FiCP is Growing! Please Welcome Daniel to the Team

We are excited to welcome an old friend to the team. Please give him big CAPS stick tap and check out his first post here.

Daniel Johnson is a native Virginian who has been a longtime Caps fan since 1985. He is a graduate of George Mason University and interned for the Capitals 2003/2004. His favorite Caps moment is Ovechkin’s game-winning goal in his first playoff game against the Flyers in 2008!

Daniel will be writing about the fan experience and opinion pieces about the Capitals. He is a partial-season ticket holder and will be adding an insider look from Capital One Arena with the rest of the team.

Meet our Newest Writer: Marcus Boutilier

We really have become an international blog here at FICP. With one writer in Brazil, we now expand our coverage to Canada!

Meet Marcus Boutilier. He grew up playing hockey in Southern Ontario and Leaf Nation and is now living in Oiler Nation. But he’s been cheering, jeering, and couch coaching/managing the Caps since the draft of 1983 and the Unleashing of the Fury we know as Scott Stevens. Marcus even interned with the OHL champion Oshawa Generals Hickey Club.

As he tells it “If I miss a Caps game on TV it’s cause I’m Rocking the Red at the game. Seen Caps in every Canadian city except WIN. I make a trip to DC once a season for live Caps hockey.”

He also makes time for Oilers hockey as well, since he is stuck in the middle of after all. He says “With McDavid in the lineup I’m cool with it.”

And like the rest of us, he “…. daydreams of third rounds …..”

Follow Marcus on Twitter at @SportMajor and look for his articles on our blog!

Welcome the family!!!

Thanks to Bryce Jurkovac for His Service 

One of our newest writers at FiCP is hanging up his Army uniform after five years of service. He is heading to North Carolina for a great new adventure that includes covering the Caps when they play in Raleigh. 

Bryce grew up as a military brat moving around until  his family settled in North Carolina, where his Dad retired. So service to our country is part of his family. 

Bryce had three deployments: one of them a combat tour. In the combat tour, he deployed with the 10th Mountain Division to Afghanistan and worked alongside various ODA Special Forces and Navy SEAL teams. A true combat vet. 

And he loves the sport of hockey!  He started playing hockey at 11 years old. The first NHL game he watched was with the Caps and Bryce instantly fell in love with Peter Bondra. He, and his family, are now huge Caps fans, watching games together. Bryce even played in recreation leagues, junior hockey leagues and got as far as D3 ACHA Ice Hockey for Liberty University.

We are so thankful to Bryce and his family for their service to our country. We also thank those of you who continue to serve and pray for your safety- no matter where the uniform takes you.

Thank you Bryce and Alicia. God speed in your new endeavors. 

The FiCP Family

Welcome Bryce to the FiCP Team 

One thing we love about social media is the people we get to meet. And some of you join us because of your love of hockey, the Caps, and sharing your views. Bryce Jurkovac is one of our followers and we have loved his tweets so much that we asked him to come on board and he agreed. We now have three gents writing with our six ladies!! 

Bryce is exiting the Army in late October and moving to North Carolina for a great job opportunity. He will have been a military combat veteran with five years total service! We are so proud to have him representing the military and thankful for his service. 


As a military brat he moved around a lot until at nine when the family settled in North Carolina. Bryce started playing hockey at 11 and starting getting into NHL games shortly after. The first game he watched was a Caps game and he instantly fell in love with Peter Bondra. He has been a Caps fan ever since! 

Caps Winter Classic in Pittsburgh

Bryce makes sure his family sits down every night to watch every Caps games–and tweets of course. Anytime they play the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh, Bryce tries to make it to the games and support the Caps!

He eventually pursued the hockey dream by playing in recreation leagues, junior hockey leagues and got as far as D3 ACHA Ice Hockey for Liberty University. He brings some on-ice expertise to the blog!


In his five years with the US Army he has had three deployments; one of them a combat tour. In the combat tour, Bryce  deployed with the 10th Mountain Division to Afghanistan and worked alongside various ODA Special Forces and Navy SEAL teams. 

We now have two military folks (Luís Felipe Rodrigues is in Brazil’s Navy) writing about hockey. Bryce and Lily Rosenberg have an on-ice hockey background and can help bring their practical experience to posts. And the rest of us, well we just love hockey. 

Please welcome Bryce to the FiCP Family!!

And if you too would like to join our growing blog, just send us a message to Friendsincoldplacesdc@gmail.com and let’s chat! 

Inside the Caps Media Area; Caps Social Night Part 2

Saturday Arianna told you about her experience with Craig and Courtney Laughlin during the Capitals Social Night. As bloggers, sports photographers, and sports broadcasters in training, it was a real treat for us as non-credentialed bloggers to see where we aspire to sit! We were escorted by Megan Garner, Director of Marketing throughout the tour.

Walk with us down the hall:

 

 

 

Craig, Courtney, and James Heuser, Director of Digital Media for the Capitals were gracious hosts. From the moment we stepped on the elevator with Eric, we were full anticipation to see where our local idols call home during games. We made our way down the hall to the media area where Courtney warmly greeted us. Her dad joined us shortly after we arrived.

Craig took us down to the CSN suite and where he makes magic happen. Asked if he stands during the broadcasts, he explained that they try to stand as much as possible but at times he has to manage his notes and the computer so he ends up sitting down quite a bit. The view was great from his area, much better than we imagined. Locker said they have to vacate the space when NHL or NBC take the lead broadcasting Caps games.

Everyone who has a role in bringing fans closer to the game experience has an suite and we were able to see some of those as we walked around. We saw where snacks are set and information is shared with the media. We had a look down on the ice from the press box as well as the screen where the media get a closer perspective of the game.

There was some great teasing between daughter and father about the social media gap. Courtney is doing her best to train her dad on the many nuances of tweeting and Craig said he is still waiting to figure out Instagram and Snap Chat. It was pretty comical. That said, CSN is committed to engaging with fans more on social media and Courtney explained that they really do want more fan input during the many shows on CSN. Craig was especially excited about Facebook live!

watermarked132016-12-18-1054We really appreciated the opportunity to see behind the curtain of the Caps media machine. Even Sergey Kockarov, VP of Communications (and PR guru on twitter) joined us for a bit.  We also have a new appreciation for the preparation and hard work that go into giving the fans the best viewing experience possible.

Stay tuned for an interview soon with Courtney. Let us know what you would like us to ask.In the meantime. stick tap to all those behind the scene personnel.

FiCP Adds Another Lady to the Team

We are excited to welcome another contributor to our team: Emelie Shany. If you have been around Caps events you have probably seen her–she’s the one with the bubbly personality holding up signs! 


Emelie is a student at American University studying Law and Society who got into hockey during her senior year of high school. Originally refusing to have anything to do with sports her best friend got her into hockey and she is never going back. Her favorite team is the Washington Capitals but she also follows the Panthers, Stars, and Blackhawks. She loves to yell at the players both at an actual game and through the TV but loves them no matter what. You can usually find her having conversations with other Caps fans on twitter. 

She will be sharing her thoughts on the players and their performances as well as her experiences with hockey in general. 

Let us know if you too would like to join our growing team of female hockey writers. We might even take a  couple guys too since Chris Cleveland is feeling a little outnumbered with the eight women we now have at FiCP. 

FiCP Welcomes Another Writer to the Team: Arianna Howard

Arianna is a senior in high school who intends to become a NHL Play-by-Play Announcer. She has been on her school’s newspaper for three years and has been a fan of the Capitals for six years as well. 

Her favorite Caps player is either Tom Wilson or Andre Burakovsky, but Michael Latta will always have a spot in her heart.

 She plans on attending a D.C college to get a degree in Sports Broadcasting Journalism, and hopes this will be an opportunity to get experience.

Arianna will be writing game recaps, covering some Maryland hockey, and special articles on NHL-related topics. We can’t wait for you to read her stories!! 

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!!

Meet our Newest Team Member: Christopher Johnson

FiCP is pleased to announce the addition of another skilled writer and editor to our team, and our first male member! We have known Chris for years and we are excited to have someone with his experience (10 years) in journalism, writing for associations and magazines.

Christopher is a born and raised Washingtonian living in Fairfax, Va. His love of the Caps is lifelong and has been going to games since they were at the Capital Centre (later USAir Arena) in Landover, Maryland. His fandom reached its peak when at 17 years old, he witnessed the only home win in the 1998 Eastern Conference Finals at MCI Center (now Verizon Center) when the Capitals beat Dominik Hasek 3-2 in overtime and went on to win the series 4-2.

He brings his knowledge of the Caps and will give a different perspective on not just the players or the game, but the elements and people surrounding it. Watch for some great stories from Chris.

Blogging for Hockey, Our Interview with Japers Rink’s Becca H.

Women and Hockey: Writing about Hockey

As newcomers to the hockey blogging community, Friends in Cold Places was thrilled to sit down with Japers Rink’s Becca Henschel and talk about what it’s like write and edit for one of our favorite blogs. Becca is one of two women who write for Japers. Her love of the sport was instilled in her by her father, who has been a season ticket holder since 1974, the Caps first season. She and her sisters were raised to be Caps fans.

We asked how she came to write about hockey and Becca explained that she loves to write and started her own blog in 2006 called “A View from the Cheap Seats.” She discovered a blogging community that had grown up around the Caps when Caps’ owner Ted Leonsis started credentialing bloggers. As part of that community she got to know JP and he invited her to join the team in 2008.

Like many bloggers, Becca has a ‘day’ job (in communications) and writing for Japers Rink is a labor of love. She finds ways to work her schedule so that she can write for the blog. She edits the blog on her lunch break, and in the evening often writes recaps and other posts. Much of her spare time is devoted to the blog.

In her Twitter account description Becca describes herself as someone who provides the “female perspective” to Japers Rink. We asked her to explain what she means and she said, “there are a lot of guys writing on hockey and women bring a little more of a personal side to it. Women get to know the players and it’s more about people than about the stats. There are women who love stats, but some of us tend to have a more of a personal attachment to the team and don’t go running off with the stats.” JP has said that you can tell it’s a “Becca post” when it’s a more optimistic post. She looks for the brighter side and she tries to find the good side even when we aren’t doing well. More fun to be a fan that way.

Her advice for those that want to become involved in this field? “Get to know the community”—get to know everyone else and support each other. Japers is always open to new voices. Don’t forget the love of the game, even when writing seems to become more of a chore. Keep watching the game and remember that you love the game and put the things you love in what you write. She reminds herself that it’s just a game. People tend to overreact based on the stats or a team loss. Remember it’s a game—it isn’t life and death and it is important to have fun.

You can follow Becca on Twitter (https://twitter.com/BeccaH_JR) and read her articles and summaries at Japers Rink (www.japersrink.com).

Thanks for meeting with us Becca and we look forward to your tweets and articles. And thank  you Becca for welcoming us to the blogger community.

Contributions: Renee Garces

Photo: Brittney Marcum