Capitals Fans Hitting the Road Again

Have you ever wanted to see a Washington Capitals away game but weren’t sure how to do it?? Don’t want to go into a strange stadium rocking the red on your own??

We can help! Ok the Caps Road Crew can help!!

Tailgating before Hurricanes game in Raleigh.

The Roadies are a group of devoted Caps fans who travel in a pack to away games. Whenever possible, they rent a bus or two and load it up with fans from all walks of life. They aren’t rookies at this either- this is their 19th season of travel.

If you have never gone to see the Caps play outside of DC, or if you want to catch a game with the Hershey Bears, than you should check out the Road Crew. Click here to sign up for their newsletter and to hear about all the opportunities to each season.

The Road Crew is not affiliated with the Capitals; however, we can almost promise you that the folks at NBC Sports Washington will be tracking their movements.

For now they are in the planning stages for road trips this coming season. Note, the Vegas Golden Knights are off the schedule this year as the Knights are trying to leave room for local fans to see their team.

Saturday, December 8, 2018 – Caps @ Columbus Blue Jackets

Sunday, January 6, 2019 – Caps @ Detroit Red Wings

Sunday, January 20, 2019 –Caps @ Chicago Blackhawks

Sunday, February 17, 2019 -Caps @ Anaheim Ducks

Monday, February 18, 2019 –Caps @ Los Angeles Kings

Friday, March 1, 2019 – Caps @ New York Islanders

Sunday, March 3, 2019 – Caps @ New York Rangers

Wednesday, March 6, 2019 – Caps @ Philadelphia Flyers

And…there are TWO bus trips to see the Hershey Bears!!

Saturday, January 26, 2019 – Hershey Bears vs Laval Rocket **BUS**

Saturday, March 16, 2019 – Hershey Bears vs Bridgepoint Sound Tigers **BUS**

There are some rules to consider when thinking about joining them for a trip:

• Guests under the age of 12 may only travel with the group following consultation with the trip coordinator. When possible, we will assist in making alternate arrangements for those guests and their chaperones.

• Guests under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

• Guests under the age of 21 will not be permitted to consume alcoholic beverages. NO EXCEPTIONS! Any guests found facilitating the consumption of alcohol by those under 21 will be blacklisted from any future Caps Road Crew activities and may result in forfeiture of any payments on account in certain situations.

2017 Caps Review in Pictures

2017 was a big year for the Washington Capitals. They made it back to the playoffs, only to lose again in Round Two. They took the summer to regroup and trade away many our favorite players to make room to pay for those that that management hope will bring them closer to the Stanley Cup.

In January the Caps had a 14-game regulation winning streak which ended in a loss to Ottawa. But boy was it fun to watch! And they beat the Dallas Stars for the first time since October 2008. They also hosted the annual Hockey ‘n Heels.

February we celebrated Alex Ovechkin’s 1,000th NHL career point–who doesn’t like a big Ovi Party?? And we had a guest visitor from Abu Dhabi: female hockey player Fatima Al Ali who was invited by Peter Bondra to join the Caps at practice and to attend a couple of games while she was here. And…Burky hurt his hand February 9th and was out until mid March. We had our first taste of a ‘bye-week’ and we did not like it. The Caps added Kevin Shattenkirk to the roster and our hopes were high that he would be one piece on the board to help win the Cup.

March was relatively uneventful. We had a Caps Camo night to honor the US military. The team headed down the final stretch of the regular season and it seemed as if all the pieces were in place for a real run toward a final round in the playoffs. They were the first team to clinch a playoff spot with 100 points. Their performance was grand.

That takes us to April. Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer continued to amaze us with their blocking skills and shutout games. Garrett Mitchell – the Hershey Bear’s captain – got his first break playing in the NHL and we were thrilled to capture the moments with his family for him. There was some final game fun with the Jerseys Off Their Backs tradition – especially the Kuzy and Slapshot moment!! And then it was playoff time!

May began with chats of “We Believe” and hope that this phenomenal team would be the one to finally make a difference. Once again the Capitals won the President’s Trophy and unfortunately were again eliminated in the second round. Yes, kicked out of the run by the Pittsburgh Penguins…again… And then began the talks about trade and who the Caps would offer up a potential drafts by the new Las Vegas Golden Knights. Most bets were on Grubi getting the nod for the number one spot as goalie.  And somewhere in the noise of the end of the season began the buzz about Jakub Vrana.

That brings us to the trade months of June and July.  We reported on the Ovechkin wedding celebration extravaganza. Lily traveled to Chicago for the draft. We hung out at Caps Development Camp and had a first look at some potential players in the Caps future. That included Fan Fest and a lively alumi game. Mostly, we watched a lot on twitter as the players and their families enjoyed some time off. The off season is still a great time to meet up with other Caps fans – like at Fan Club events. And we said our goodbyes to the Smailys as they took our little mascot JoJo off to Texas.

First on the shocking list was the selection of Nate Schmidt to join the Vegas Knights. We still aren’t really over it yet!  TJ Oshie worked out a deal with the Caps for eight years at $46 million. Then they resigned Brett Connolly. Dmitry Orlov was signed next for six years at $30.6 million. Evgeny Kuznetsov signed his eight-year agreement and Grubauer signed a one-year contract. Finally Andre Burakovsky was offered a one-year deal to see if he can improve his consistency and earn a longer term contract.

We said goodbye to Dan Winnick, Justin Williams, Kevin Shattenkirk, Marcus Johansson, and Karl Alzner. For many it felt as if the Caps team had been gutted and there was a good bit of uncertainty about the future. Oh and Mitch Korn stepped down as head goalie coach.

The changes continued in August. Verizon Center was no more. Enter Capital One Arena – The Vault! New jerseys were offered by Adidias and we covered they history of sweater changes. And sadly, CSN ended their relationship with our friend Jill Sorenson. Fan are still not happy about this change. And CSN became NBC Sports Capitals. And players began to return to the ice on their own at Kettler.

The new season got going in September and we had a chance to see some of the rookies at Caps Camps and in the pre-season games as management looked to fill their vacancies. The NHL Centennial visited Washington and we had a chance to hug the Cup — the closest we have come so far!

And at long last October arrived. Opening night included the red carpet and a lot of line shuffling as Coach Trotz worked with new players and how to best integrate them into the team. Burky got hurt again…and the Caps were plagued by quite a bit of inconsistency which led to fan frustration.

By November they were settling into a better pattern. Oh and there was Hockey Fights Cancer night – all those boys in lavender!!!

December has been a fun month for us with a trip to Las Vegas where the Capitals met the Golden Knights for the first time. Brittney met up with the Caps Road Crew and the Capitals’s Fan Club to get you some great shots of Nate Schmidt as well as the Caps playing in this fabulous new stadium.

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We ended the year with a win against the New Jersey Devils — where we got to see MoJo again. We still miss him too…

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So here we are in 2018 and hopeful that the months ahead will lead the Capitals closer to winning the Stanley Cup. We never give up hope.

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A Caps Fan’s Guide to Vegas

A month ago I made the last-minute decision to fly to Vegas for the Caps first ever game against the newly established Vegas Golden Knights. I have to say that I was a little nervous as I had never been to Vegas. So if you are anything like me hopefully this post will help you out if you decide to make the trip (which I would highly recommend for anyone at least once.)

The Airport:

When you get off the plane and head towards the terminal, you immediately know you’re in Vegas. There are slot machines and Liquor stores right there in the baggage area so you can get a head start before you even leave the airport. There are several different areas to exit for taxis etc.

The Hotels: 

I stayed at The Luxor which is towards the very end of the strip, making it a little bit cheaper than other options. Would I recommend it? Not necessarily. It was a nice enough place but the room smelled old and felt a little on the dirty side. For a place with a casino and so many bars you would think the room would have at least a mini-fridge, that was not the case. There was no fridge, no microwave, and a key for me- no late night room service. Me being me I decided to explore the other hotels for myself, which was pretty easy because from the Luxor you can take pedestrian bridges and tunnel type areas to get to neighboring New York New York, Excalibur, or MGM Grand.

There is also a tram that runs up and down the strip but I chose to travel by foot or taxi instead. So my conclusion was that the closer you got to the busier part of the strip, the better the hotels got. My favorite by far was The Bellagio which is about a 20-30 minute walk from my hotel at the other end and a 15 minute stroll to the T-mobile Arena where the Knights play.

The inside was decorated beautifully and the inside didn’t smell of smoke as soon as I walked in which is a huggeee plus for me. They also had several amazing smelling restaurants, and who could forget the iconic Bellagio Fountains out front of the massive hotel? 10/10 from me for sure, and worth the few extra bucks to splurge.

Hockey Stuff: 

The Knight’s practice facility, City National Arena at 1550 S Pavilion Center Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89135 is around 20-30 minutes in a car- or twice that length by bus. The facility itself is absolutely beautiful and gives Kettler a run for its money. Once you get there and go in the main entrance head to the right and the Knight’s rink will be there, along with their team store/ pro shop. One thing you all might be interested to know is that there is a full bar at the top of the practice rink.. the food is delicious and worth the drive alone.  I took my Nikon DSLR in and got some excellent shots of Schmidt and the whole team.

T-Mobile Arena:

The arena is so close to the strip you can walk there after a day of exploring. If you go through New York New York and follow the signs to T-Mobile and The Park you will end up right on the walkway to Toshiba Plaza directly outside the main entrance. The doors open 90 minutes before game time giving you PLENTY of time to explore the new arena and get whatever food you want before puck drop. The seats are comfortable- WAY more so than Capital One Arena..

The Caps or  away team will warm-up in the 9-13 sections end of the arena and ushers are really great about letting you know where you can and cannot stand to watch the warm-ups. We stood all the way in front behind Holts and only had to scoot over when those that owned the seats walked in. Overall a really great arena! You can park in any of the casino lots nearby- New York New York is the closest if you’re looking to be in and out.

 

I hope you enjoyed my guide and let me know if you have any other questions, I will answer them the best I can!!

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

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…

The Many Faces of Nate Schmidt…

As you all know by now, I made the trip to Vegas to see our favorite Nate Schmidt. I met up with the wonderful Caps Road Crew to yesterday to see the Vegas Knights practice, and well, to say it was a success would be a huge understatement… Just take a look at these photos we snapped when he saw us in the stands with the masks of his face on.

The entire practice Nate was all smiles and his teammates were more than happy to give him flack about it.

If you liked these photos- stay tuned for more coming later!

Experiencing the Caps 6-2 Win… in the Prudential Center

 

Winning 6-2 against the New Jersey Devils was already a wonderful experience, but it was even better being in the Prudential Center to cheer the Caps along.

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It was my first time going to a Caps away game, and it turned out better than I could have ever hoped. However, being at an away game is much different than cheering with 18,000 Caps fans in the Verizon Center. It’s almost a little threatening, knowing that you are cheering for the enemy team, but there’s nothing like the pride of standing up and shouting when the Capitals score on unfriendly ice. And boy did the Caps give us reasons to cheer today.

Even being there for the boys during warm ups felt good, knowing that they were able to see just how many fans were there to cheer them on.

And if they didn’t see us during warm ups, they definitely heard us during the game. There were plenty of fans Rocking the Red in the Prudential Center, even though after every goal we could practically feel the Devils fans glaring at us. In fact, we embraced it!

img_7050The satisfaction of watching Devils fans leave their own arena as the Caps continue to increase their lead was incredible and I know I wasn’t the only Caps fan with a huge smile on my face in New Jersey.img_3995