in the first period with Jay Beagle followed by Nick Backstrom and Brett Connolly. Second period the Caps came out strong again with Tom Wilson finally getting on the board. And the Caps just kept firing away and playing off each other with TJ Oshie and Beags (again) scoring!!

watermarked42017-01-13-2147The Blackhawks were there – we have the photos to prove it! The Caps outshot them 34 to 24. It didn’t matter if it was Crawford or Darling in the net, they just could not keep the Capitals from scoring. There was a brief moment when it looked like maybe they had scored until Holtby pointed out the interference in front of him and the goal was overturned!

It was an amazing night.

Karl Alzner played his 500th game in a row! What an inspiration.

watermarked112017-01-13-2147Holtby earned his sixth shutout of the season. And he made it look easy!

Wilson scored a goal and had two assists.

watermarked22017-01-13-2231Schmidt and Burakovsky were on the assists and looked like they could have scored. It takes the team playing as a team.

Jay Beagle scored twice…we just love him!

We are excited for this team and the way they are pulling together. This is their eight straight win–a trend we can get behind.

 

Next up is Sunday and the Flyers. Let’s do our best to send them home win less too!

Game time has moved to 1 pm and the Caps will celebrate Nicky’s 500 point milestone.

 Photos by Mel Abernethy

The United Center: A Caps Fan’s View by Lily.


As you all know I went to the Hawks-Caps game on Friday. The overall experience was quite lovely. As my uncle explained, it was basically “a stadium with drunken Chicago fanatics.” So not quite the safest place to wear a Capital’s jersey.

He couldn’t have been more wrong.

I have been to the United Center several times; the best time was the Hawks-Flyers Stanley Cup finals Game 1 in 2010. This was my first time rooting for the hime team at the United Center. This was actually my first time rooting for the visiting team at any NHL stadium since then.

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The fans at United were absolutely amazing and wished me luck before the game. I also wasn’t alone in my row. There were a ton of Caps fans. A fan in the next section over was the loudest Capitals fan in the stadium. Whenever we would score he’d yell “C-A-P-S Caps Caps Caps.” And whenever Tommy Hawk would beat his drum and the rest of the crowd cheered “Let’s go Hawks,” he’d cheer “Let’s go Caps.” Toward the end of the game, the Hawks fans got really tired of him and yelled “Let’s go Hawks” even louder.

I, towards the end screamed “Unleash the fury!”
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I understand that I may have had a different experience as a 14 year-old girl, but the fans were very kind. In the end I may have been the most obnoxious fan there.

You should check it out yourself too!

The Caps Blow into the Windy City

The Washington Capitals suffered a crushing 3-0  defeat to the San Jose Sharks on election night. The Caps ended their five-game winning streak as goalie Martin Jones stopped 24 pucks from getting into the net. Braden Holtby had 20 saves. Seemed no matter how snazy they were, the Caps just couldn’t find the back of the net. The story line here is the Caps were out-defended by the Sharks.

Here’s the media buzz for tonight:

So what does that mean for Chicago? Well…they have seven wins in a row. Could they be prime for a loss??? Fox Sports says four of those wins were one-goal games. If the Caps can get and keep the lead, they have a chance of stopping the forward progression of the the Hawks.

Comcast Sports says its a “goalie clash.” Yea, Corey Crawford is always a problem – we agree.

Patrick Kane is playing pretty hot right now.

Chicago Tribune writes their threats are likely Alex Ovechkin and TJ Oshie while “Marian Hossa has four goals in his last four games.”

Locally, Mike Vogel writes: “Three nights after tasting defeat at the hands of the Sharks, the Caps head into the lion’s den in Chicago. They’ll be facing arguably the league’s most consistently elite team over the last several years in the Blackhawks, and they’ll be doing so in front of a packed Friday night house at United Center.”

We think Kuzy said it best: “Of course we have to play better, but the coaches help plan,” center Evgeny Kuznetsov said, according to the Washington Post. “We’re trying to stay with that plan, but sometimes we did wrong. We have to fix it a little bit, some small areas. I think at some point, the pucks are going in for sure. We just have to be close to each other and maybe use the small areas a little bit and make more shots.”

Late word is that Taylor Chorney is in tonight, finally. Nate Schmidt is a healthy scratch. Here are your Caps lines for tonight according to Isabelle Khurshudyan Washington Post:

Forwards

Alex Ovechkin-Nicklas Backstrom-T.J. Oshie

Marcus Johansson-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Tom Wilson

Andre Burakovsky-Lars Eller-Justin Williams

Zach Sanford-Jay Beagle-Daniel Winnik

Defensemen

Karl Alzner-Matt Niskanen

Dmitry Orlov-John Carlson

Brooks Orpik-Taylor Chorney

Goaltenders

Braden Holtby (starter)

Philipp Grubauer

Scratches
Brett Connolly

Nate Schmidt

Caps Fans: Tips for Family Rivalries; When You Win and When They Win!

I find that there are three common hockey families:  

  • the families that just don’t care except for one person,
  • the families that are all huge fans of one team, and
  • then we have the one that my family fits under,the family rivalries.

In reality, the Capitals and the Blackhawks don’t have that much of a rivalry; however anytime they play my family goes all out. One time my sister and mom (the two Hawks fans) went to the game. The Capitals won so they came home to this:

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Look, I get it wasn’t too nice and it was a sore winner thing, but she would’ve done that if the Hawks won. I’ve said before that if we played against each other during the Stanley Cup Finals “A house divided amongst itself cannot withstand.” We have talked about who would leave to protect our family from going crazy.

As long as I’m talking about family rivalry I must add the honest truth. I have family in Pittsburgh and they are Penguins fans. That makes the Penguins-Caps games that much better. I’ve been forced to wear a Penguins shirt. I had a photo of me taken wearing the shirt in which I was told to smile. Looking back it was hilarious because I’m very secure with how big of a Caps fan I am but back then it was humiliating

So, it is even more tense for me when we play the Hawks in a season game then when we play the Penguins in a season game. I know if we win then I get some serious bragging rights; but if we lose, I will face a day of terrible misery and humiliation. If we win I’m talking to my uncle about the game and bragging a bit.

Family rivalries especially when it’s within your immediate family are so much fun, here are a few tips.

If They Win:

  1. Don’t shy away and lock yourself in your room; then you seem like a sore loser
  2. A good comeback to something about how many Cups the Caps have won is “oh so original.”
  3. Let all the comments slide off your back.
  4. Most of all, don’t listen to a losing playlist and cry while that game might be important to you it has an 1.22% effect on whether or not your team make the most important games of hockey the playoffs.

If You Win

  1. Think about their feelings and how you will be treated if you lose
    1. If it’s worth it go ahead just don’t be surprised when you lose and they do the same to you
    2. If it isn’t worth it then don’t say anything
  2. Don’t celebrate like you won the Cup. Unless you did. But don’t overdue it. In the season, that’s 1/82 games and in the playoffs there are generally more rounds or at least more games to win.
  3. Once again if your family is like my family they are all like “oh we’re all crying into the Stanley Cup.” you can reply “oh how original.” because seriously I hear that insult way too much mix, it up once and awhile.
  4. Think about others feelings and if they need a hug then they need a hug. Losing can be tough.

Good Luck our Cold Places Friends!

Playing Fantasy Hockey to Keep up with NHL Players & Teams 

Chris Cleveland writes that Fantasy Hockey is great way to keep up with hockey stats:

So I am huge into following player stats in the NHL. I follow stats from at least a few players from every team but I mostly know a lot about Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks players since those are the two teams I follow. But I love covering all teams.

One great way to keep up with all these different player stats is playing fantasy hockey. How does fantasy hockey work? First you draft a team with usually 16 players on it. Then you can choose any player you want from any NHL team.

The drafts usually happen a few weeks before the season starts and they are really fun. If you are in a bigger fantasy hockey league, the drafts can go on for a long time. It’s kind of a guessing game too.

You get points based on how well the players you drafted do every time they in a games.  A lot of the really good players usually get drafted really early, like Patrick Kane and Alex Ovechkin.

Fantasy hockey can really be a guessing game at times too. Say you want to draft a player who is risky but has a huge upside. For example, last year I had Artemi Panarin and Andre Burkovsky on one of my teams and they both had great seasons. Sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn’t.

img_3814-1  The reason I like to use Fantasy Hockey as a good way to keep up with stats is because it really makes you pay attention to every game on any given night of the NHL season. It’s really fun and easy way to keep up with every team in the NHL. Last year I won one of my leagues, thanks to the amazing play of Patrick Kane and Braden Holtby both having career years.

I have already done a few Fantasy Hockey drafts this year and plan to do a few more before the season starts. I try not to draft too many players from the same team but I always try to have at least two or three Caps or Hawks players on my team. This year I have a team for which I drafted Ovi and Jonathon Toews with Corey Crawford and Braden Holtby as my goalies. So that should be really fun.  watermarked112016-10-01-1257

I’ll write more later to let you know how it’s going! Hope you will join the fun too.

 

Chris Cleveland Joins the FiCP Family–Yeah, we Let a Guy in…

Chris Cleveland has been one of Friends in Cold Places biggest supporters since day one. He tweets us. He messages us. He sends us video and great pictures he gets with players (Caps and other). So we finally decided, what the heck, invite him to join us. And he agreed. Here’s his story:

Hello Friends in Cold Places.  I’m Chris Cleveland and I am a huge hockey fan.

My hockey story is quite funny.  I was actually a Blackhawks fan before becoming a Caps fan. I know, how could that be??  Well one year for Christmas my parents decided to get me Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews jerseys when I was ten. This started my journey into hockey and I was obsessed with watching the Hawks.

Alright enough about the Hawks. I became a Caps fan around 2010 when they switched from the old school jerseys to the new cool looking red ones. When the Caps switched over to the red jersey, I totally fell in love with the team and how good they have been.

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My Favorite memory from when I was younger is when I was at the so-called Snowvechkin Game when Alex rallied the Caps back from  3-1 to win it in overtime. I have been to some pretty wild Caps games over the years, including my most recent and favorite memory of Game 7 vs the Islanders two seasons ago, when Kuzy put the Caps up 2-1 with an amazing move and a heck of a shot.

I am currently taking classes at NOVA Community College at the Alexandria campus. I love going to Kettler for practices on my days off because it is not too crowed and it’s easier to meet the players.

I am super excited to be joining the FiCP crew this year. I’m a big stats guy and know a lot about the NHL, outside of the Caps and Hawks,  so look for some pretty interesting articles from me once the regular season starts. For now I won’t be doing too many articles because the Nats are in the playoffs and I have baseball fever!! Once that comes to an end, look for me to be very active on this page.

As a teaser, I have a few predictions for the team this year.  I think we are due for another huge year and I really think this is the year we win the cup. I’m expecting big things from some of the role players outside of Ovi and Nicki. I think Mojo and Burakovsky are going to really go off this year and have 60-point seasons!! Also if they can find “Stan the Man” Galiev some decent ice time, I easily think he could be a 20-goal per season type of guy.

I can’t wait for this season to start and this be the year we maybe get to see Ovi raise the cup he has worked so hard his whole career. The time is now for him to win it all and I think a 60-goal season is very likely for him this year.

There ya have it friends.  Welcome to the Family Chris!!

WOOF WOOF BEAGLE IS BACK!!! (And lines changes for Hawks game)

Lots of happy dancing around Washington Capitals Land today as center Jay Beagle returns to the line up. There were hints Saturday that he could be in as soon as today and BAM there he is on the ice again.

Beags has been preparing for his return for the past few weeks, gradually skating with trainers before Caps practice and then finally joining in for practice. We knew he had traveled with the team and were hoping today would be the day.

WELCOME BACK JAY

New Lines for Blackhawks

Ovechkin Backstrom Oshie

Burkovsky  Kuznetsov  Williams

Chimera  Johansson  Wilson

Laich  Richards  Beagle

Orpik Orlov

Alzner Niskanen

Schmidt Chorney

Holtby in against Crawford