Caps Fan Fest: Some Good, Some Not So Good

Party on Friends!

Many of you arrived really early to get in line for a chance to have your photo taken with the Stanley Cup. Some folks arrived before the sun was up- ok some of you got there the night before!

Stanley Cup Viewing

The lines for the Cup viewing and photo op wrapped down through the garage at Kettler. Last we looked, the lines were down to the third level. Unfortunately, the Capitals were unable to accommodate everyone who showed up, leaving plenty of fans disappointed. The line was cut off at 3, two hours later then planned and fans were given until 4 to make it through rather then the original 2 pm close. Of you arrived after 9, chances are you didn’t have a chance to take a photo.

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Our gal Velvet Jackson didn’t wait in line – but she took a sneak photo for us!

It was HOT HOT HOT out there waiting in 90 plus degree weather with no shade on the roof top. The lines just seemed to go on and on and on. (Swipe for all the photos)

Security had their hands full, trying to keep the incoming cars from running people over and getting folks where they needed to be. They managed to do it with the same good cheer we saw at the Stanley Cup Parade.

Fans had some troubles in the terrible heat and long wait. There was free water available early on; however, it was only at the top of the line. Lots of folks were pretty exhausted and dehydrated by the time the made it through the garage and into Kettler. Some had to leave the line because they felt faint. We think Kettler didn’t fully anticipate the huge number of fans that were coming!!

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There were numerous complaints on Twitter about the lack of information or the wrong information that was provided by the staff brought in to work the event. Additionally, some fans who were in the late afternoon crowd were forced to take group photos with people they didn’t know– other than having spent several hours standing with them in line. In the end, the Capitals issued tickets to people who stayed in line but were unable to have their photo taken. Many of you did not get a ticket, but we suggest you click this link and fill out the information.  From the Caps:

Thank you for attending this year’s Capitals Fan Fest. We appreciate your patience as we moved through as many fans as possible to take a picture with the Stanley Cup. If you were in line and did not receive a photo please fill out the below and we will communicate future Stanley Cup photo opportunities to you. If you received a green or red ticket please be sure to reference the number.

Many of your were among the fortunate to have your photo taken. The Caps were overwhelmed uploading the photos and we have heard they are working as quickly as they can to load them. The link for photos can be found here.

Equipment Sale

And there was used equipment to be had. The lines for the equipment sale were so short that people were able to walk right in. There wasn’t much left following the development camp scrimmage, but some folks did walk out with hockey sticks with player names like Orpik, Chiasson, and Kempny.

Ice Skating

Also part of the day was the the $5  ice skating. We saw many families lacing up and jumping on the ice. A great way to cool down!

And let’s not forget Caps Development Camp and the prospects scrimmage. Click for more.

Outside there were few activists compared to previous years. Most likely because the Stanley Cup line took up half the deck!

The FiCP team was everywhere and we will have more personal stories about the day. Oh and check out our piece on the Development Camp scrimmage. For now, we share this photo of our Man Dan (Daniel Johnson) and his brother. Two who made it through the lines to the prize of the day.

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Photos by Brittney Marcum

Contribution photos from Daniel Johnson and Velvet Jackson

Inside The Caps Opponent : Alex Tuch

Amongst the many new things the Capitals will see and do over their first “roadie” through the bright lights of Las Vegas and T-Mobile Arena is a Golden Knights team which has surprised anyone who was “betting” on them to miss the playoffs .. no pun intended.

Among a familiar face in old friend and former Capital’s Nate Schmidt, the Caps will see a new one in big winger Alex Tuch. The hulking forward was taken 14th overall by Minnesota in the 2014 draft and was subsequently dealt to Vegas last June during the expansion draft and player movement spider web. With size and skating ability, Tuch can be a hard guy to contain at times and while still a rookie, the ceiling is high for the former NCAA product. His 14G’s and 14A’s for 28pts (37 gms) led Boston College as he became the first freshmen in 42 years to accomplish that feat.

Leaving for pro hockey in April of 2015, he has shown a knack for scoring at every level. While he may be a longshot for rookie of the year, there is no question, this player is in the league to stay. He is a contributing player to a Golden Knights team that has to have everyone’s attention by now. With 7G’s and 8A’s so far in 29 games this season the Caps will not be surprised by Tuch as advanced scouting will have been sure to flag him for his strength, which is get to the net. Tuch had registered a point in 5 straight games until being stalled on a current 4 game pointless streak.

The Caps will have their hands full with the likes of old FLA foe Jonathan Marchessault, sniper James Neal and others, but Tuch has the capability to make even more of a name for himself at any given time.

.. I also sense a Flower in the building… it’s a presence I haven’t felt in…

Go Caps Go

 

p.s.  Check back later for more photos from the game as Brittney is in town and will have more Smiling Nate, Caps Road Crew, Caps Fan Club in Vegas and, we hope, winning Caps. Here’s a Nate preview if you missed it…

Caps Fan Club Hosts the Striped Shirts

The Washington Capitals Fan Club invited linesmen Bryan Pancich and David Brisebois and referee Francois StLaurent to field questions from Club members about officiating hockey games. The discussion was fairly candid as they explained the challenge of enforcing the rules and issuing penalties as well as the pride they have in their jobs.

  • They spoke about the coaches challenge–the final decision rests with them not Toronto as many people believe. Toronto provides technical support in the decision-making processes.
  • One thing they stressed was that one of their greatest concerns is the safety of the players and they do what they can to find that balance between “making the game safe” and keeping the game exciting for the fans.

They travel throughout the NHL spending much of their time away from their families. They all started playing hockey and their dreams turned to playing with a whistle. They love the sport as much as we do and they said they have no team allegiance or bias. And yes, they see the signs and they hear calls and they love the fan engagement!! After meeting them in their suits we had a whole lot more respect for them when we saw them later on the ice!

Check out the Fan Club to become a member and to attend more great events like this in the future. Watch for their newsletter with more details about the meeting with the refs.

 

 

 

 

Caps NHL Playoffs Round2 Practice in Photos

The Washington Capitals hit the ice again in front of a crowd of excited fans on Tuesday.

We had a lot of fun capturing the best players the league:

Tom Wilson was all coy skating by himself on the ice while he waited for his teammates to join him.

Evgeny Kuznetsov thought it was hilarious to shoot his puck at the camera while Wilson egged him on.

Coach Trotz was getting in some shots today as well as carting around a net that looked strangely like our little icon!

 

The Caps Fan Club hung signs to celebrate the Caps success in Round 1 and outside the Capitals prepared for excited fans to meet their favorite players.

We captured a bit of it on video for your viewing pleasure:

Caps practice again Wednesday at 1030. Morning skate on Thursday likely, and then it’s on to Round 2.

Caps Fans are Playoff Ready

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Thumbs up from Michael Latta for our ROCK THE RED car. #FreeLatta

 

Washington Capitals fans have been waiting all year to get to the playoffs and their excitement and energy was amazing during Game One. Fans came out Saturday to encourage the players during an optional morning skate.

 

 There are a few changes for those of you looking to get player pictures and autographs. The area in front of the Kettler Offices is now barricade to give players easier access to their cars.

 

In some cases the staff is actually bringing the cars up for the players. On the lower garage level there is even a police officer to escort them to their cars.  They aren’t’ being rude friends, they are game focused!! And we want that right?

The Fan Club has hung signs at Kettler and fans are there to support the team. We at FiCP believe that we have some of the best fans in the NHL and we love meeting you at practice and games. We have quiet fans who show up for every practice and quietly watch from the rafters. And we have some crazy enthusiastic fans who scream and yell when they Caps come out of the team room.

We even saw a car from Pennsylvania that was Rocking the Red. We couldn’t help but wonder how they survive in enemy territory!

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How ever you chose to do it – KEEP ROCKING THE RED!!