We launched this media outlet at the start of the 2015/16 season because we wanted to showcase the best moments of the Capitals in photos. Players, other blogs, and fans were already using and liking the pictures our photographer, Brittney Marcum, took at practice and during games so we thought, why not just create our own site to share those great for the fans, and of course the players.
Our name, Friends in Cold Places comes from a joke that Tom Wilson and Michael Latta liked and used so many of our pictures that we had become their “friends” around the ice–their private photographer. In these photos- Brittney took a picture of Latts, it was picked up by the Caps on the jumbo-tron during the next game, he liked it, so we printed it and gave it to him to honor his grandmother. And a new website was launched!!
We added a few stories about the Capitals that we thought you might want to read, and here we are today. We still take lots of photos and we love writing stories about the Capitals, the Hershey Bears, and the experiences we have following them. We hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoy taking photos and writing.
Over and over we hear how Nicklas Backstrom is one of the most under-rated centers in the NHL. We couldn’t agree more. Just because he is one of the quiet Swedes on the teams doesn’t mean he shouldn’t get the recognition he deserves. He is after all, one of the best players in the NHL.
From the time he arrived in Washington and joined the Capitals in 2007, he has maintained a solid performance which has improved with every year. This past season was his best yet since the 2009-10 season. Then he recorded 101 points 33 goals and 68 assists. By the end of the 2016/17 regular season he had racked up 86 points (23 goals and 63 assists) ending with a new career high of 540 assists.
One of the highlights of the season was celebrating the 500 NHL career assists milestone that he set. It is one of the few times we have seen him smile about his accomplishments, while maintaining that humble attitude that we have come to respect so much about him.
Nicky led the team in overall points, followed by Alexander Ovechkin with 69 points.
He led in assists, followed by Evegeny Kuznetsov with 40 assists.
And he ranked fifth on the team with goals, only 10 behind team leaders Ovechkin and TJ Oshie with their 33 goals.
When it comes to power play goals, he is second only to Ovi scoring eight to Alex’s 17.
He had five game winning goals to Ovi’s seven.
Nicky leads the team in power play assists at 27.
Nicky may not be out on the ice hitting opponents or blocking shots which keeps him out of many of the highlight reels. However, he has the highest number of face off wins for the team and the fourth highest face off win percentage. He does what he does with precision. He reads the ice and knows where the players are so he can get the puck to them to score. And little by little, every year he get more pucks in the net as he takes more chances to score.
Backstrom always has a solid showing in the playoffs and this past season was one of his best. It explains why he is one of the most frustrated players on the team when they are cleaning out lockers far too early. He gave it is his all with six goals and seven assists. And that was with line changes. It doesn’t matter who you line him up with, he is always going to come through and bring the best out of his line mates. In nine seasons of going to the playoffs, he has recorded five game-winning goals. He is the team’s rock star in the playoffs, quietly going about winning.
There is much to be accomplished in the coming season. There will be few changes. The one solid that the management can count on right now is Nicklas Backstrom. HE is their guy and we hope that they can restructure a winning team around him.
Throughout the summer of 2016 and the entire 2016/17 season, Brittney Marcum and Mel Abernethy captured Caps fans and season ticket holders around the area. They also caught the Capitals doing their best on the ice and interacting with the fans and the Washington DC community. Here are some of their favorite photos. ENJOY!
Saturday night in Washington DC the Capitals downed the Anaheim Ducks in their last home game before the mandatory ‘bye week.’
The Ducks are in a pretty good position in the Pacific Division, sitting in third place just behind their rivals the LA Kings. Goalie John Gibson has been having an ok year with a .918 save percentage and he was solid against the Caps with 33/39 saves.
The Caps; however, were having no losing at home taking the game 6-4.
The Caps played without an injured Andre Burakovsky. Zach Sanford made the drive from Hershey to fill in for Burky, first with season ticket holders on Friday night and then scoring on Saturday–his first NHL goal and the go-ahead goal to win it for the Caps.
Other stars of the night for the Caps were the Daniel Winnik with a goal and an assist. TJ Oshie got the boyz started with his goal; Nick Backstrom, Tom Wilson, and Marcus Johansson would also record goals for the team. Ten players total had points on the board before the night was over.
John Carlson has been the defenseman stars of the playoffs since the first game. Carly is back to his old self after missing a total of 26 games during the regular season for lower-body injury. He is often called “the most under-rated” defensemen in the NHL; that is until the playoffs. He has averaged 25 minutes on the ice and racked up three goals. He is a key component to the Caps power play—scoring all three goals on the PP. Carly blocks an average of two shots a game and at 6’3”, 210 pounds, he is a brick wall opponents don’t want to run into.
In seven postseason games he has already surpassed his 204/15 record of five points in 14 games. Every time he steps on the ice, we are pretty sure something is going to happen. He already has 30 shots on goal, just three shy of Alex Ovechkin. He also has a 10 percent save average–the highest of any of the team defensemen. He is a solid special teams player who grits it out on the powerplay or blocking shots to kill off the opponent’s powerplay. Averaging about 25 minutes on the ice every game, you get the feeling that he is always there.
As the Caps keep pushing forward to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins, look for Carly to play a key role in the team’s success.