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

We’re Just Getting Warmed Up…

Warm-ups are always a fun thing to watch, and you most definitely want to get there early to get a good spot because it will fill up FAST! This was the fastest we have ever seen Capital One fill up prior to puck drop. If you are a Capital One card holder you can use the entrance on 6th street to get in a little bit earlier than the general public.

We love going to warm-ups to see the players emotions and they always come out pumped! Last night was no exception as this was the first game of the Stanley Cup Finals at home, and the crowd was just as pumped as the boys!

These faces are serious but you could tell they were seriously excited!

And it wouldn’t be warm-ups without a little TJ Oshie, Tom Wilson fun!

The Caps Practice Before the Madness

The Caps had their last practice before the big game 3 tonight and they were nothing but happy and relaxed.

Because we know this is what you really want look no further- here are our favorite photos from the day!

Heck of a Home Opener Photo Gallery

As you all know, the Caps had their home opener yesterday. And boy did they kick some Canadien butt!

The Caps once again held their annual red carpet right outside the main entrance of Capital One Arena, and the boys were looking sharp per usual:

 

And we know you all want to see Tom Wilson:

 

Then there was Nathan Walker…. the first Aussie to play in the NHL, so of course he was given the Newbie Treatment prior to warm-ups:

His proud teammates joined him moments later:

Then came the Intros:

And finally…. THE GOALS… ALL THE GOALLSSSS:

 

And in case you didn’t know the Caps won their 2nd game in a row 6-1… Tampa Bay you’re next.

 

Photos by: Brittney Marcum and Mel Abernathy

Caps Scrimmage Action Shots- An FiCP Gallery

Well folks, we will keep this short and sweet. We are BACK, the Caps are back to Kettler, our fingers are still defrosting, and we have camera arms. Today was the first scrimmage of the 2017 Washington Capitals Training Camp and playing today were the Red and Blue teams (roster here).

Prior to taking the ice for the 45:00 minute scrimmage each team had a brief practice:

Then there was the main event, and it was filled with hard hits, turnovers, and goals (by Team White who came out on top with four goals to Team Red’s zero.

 

We are happy to be back and bringing you all the photos we possibly can!!!

 

The very first pre-season game will take place in New Jersey tomorrow night September 18th… and yes our hearts are still a little sore from losing Mojo to Jersey.

 

Photos by: Brittney

Nick Backstrom: The Quiet Centerpiece of the Washington Capitals

 

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.

Caps Beat Canucks, Star Wars Night Success 

This game was a little dull at points, making Caps fans wonder if this would be a night of celebration or another disappointment. As you know by now the Caps pulled out a 3-0 victory over the Canucks and Braden Holtby played a huge part in that. He was Stellar in net and looked more solid than in his past few appearances. Goals came from the likes of Ovechkin, Williams, and Wilson. Holtby earned his 25th NHL shutout,

Here are a few sights from the game itself:

Caps Pregame Roundup: Caps-Blue Jackets & Practice Photos

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The Capitals will look to redeem themselves after the dreadful loss in Raleigh on Saturday. When our own Chris Cleveland congratulated Coach Trotz on the win in Chicago Friday, coach replied, “We sucked in Carolina though.”

So what is everyone saying about the upcoming game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday?

The Blue Jackets are coming off a big win against the St. Louis Blues, however, Coach John Tortorella said following the game that he was less than thrilled with the teams performance calling it a “sloppy” game. He specifically expressed displeasure with the checking.

CBJ have a better scoring record than do the Caps with “Nick Foligno leads Columbus with six goals, Sam Gagner has two assists and Josh Anderson has 18 shots on goal.” SportsChatPlace

 The Hockey Writers write that the “Blue Jackets have tallied the first goal in 11 of their 13 games.”

Monday’s Cap’s practice was a mix up line changes and drills to fine-tune player skills. It was clear that Trotz was working them hard as payment for their trials the previous week. It was hard to tell at practice Monday how the lines might look come Tuesday as coach seemed to be looking for the right mix as he moved players up and down the lines.

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Steve Whyno (AP) writes that Coach Trotz is switching around the lines again–including moving Jay Beagle up with Alex Ovechkin. The Washington Post also reported the potential for Beags sharing the first line with Ovi as coach looks for just the right balance.

We should have a better look at Coach’s plans following the morning skate at 11;30. We’ll be sure the post line updates as soon as we hear more. In the meantime, CSN is predicting:

1. Ovechkin-Beagle-Connolly/Burakovsky

2. Johansson-Backstrom-Oshie

3. Sanford-Kuznetsov-Williams

4. Winnik-Eller-Wilson

The defensive pairs, meantime, appeared unchanged.

 

These Boys Look Good in Lavender; A Photo Gallery

The jerseys that the Caps donned for warm-ups on Saturday’s Hockey Fights Cancer night were a little different from their usual reds. And we didn’t hate it.. Lavender is a good color for them.

First up? The Goaltenders:

And of course the defensemen :

The guys were awesome about interacting with the make a wish kids on the side.

And your favorite forwards:

And the pictures we know you all want, Tom Wilson.

 

Photos by Brittney Marcum