The Washington Capitals were expected by many experts to have a Stanley Cup hangover of some sorts after winning the Cup and enduring the shortest, quickest offseason for the entire roster. Things were kind of 50/50 at the start of the season, then the team got hot to close out the 2018 calendar year. When that calendar flipped to 2019, that hangover talk resurfaced. The team is having a hard time moving on from the past. Continue reading “Caps Winless Drought Extends to Seven Games Entering Break”
Swedish-born D-Man Christian Djoos is certainly one of the guys we didn’t expect to see play for the Caps the majority of the season and through the Stanley Cup Playoffs. But he did and his name WILL be on the Stanley Cup with Alexander Ovechkin and one of the best, if not THE best scoring D-men in the league, John Carlson.
When we first saw Christian Djoos at Capitals Development Camp 2012, fresh off the draft, we weren’t sure he would make it. He was looking a little smaller than other defenseman but seemed to be quick on his feet. Over the years we have seen him grow both physically and technically. His feet are just as fast now if not faster than before; however, now there are some sweet moves to back up those quick strides.
Prior to the beginning of his American hockey career he played in the Swedish Hockey League for Brynas IF Gavle. This season Djoos scored only three goals with 11 assists over the course of his 63 game stretch in the NHL. In his last season with AHL Hershey he played nearly the same amount of games but produced 13 goals and a whopping 45 assists. We think these numbers are pretty great for a guy his age (23 going on 24) at this point in his career and we expect to see much more from him this season. Just because your name is on the cup doesn’t mean you’re safe (Jay Beagle, Brooks Orpik we miss you already…).
Show us whatcha got Djoos we’re ready!!!
Just a cool little tidbit of information for you before we go- Christian’s father; Par Djoos also played for Brynas IF Gavle before and after being drafted in the seventh round in 1986 by the Detroit Red Wings. His father was up and down in the AHL and NHL system for about five seasons before heading to the Swiss league for one season and finishing the last nine seasons of his playing career in the Swedish League where he began.
Back in November a mother-daughter team decided to step out and launch a blog that would highlight photos taken at Caps practice and games, with a few good stories thrown in to make it interesting. We added a couple more ladies to help write the post games for us and then we added another gal-photographer. Finally we broke down and asked two of our guy friends to join us writing about the Caps and the local hockey community. Our goal was to bring you a positive perspective on our favorite team and some great pictures to bring it to life.
Little did we know that we would make so many friends along the way!
Washington Capitals Defensemen
44 – Brooks Orpik 74 – John Carlson
27 – Karl Alzner 2 – Matt Niskanen
88 – Nate Schmidt 9 – Dmitry Orlov
4- Taylor Chorney
6 – Mike Weber
Welcome to the first in a series of articles explaining the different positions on a hockey team and what their role is. First up, the defensemen.
Being a great defensemen isn’t about shots or hits but the entire package. Defense typically is for grinders and fighters, those whose primary objective is to prevent the other team from scoring.
What is a Defensemen?
They are often referred to as defensemen or blueliners, the latter a reference to the blue line in ice hockey which represents the boundary of the offensive zone. Defensemen generally position themselves along the line to keep the puck in the zone. A good defenseman is both strong in defensive and offensive play while also defending and attacking.
What is their job in regulation play? Shorthanded? Overtime?
In regulation play, two defensemen complement three forwards (left winger, center, right winger) and a goaltender on the ice. Exceptions include overtime during the regular season and when a team is shorthanded (i.e. has been assessed a penalty), in which two defensemen are typically joined by only two forwards and a goaltender. In NHL play in overtime effective this season, the teams have only three position players and a goaltender on the ice and may use either two forwards and one defenseman (typically), or conversely, two defensemen and one forward.
Offensive Zone Play
In the offensive zone, the defense plays the blue line. It is their duty to keep the puck in the offensive zone by stopping the puck from crossing over the blue line. Passing the puck quickly is key to opening up shooting lanes or taking the shot themselves if the lane becomes open. Because defenseman are expected to shoot at the opposing net from long range, they usually develop some of the hardest and most accurate slapshots in the NHL.
During a power play, the defensive player can set up at the point and distribute the puck to the teammate he feels is in the best position to score, similar to the point guard in basketball or quarterback in American football.
Defensive Zone Play
When in the defensive zone, the defense is responsible for keeping the opposing team forwards opportunities to a minimum when they are on a rush, forcing them to the corners and blocking both passing and shooting lanes. When the opposing offense puts pressure on the defense, the skater usually plays closer to the net, attempting to block shooting lanes but also ensure the goalie is not screened so he can see the puck. It is especially critical to clear any rebounds away from the goal towards a teammate.
Neutral Zone Play
In this area, the defense tends to hang back towards their own blue line, usually playing the puck up to another teammate. This is where the defense joins the rush but should not lead it.
What award is given to the NHL’s best defenseman?
Each year the NHL presents the James Norris Memorial Trophy to the best defenseman in the league. Bobby Orr of the Boston Bruins—an eight-time Norris Trophy recipient— is often considered to be the greatest defenseman in NHL history. In addition to his Norris Trophy honors, he is the only defenseman in NHL history to capture the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s leading scorer. In 1998, Orr was selected as the best defenseman of all-time (second overall player behind Wayne Gretzky) in The Hockey News’ Top 100 NHL Players of all-time. Niklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings is second to Orr with 7 James Norris Trophy’s.
By now you all know how much we love our photos here at FiCP, but sometimes we have a few too many photos to put into a gallery on the site. That being said we have decided to share our galleries via Flickr! We are so excited to share all our wonderful photos with you in a simpler format that everyone can view, even from their phones.
Here is the link to our new site:
Please leave us feedback, we would love to know what you think we can do to improve or any other photos you might like to see. We will be moving all our previous galleries to the Flickr page this coming week and we hope you will enjoy taking a look back at this season’s best photos as much as we do.
As always feel free to use any of our photos and share with everyone if you like what you see.
Thank you to everyone for the continued support, we would be nowhere without you all.
We have added another member to the team and with it two new segments to the blog. The first went live on Saturday: Behind the Crease. In this series, Tim will bring his personal experience as a goalie to his articles. Tim’s second hockey passion is the law enforcement league, especially the league in Northern Virginia. We can’t wait for you to learn more about these teams. Here is Tim’s introduction:
Hi my name is Tim Stromberg. I have been involved with hockey for the past 14 years. I watch it, go to games, and played it until unfortunately three weeks ago I had to put away the equipment for good because I suffered my fifth concussion in just four years.
Hockey is not a sport to me. Hockey is a way of life; it defines who I am and how I got here today. It is something that I will love for the rest of my life, playing or not. I’m really excited to be writing for Friends in Cold Places because it gives me that opportunity to still be involved with the game. I really look forward to getting together with local law enforcement, fire departments, military and many other public safety personal members and sharing with you the hockey charity events, fundraisers, awareness days and numerous community outreach events in our area that they hold.
Welcome to our first official gallery post! We have so many wonderful photos that are going to waste so we thought you might enjoy the opportunity to see them!
We are so excited to share and if you have a specific player you would like to see more of please let us know and we will do our best to cater to you. Also, feel free to use any of our photos, we just ask that you give credit or leave our watermark in the bottom.
Photos by: Brittney Marcum and Mel Abernethy
Without further ado:
The boys wore special camo jersey’s for warm-ups to support USO Metro and Defending the Blue Line