Hockey Community Steps Up

We are hearing more and more stories about the way the national and local hockey communities are stepping up in this era of crisis. Players are posting encouraging messages. Team owners are paying arena personnel. Companies are shifting priorities.


What personal stories about hockey family can you share with us!!


Monumental Sports and Entertainment (owners of the Washington Capitals) has extended payment to Capital One Arena part-time workers who were scheduled to work postponed games and events through April 2020. This will include all Capitals, Wizards, and concerts set for April and they will also be paid when, and if, those events occur later in the summer. Not all teams have been as generous as Ted Leonsis and we appreciate that he is stepping up to take care of those friends we see at every game. You know the ones who stop people from walking down in the middle of a play or that remove unruly visiting fans.

Fanatics, the producers of most of the Capitals and NHL merchandise that we spend $100s to $1,000 on has shifted their MLB production line priorities. They announced this week that they will be using the polyester mesh fabric from MLB jerseys to make masks and gowns for hospitals. Fanatics owner, Michael Rubin, said: “We’re fortunate to have this giant factory in Pennsylvania that makes all these baseball jerseys, and to have the commissioner of baseball behind us, and to have the governor and attorney general saying, ‘How do we make a difference?’ Time will tell if that will include suspension of NHL merchandise too.

Bauer Hockey is also making changes to provide medical face shields to those working on the front lines fighting this virus:

Fort DuPont Ice Arena is still helping local families. They are an organization supported by the Washington Capitals and the Caps Fan Club. They do good things and if you are looking for a place to make a donation, we would suggest you consider them:

The Capitals shared a bit of inspiration from their captain, Alex Ovechkin. Players, their wives, and kids are keeping us entertained with Instagram stories. Be sure to check them out.

Alex participated in a rather hilarious interview and in the end he said what really matters for all of us:

Nick Backstrom shared some sweet moments at home:

Tom Wilson brought new pup Halle to his video message:

Be sure to follow Caps Pup on Twitter and Instagram. What can be better than this cute guy??

You may be familiar with Homeward Trails as sponsors of the Caps calendar each year. They are still helping pups and could use your help too:

We have long loved the work of Ellie’s Hats who provide a bit of joy for kids in the midst of medical treatments. Please consider helping them to help vulnerable children in our community.

Our friends at Compass Coffee have fallen on tough times during the crisis and had to let go of a number of employees. And yet they continue to help the community as part of the effort in DC to provide hand sanitizers. Visit them in Ballston while they remain open for grab and go.

The stories will keep coming. The outreach from those who can help will hopefully also continue. We would love to share your “feel good” story too. And as we said in our article yesterday- let’s pull together as the Caps and hockey community to carry each other through. We can do this!!

Capitals Finish Off Sharks in Dramatic OT: photos

The Caps surprised just about everyone with an incredible third period in which they tied the game. On a Sunday afternoon Lars Eller (with an assist by goaltender Braden Holtby) sealed the game with a 5-4 OT win!!

Continue reading “Capitals Finish Off Sharks in Dramatic OT: photos”

Pondering the Capitals New Season: Top Six

Training camp is only a few weeks away and the Capitals will have a slew of new and not-so new players to give a closer look. As we look ahead to the 2019- 20′ season we do so with some trepidation. Who are these new additions that the Caps management team hired during the summer? What about the younger, faster players they have been grooming in Hershey? How about the “old dogs” – where do they stand and can they stand up to the challenge of the Metropolitan Division and the Eastern Conference of the NHL? Continue reading “Pondering the Capitals New Season: Top Six”

Caps acquire Radko Gudas from Philly

This morning, the Washington Capitals have announced that they have done a one-for-one defenseman swap with the Philadelphia Flyers; Radko Gudas in exchange for Matt Niskanen, Philadelphia will retain 30% of Gudas’ remaining salary.

We here at FiCP are sad to hear this news about Niskanen leaving the organization, but understand the business move by Brian MacLellan. This is most certainly a move to clear up salary cap space to re-sign certain players or shop the free agent market. Trading Niskanen has opened up $3,405,000 in cap space for the Caps to work with, making it possible to re-sign guys like Nicklas Backstrom and/or Braden Holtby.

Gudas plays a physical game from the blue line and has been a beating pulse on Philadelphia’s penalty kill for years. Him being a right-handed defenseman certainly puts him on the 3rd pair with either Christian Djoos or Jonas Siegenthaler.

A plus side in this trade is that Gudas only has one more year on his contract until he’s a UFA compared to Niskanen, who has two more years. Gudas’ contract will expire around the time Backstrom and Holtby’s contracts expire, so there’s that. Who knows, GMBM could flip real quick and dish out Gudas to a struggling defensive team for forward depth or picks. Until then, welcome to the Caps Radko!

A June Caps Fans will Never Forget

Remember back in May 2018 when the Capitals surpassed previous expectations and entered the final round of the NHL Playoffs? Remember when Caps fans went crazy as their team returned from Las Vegas tied in the series 1-1 to play their first home ice game on June 2nd? Continue reading “A June Caps Fans will Never Forget”

The 2019 Armed Forces Hockey Classic

Don’t have much going on over Memorial Weekend? Feel like watching hockey being played for a good cause for FREE?

“The Armed Forces Hockey Classic (AFHC) is a tournament where military veterans the Army, Air Force, Marines and Navy come together to compete against one another while raising money for the United Heroes League (UHL). The UHL wants to ensure that all 5 million military kids are able to develop critical life skills through sports. This intense focus on youth development and serving the families of our military service members motivates the UHL to keep programs focused. This focus has inspired 115 professional athletes and over 30 professional sports franchises to lend their name and support to the UHL.”

The Washington Capitals have supported the UHL since their start in 2009 along with many other franchises, like the Minnesota Vikings and the Los Angeles Kings. Players/coaches who have contributed to this cause have been Nicklas Backstrom, Karl Alzner, Bruce Boudreau, Taylor Chorney, Matt Hendricks, Nate Schmidt, and many others!

This event is being held just outside of Dallas, Texas in North Richland Hills. Veterans, local and country-wide, are gathering there to play the greatest sport for an excellent cause. Coordinators have stated that they have received donations and incoming participants from places like Alaska, Colorado and even the DMV! The winning team of the tournament will get to hoist the James “Maggie” Megellas Championship Trophy. Who knows, you may see someone you’ll recognize!

2010 AFHC Champions – Team Navy/Marine Corp.

The tournament will begin May 25 @ 10:00 am EDT, first puck drop @ 10:15 am. All games will be live-streamed via Facebook here. For more information on the AFHC and the UHL, click here. Have a wonderful weekend!

Capitals Excerpts from 31 Thoughts

Each week during the regular season and about once per round during the playoffs, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman writes his popular 31 Thoughts column.  In the current column, two of the thoughts (numbers 20 and 21) were about the Capitals. Continue reading “Capitals Excerpts from 31 Thoughts”

Capitals Player Season Recap: Nicklas Backstrom

One of the most underrated centers in the NHL today, Nicklas Backstrom has been a crucial part of the Capitals’ organization for many years. Drafted in 2006, “Backy” has been a playmaking machine for the club and a serious lifeline for goal scorers like Alex Ovechkin and Jakub Vrana.

Backstrom accumulated 74 points this season (22g, 52a), putting him 2nd on the Caps’ list for most points behind Ovechkin. This post-season, Backstrom has the most goals for the Caps (5) and the best face-off percentage (52.69%). He continues to help drive this team to its best form and this season he did not disappoint. His vision on the ice has always been something that sometimes gets overlooked, but blows our minds when we notice it.

As a top six elite centerman for the Caps, Backstrom holds his team and himself to a high standard. In his season exit interview he stated, “Even if it sucks right now, I feel like we’re going to come back stronger and more prepared. That’s our goal and we got a good team.” He has the perfect mindset for a leader of the Washington Capitals, train hard and come back stronger next year for a harder run at glory.

Capitals Player Jerseys – Not Your Ordinary Work Clothes

A player’s jersey is probably one of the most noticeable items that they wear, but what happens to those jerseys during the time that they are being worn is generally not well known. Most players wear three sets of their home and road jerseys and two sets of the alternate jersey over the course of a season with a few extra jerseys worn for only one game for special occasions (milestone games, Jerseys off Our Backs, one game jersey auctions and agreements with hockey card companies, which cut them up and insert them into cards). Continue reading “Capitals Player Jerseys – Not Your Ordinary Work Clothes”

Player Season Recap: Alex Ovechkin

Ever since he was drafted by the Washington Capitals in 2004, Alex Ovechkin has ignited the hockey community in the DMV in so many ways. He has proven himself to be a world class, one of a kind hockey player. He has surprised us all with insane highlight reel goals and brought home the Stanley Cup. His game has grown tremendously since game one of his career and the franchise owes everything to our great captain.

Parade ovi stanley cup

Ovechkin has proven time and time again he can contribute in many ways other than scoring and hitting. This regular season he has totaled 38 assists for the Caps; 4th highest on the team behind Evgeny Kuznetsov (51), Nicklas Backstrom (52), and John Carlson (57). He’s been looking to pass the puck to make the play rather than go for the snipe as he usually does, disregarding the fact of earning his 8th Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy with 51 goals. He has been playing on different parts of the ice, like screening the goaltender in the offensive zone and playing the high-point man on the umbrella power play. This regular season he has accumulated 89 points (51g, 38a) in 81 game and in the playoffs he accumulated 9 points (4g, 5a) in all 7 games of the series with the Carolina Hurricanes.

 

Ovechkin had yet another great season and carried his stellar play through into the post-season, there’s nothing he should be ashamed about. He continues to shoot the puck and distribute checks to better his team through each in-game situation. Goalies continue to study and learn his shooting/scoring tendencies each season. Ovechkin also continues to evolve his own game, finding new/old creative ways to beat them. At the prime age of 33 and turning 34 in September, he isn’t getting younger and must stay up to par in this fast-paced league. He stated in his season exit interview he stated, “I have to be better” at everything. He mentioned his shooting, passing, even his fight with Andrei Svechnikov all has to better moving forward. He’ll train hard this off-season to seek another crack at reuniting with Lord Stanley’s Cup and don’t be surprised if we see another successful season from the Great Eight.