Hitting Pause for FICP

Dear Friends,

Happy 2020!

Our Prediction for the year ahead??

A GR8 year of big wins lies ahead the Washington Capitals!!

Unfortunately for us, we are taking a blog break. Our team has done some fantastic tweeting and posting photos on IG. However, life (meaning school and work) has made it nearly impossible for us to write.

We have also felt the pressure from another blog that has greater resources to cover every tidbit of Caps news. We don’t want to just repackage what NBC Sports and other first line media outlets report. Nor do we want just to repost what Caps’ players post. We don’t think you need to read the same news in four or five different blogs.

Our bread and butter has always been our photographs and first-hand reporting from MedStar (Kettler), Capital One, and on the road. Sadly, we also haven’t been getting to as many games as we would like and again, we don’t want to give you news you have already read or watched from the pros.

So we thank you for reading our articles and engaging with us these past four+ years. We will keep on tweeting because we can’t turn off the “Twitter King.” We will post photos on IG and Twitter when we can.

We hope to be back, especially when the Caps make it to the playoffs. We’ll see what happens then.

We have been blessed to have made so many great friends and look forward to seeing you around and talking with you!

Go CAPS!!!

Maggie and Brittney Marcum, FiCP Founders

Bye Bye Losing! Evgeny Kuznetsov Comes Through with Clutch Goal to End Caps Seven-Game Winless Drought

On Friday night, Washington Capitals hockey returned to the District of Columbia after an All-Star break complemented by a bye week. The lengthy break did the defending Stanley Cup champions a great favor, for they entered the period of rest losers of seven straight, although a few counted as OT in the standings. They came close the last time they were at home but got robbed by the Sharks with a last second game tying goal. This time, they wouldn’t need overtime.  Continue reading “Bye Bye Losing! Evgeny Kuznetsov Comes Through with Clutch Goal to End Caps Seven-Game Winless Drought”

Caps Fall to Stars in Overtime to Begin Homestand

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michael banner 2CAPITAL ONE ARENA – The Washington Capitals returned home on Saturday night to take on the Dallas Stars. After dropping a heartbreaker in Montreal where they allowed two late goals (not including the empty net), the Caps were hoping some home cooking and a normal hockey schedule would do the trick. They did get a point out of this one but they still fell in overtime 4-3 on a goal by Jason Dickinson. Something about the Stars having the Caps number, which defies logic. Since the 1996-97 season, the Stars are 23-2-6 against the Caps. Imagine how much torture that would be if that was the Cowboys record against the Redskins. At least the Skins won that game a few weeks ago! Okay back to hockey. Continue reading “Caps Fall to Stars in Overtime to Begin Homestand”

Meet Michael Marzzacco

How’s it going Caps fans?

My name is Michael Marzzacco and I’m one of the newest writers at Friends in Cold Places. First a brief introduction. I’ve followed the Washington Capitals for the last 15 seasons and you may have recognized my name from the Caps blogs District Sports Page and/or NoVa Caps over the years.

While this is my first year writing on the FiCP team, I am set to embark on my fourth season writing about and covering the Capitals. Two years ago, I got my bachelor’s degree in journalism at Radford University. Since then, I moved back to my hometown in Northern Virginia.

When I’m not watching or writing about the Caps, I’m covering high school sporting events in Loudoun County for the Loudoun Times Mirror as well as blogging about the NBA’s Washington Wizards for the site Hoop District.

I’m looking forward to providing Caps fans and readers with unique in-person stories from practices and games as well as quality content and getting the story from all angles.

Hershey Spotlight: Connor Hobbs

Today begins our daily Hershey Bears Spotlight, the newest addition to the blog. We know you all are already going through withdrawals after yesterday’s final day of Caps Dev Camp so we decided to give you some more information on the guys from camp that will be heading to Hershey for the first time this season as well as those returning from the previous season.

First up we have one of our personal favorites here at FiCP; Connor Hobbs who played defense wearing #7 for the Bears since last season. Connor was drafted in the fifth round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft #143 overall and continued to play for the Regina Pats in Canada for two more seasons following the draft.

In total Connor played for the Pats for three seasons before coming to the Bears; breaking multiple records during his time there including goals in a single season by a Pats defenseman and points in a single season by a defenseman in the WHL.

Connor is a hard hitting guy who throws his body around in all the right ways and has the speed to get him where he needs to be. To us he is the Tom Wilson of defenseman. Last season he posted 61 minutes in penalties, accompanied by three goals and 13 assists Impressive for a defenseman in his first season with the AHL. These numbers do not truly reflect his abilities though due to a wrist injury that sidelined Hobbs for seven weeks.

We expect to see Connor again for training camp in September as he demonstrates his abilities with the full Caps team.

When Hockey Hurts!

The Washington Capitals are known as the “Heart Attack Team.”

Did you know that watching a Caps game can actually increase your heart rate and increase your blood flow?  All this excitement can get you to a peak heart rate.

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Heck – who needs the gym when we have the Caps and Knights to keep us on the edge? One of our team writers swears she looses at least three pounds every game just from watching.

We’ve all been there. And we want you to get through the FINAL RUN!

So have fun, laugh it up, cancel the gym membership and order tickets to a game,  and pace yourself friends. We gotta make it to the end.

Stanley Cup Game 369

 

 

Caps Fan For A Night

A few days ago Friends in Cold Places offered me a ticket to the last Caps game before the Playoffs begin and I accepted. I was excited because for once I would be attending the game as a fan and not working it in the PWC Club. Continue reading “Caps Fan For A Night”

LA Kings are Ready for the Capitals

The Washington Capitals had their pucks handed back to them Monday night in Anaheim. Goalie John Gibson walked away with a shutout while Braden Holtby was pulled after the first period and Philipp Grubauer stepped in, but to no avail. The Caps fell 4-0 to the Ducks.

Wednesday night the Caps will travel up the road to the Staple Center, the home of LA Kings, who sit in fourth place in the Pacific Division and are currently in a wild card position. The Kings are feeling pretty good after a nice win (5-2) over the Blue Jackets and yet still smarting a bit from a 5-3 loss to the Blackhawks on 3 March. They need this win against Washington.

The Kings and Caps have played 16 games against each other since 2005. The Kings have won 11 of those match ups. Of those 16 games, the Caps have won only one game in LA. Let’s face it, the Caps have a hard time on these Western Conference trips. Is it a different style of play? Is it a time change? Is it is mindset?

 A 2017/11/30 Los Angeles Kings   5  -  Washington Capitals   2      W 
 H 2017/03/11 Los Angeles Kings   4  -  Washington Capitals   2      W 
 A 2017/02/05 Los Angeles Kings   0  -  Washington Capitals   5      L 
 H 2016/03/09 Los Angeles Kings   4  -  Washington Capitals   3 (OT) W 
 A 2016/02/16 Los Angeles Kings   1  -  Washington Capitals   3      L 
 H 2015/02/14 Los Angeles Kings   3  -  Washington Capitals   1      W 
 A 2015/02/03 Los Angeles Kings   0  -  Washington Capitals   4      L 
 A 2014/03/25 Los Angeles Kings   5  -  Washington Capitals   4 (SO) W 
 H 2014/03/20 Los Angeles Kings   2  -  Washington Capitals   1 (SO) W 
 H 2012/01/09 Los Angeles Kings   5  -  Washington Capitals   2      W 
 A 2011/02/12 Los Angeles Kings   4  -  Washington Capitals   1      W 
 H 2010/01/02 Los Angeles Kings   2  -  Washington Capitals   1      W 
 A 2009/02/05 Los Angeles Kings   5  -  Washington Capitals   4      W 
 H 2008/11/20 Los Angeles Kings   5  -  Washington Capitals   2      W 
 A 2007/02/08 Los Angeles Kings   3  -  Washington Capitals   4 (OT) L 
 H 2005/12/14 Los Angeles Kings   2  -  Washington Capitals   3      L

It won’t be easy for either team. The Kings, like the Caps, have been spending more time in the sin bin then they would like. Top guys like Drew Dougherty need to set the tone for the team. The Caps have had issues with defenseman Brooks Orpik, especially taking some late game penalties. The Kings have an 83.4 percent penalty kill average and ranks second it the league–the Caps not so much.

The Caps will need to keep a watch on Jeff Carter – not to mention Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli who have been playing a strong game of late. Oh and lets not forget Kopitar – our favorite to watch. They of course have to deal with the power year Alex Ovechkin is having. Ovi leads the team and the league in goals at 40. He is also on the prowl to notch two more goals for 600. Kuznetsov leads in assists and lets not forget defenseman John Carlson who has more time on ice then anybody and keeps bringing it night after night.

We don’t know for sure who will be in the net for either team. Could be Holtby but we have a sense coach will go with Grubauer given how quick he was to pull Holtz on Monday. And speaking of Quick, if he is in the net he is sure to be a formidable presence in the net.

LA Insider Jon Rosen talked with Coach Stevens about the pending match and coach indicated that the Caps could be fired up after the big loss in Anaheim–something about the Caps forecheck. The Capitals want to hang onto the top spot while the Kings want to move up from wild card and into a sure spot in time for the playoffs. Any way you look at it, this is going to be a great game for DC fans to stay up late and watch.

Caps Ice the Devils for First Place!!!

Photos by Brittney Marcum

it was a good night in DC at the Capital One Arena. The Capitals we love came back to play the kind of game we get excited about. They took and kept the lead, ending with a win of 5-2 win over the New Jersey Devils. ANNNDDDDD the lead in the Metro Division.

Tom Wilson moved to the third line and Devante Smith-Pelly stayed on the top line. Andre Burakovsky was a healthy scratch, probably because he is under-performing again, along with Madison Bowey.  Chandler Stephenson was back after illness. The starting lineup:

Ovechkin Backstrom Smith-Pelly
Vrana  Kuznetsov  Oshie
Connolly  Eller  Wilson
Stephenson  Beagle  Chaisson

Orlov – Niskanen
Orpik – Carlson
Djoos – Chorney Continue reading “Caps Ice the Devils for First Place!!!”

We Like Winning Better: Caps Move onto Denver

Ok, there really isn’t anything good we can say about the Capitals-Predators game on Monday. So we have decided to focus on the positive aspects of the Caps, including winning against the Pens and Islanders. Lets hope they learn from their mistakes and come out crashing the net and shooting like nobody’s business in Denver on Thursday.

niskanen hiWe do want to welcome back Matt Niskanen who returned to the ice after missing 13 games with a hand injury. Unfortunately in his 20 minutes of play, he didn’t have too much to show for it except two minutes in the box for holding. You can tell from the following video that he was not feeling great about the game, for a number of reasons:

Looking back, the Caps played well against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Winning against the Pens is always a boost to the team and to the fan base. And there were some great moments that night:

And then we had the shootout win against the Oilers. Now this wasn’t a fabulous game either with Dmitry Orlov scoring the only goal in regulation and TJ Oshie winning it in the shootout with the only puck in the net.

The Caps managed to hold back Connor McDavid to three shots and zero goals, so there was that! Ju Jhar Khair earned his second NHL goal and first of the season against the Caps; his error also opened the door for Orlov to score.

Braden Holtby (and to be fair, Philipp Grubauer) has been doing his darndest to keep the Caps in the game, he often looks alone when the opponents come crashing our net. He had 29 saves against the Oilers,

The Caps are still getting way to many penalties and Tom Wilson is involved in too many fights to actually be helping the team. Don’t get us wrong – we love Tom– we just want to see him play more then we want to see him sit.

We need to see more from Alex Ovechkin but the team can not put so much pressure on him to be the deciding factor in winning or losing. Ovi has 13 goals

Meanwhile, TJ Oshie is second in the league right now with power play goals (six) and he has a total of nine goals in 19 games, leaving us wanting a LOT more from him.

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Evgeny Kuznetsov (17), John Carlson (13) and Nicklas Backstrom (11) lead the team in assists. Odd that Nicky’s numbers are lower but great to see Kuzy and Carly producing so much for the team. Especially good to see Carlson looking more like the player we knew before his injuries and great the he is holding up with all the extra ice time with Nisky out.

With Niskanen back we hope to see the defense for the team step it up more. He is a great leader and encourager. We have some young guys who are finding their groove, especially Madison Bowey. Unfortunately, Christian Djoos left the game with an apparent upper-body injury. We should hear more at practice on Wednesday.

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The bottom line to all this is, we the fans like winning better. Who doesn’t? And we get that the Caps will loose a game here and there. What is disconcerting for us is that they are now 19 games into the season and they still haven’t found the missing identity Coach Trotz often refers to. And for us, that is his responsibility. We can’t help but wonder what is going on between the locker room and the ice. We just hope they rediscover their magic soon. For now, they are in a wild card place in the standings. It is still early friends, but we would fell a bunch better if they moved up a tad bit more in the standings. Are we right?

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