The Capitals Gave Me and Allie a Birthday We’ll Never Forget

michael banner 2CAPITAL ONE ARENA – Me and my friend Allie have had some memorable birthdays from high school through our Radford days but not even our 21st could top what happened on Wednesday night at Capital One Arena. The Capitals came through and defeated the Penguins 2-1 thanks to T.J. Oshie‘s heroics but it was also a total team win with Alex Ovechkin getting a power play strike and Braden Holtby practically standing on his head. The whole day was incredible.  Continue reading “The Capitals Gave Me and Allie a Birthday We’ll Never Forget”

Capitals Top 10 Moments of the Regular Season: #10 A Comeback to Defeat the Rangers

Banner Mike

Having Caps hockey withdrawals? We’re always here to help! Introducing a new weekly series where Friends in Cold Places writer Michael Marzzacco takes a look back at what he believes were the Top 10 moments of the regular season. Additionally, sometime down the road, Michael will rank his Top 10 moments of the playoffs so we can relive all the glory that comes with winning the Stanley Cup.  Continue reading “Capitals Top 10 Moments of the Regular Season: #10 A Comeback to Defeat the Rangers”

Holtby With One More Shutout Over NY Rangers: Game Photos

The Washington Capitals finally came home after a long road trip. They faced the NY Rangers–albeit a “less-than” version of the team. The Verizon Center had all the energy of a playoff game as fans ready themselves for the run for the Cup. Oh, and the goal tonight was not just to win but to also clinch first place, i.e., the President’s Trophy, otherwise known by many the Caps Playoff Curse.

watermarked2(2017-04-05-2116)Nate Schmidt was in for John Carlson. Otherwise everything was pretty much the same, with Braden Holtby in the net opposite Henrik Lundqvist.

The first ten minutes seemed to fly by with a lot of puck passing and three SOG for each team. Hotlby had a couple of fancy saves. With a little more than five minutes left in the period the Rangers came to life and fired off a quick four shots bringing their total to eight. in the remaining five of the period there was an amazing bit of passing by Ovechkin which got everyone at Verizon and home excited! But that was all…

The second period would bring the Caps their first power play but they gave it up with a penalty of their own. No scoring by either team on the four-on-four. Rangers were called on a penalty again but still not goal for the Caps. Caps would go on another power play with a whole bunch of shots leading to a goal by their GR8 Captain – OVI!! 1-0 Caps, finally.

Just as we thought we might doze off, Evgeny Kuznetsov scores with a lovely wrist shot, taking advantage of a great opening in front on Lundqvist. Oh and it was the second assist for Marcus Johansson. It looked like Nicky Backstrom would have a goal but it looked like his skate so they waved it off. The remainder of the period was respectable play by both teams with the Caps maintaining the edge and another shutout for Braden Holtby. 2-0

Capitals will head off to Boston Saturday and return on Sunday to play their final regular season game at home against the Florida Panthers.

Oh and before we forget–yes with the win they also claim the President’s Trophy and the number one spot and home ice advantage in the first round. And we aren’t putting any weight behind the curse nonsense…

Photos by Mel Abernethy





Caps-Flyers: Everyone Expects  Intense Game

Coach said it Tuesday, there is a huge mental component to playing the game of hockey and the game against the Flyers has “been intense, so I don’t expect anything different.” We expect speed, hitting, fighting, penalties, and hopefully lots of SOG leading to goals on the board! Not only will the players need to keep their feet moving they will need to have their heads in the game for 60 solid minutes. Both teams are coming in off a loss and both looking to gain a solid spot in the Metropolitan Division.

The Flyers agree, writes the  Courier Post in Philly, and both will be fighting hard for the two points.

Trotz specifically called out Wayne Simmonds as one of the opponents to watch in the game. quotes Simmonds as saying: “We owe them. We owe them something. They’re coming into our building, so we need to play a good game.” He too expects an intense game.

“We’ve reset the bar a little bit for ourselves in terms of expectations — that we can beat anybody, we can go on a run and be competitive every night,” general manager Ron Hextall — CSN-Philly

Caps need to be prepared for a tough time getting the goal past Steve Mason while the Flyers think Justin Williams, in addition to Braden Holtby could cause them some trouble, so says today.

burakovskyLooks like Andre Burakovsky is back in tonight for the Caps. We’ve seen him fine tuning his craft at practice and Captain Ovi seems to be wishpering in his ear!

The expected lines for the Washington Capitals:
Sanford, Chorney, Connolly scratched. Grubauer goalie in waiting with Holtby in the net.

In case you missed it, Neuvy is out for several weeks and Steve Mason should be in the net tonight.

The expected lines for the Philadelphia Flyers:


Lines provided by Daily Faceoff


Caps Dealing with the Pens Again

Ok, so this is a bad patch for the Caps. It is hard to find something positive other than maybe Marcus Johansson (leads the team in points and like Ovi he has seven goals). They are clearly struggling.

They are in a horrible position to be meeting the Champion Pittsburgh Penguins for their second match this season. Hard to be hopeful but we will give it a shot.

We start with Sidney Crosby who has decided to shoot and score this season. He is a double treat as the assist-meister and now second in the league scoring with 10 goals to his credit. Pittsburg Post Gazette

Triple threat for the Caps: Crosby, Malkin, Murray. WFMZ is predicting a 4-2 win for the Pens.

Bottom line: Pens fans are looking forward to a Crosby-Ovechkin match and they don’t think Ovi will come out on top!

That brings us to the Caps. Dismal is the only word that comes to mind about the game in Columbus. Grubauer held the net letting one goal in regulation and the killer in OT that gave the Jackets the win.

Caps have two–repeat–two goals in two games. Following the loss Monday Coach Trotz said, “some guys are not committed enough to score and are gonna be on the outside.” While that may be worrisome we all remain hopeful that they can pick it up against the Pens and put in a full 60 minutes of offensive play.

The Washington Post captures the concerns of many fans about the line changes. No telling how they will look tonight until we get closer to game time.

Everyone is still trying to grasp what Trotz is doing with the changes. CSN writes about the failure to produce and last night the media crew was left shaking their heads over the lack of production and constant line tweaking.

Look, no matter what we say and what Coach does with the lines, tonight is going to be a hard hitting, fast moving, and hopefully exciting game. Braden Holtby is expected in the net tonight. This should be a test of the will of the goalies.

Cheer loud friends!! Don’t wait for the Hornguy our LoudGoat to get you going. Our team needs your energy. Let’s all bring it tonight! 

Caps Fans: Tips for Family Rivalries; When You Win and When They Win!

I find that there are three common hockey families:  

  • the families that just don’t care except for one person,
  • the families that are all huge fans of one team, and
  • then we have the one that my family fits under,the family rivalries.

In reality, the Capitals and the Blackhawks don’t have that much of a rivalry; however anytime they play my family goes all out. One time my sister and mom (the two Hawks fans) went to the game. The Capitals won so they came home to this:


Look, I get it wasn’t too nice and it was a sore winner thing, but she would’ve done that if the Hawks won. I’ve said before that if we played against each other during the Stanley Cup Finals “A house divided amongst itself cannot withstand.” We have talked about who would leave to protect our family from going crazy.

As long as I’m talking about family rivalry I must add the honest truth. I have family in Pittsburgh and they are Penguins fans. That makes the Penguins-Caps games that much better. I’ve been forced to wear a Penguins shirt. I had a photo of me taken wearing the shirt in which I was told to smile. Looking back it was hilarious because I’m very secure with how big of a Caps fan I am but back then it was humiliating

So, it is even more tense for me when we play the Hawks in a season game then when we play the Penguins in a season game. I know if we win then I get some serious bragging rights; but if we lose, I will face a day of terrible misery and humiliation. If we win I’m talking to my uncle about the game and bragging a bit.

Family rivalries especially when it’s within your immediate family are so much fun, here are a few tips.

If They Win:

  1. Don’t shy away and lock yourself in your room; then you seem like a sore loser
  2. A good comeback to something about how many Cups the Caps have won is “oh so original.”
  3. Let all the comments slide off your back.
  4. Most of all, don’t listen to a losing playlist and cry while that game might be important to you it has an 1.22% effect on whether or not your team make the most important games of hockey the playoffs.

If You Win

  1. Think about their feelings and how you will be treated if you lose
    1. If it’s worth it go ahead just don’t be surprised when you lose and they do the same to you
    2. If it isn’t worth it then don’t say anything
  2. Don’t celebrate like you won the Cup. Unless you did. But don’t overdue it. In the season, that’s 1/82 games and in the playoffs there are generally more rounds or at least more games to win.
  3. Once again if your family is like my family they are all like “oh we’re all crying into the Stanley Cup.” you can reply “oh how original.” because seriously I hear that insult way too much mix, it up once and awhile.
  4. Think about others feelings and if they need a hug then they need a hug. Losing can be tough.

Good Luck our Cold Places Friends!

Capitals Fight Flyers and Officials but Lose in OT


The first game in eight days (and the last one before the All-Star Break) for the Washington Capitals came when the Philadelphia Flyers took a trip to the Nations’s Capital for a Wednesday Night Rivalry game. Capitals defenseman John Carlson was back in the lineup, after missing 12 image11consecutive games.

Also, defenseman Karl Alzner played in his 423rd consecutive game setting a new franchise record passing Bob Carpenter.

Former Capital goaltender Michal Neuvirth started his first game against the Caps since his departure.


First Period:  Rust 

The period started with a little scuffle in the corner and 4:48 into the game, Capital Tom Wilson headed to the penalty box for interference. Six seconds into the penalty kill, Flyer Brayden Schenn scored his 12th of the season. After a giveaway from Evgeny Kuznetov, Ryan White scored his fifth of the season to double the Flyers lead 2-0.

  • Flyers goaltender Michal Neuvirth with a save on Tom Wilson for the Caps 3rd SOG with 6:30 left in the first.
  • Flyers were given a penalty for too many man on the ice and Capitals get their first power play of the game 16:33 into the first. Matt Niskanen was then handed a tripping penalty on Flyers RJ  Umberger.
  • End of the first, Capitals trailed the Flyers 2-0 and were outshot 12-6.

Second period: The Swede Goals

The Capitals got all of their rust out during the first. They killed off the remaining time on Niskanen’s tripping penalty and started to test former teammate Michal Neuvirth in the Flyers net. Then something Swede happened in the span of 55 seconds. Andre Burakovksy scored his sixth of the season 7:39 into the second and then Nicklas Backstrom scored his 16th of the season 8:34 into the period.image3 The Capitals controlled most of the second period tying up the game.

  • Flyer Jakub Voracek scored off the faceoff and the Flyers regained their lead, 3-2. Fans viewing felt the officiating in this game was one-sided to say the least.
  • Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby had two penalties (tripping and delay of game) in the same period. Those were his first penalties of the season.
  • Capitals trailed Flyers 3-2 after 2 periods.

Third period: Two for Andre and Calls of Terrible Officiating

Sweet Swede Andre Burakovsky scored again, his seventh of the season, 3:55 into the third period. It’s safe to say that his “sophomore slump” is over. We think he and Kuznetsov are going to be fun to watch for years to come.

  • Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was called for hooking and the Capitals penalty kill was successful once again.
  • The Capitals get their second power play of the night with 2:02 left thanks to a hooking call on Matt Read.
  • End of regulation tied 3-3

Overtime: 38 Seconds and Done

Flyer Jakub Voracek scored his eighth of the season after Caps goaltender Braden Holtby lost his stick 38 seconds into the extra period. Capitals lose 4-3 and collect one point. The Capitals home winning streak was snapped at 12, just one shy of a franchise record.

Positive things to think about: The Capitals still sit in first overall place in the league (35-8-4, 74 points). Capitals fans can see Nicklas Backstrom, Braden Holtby and Coach Trotz in the All-Star Game on Sunday as a part of the Metropolitan division team.

Unfortunately, Alex Ovechkin will sit out the All-Star Game due to a lower body injury that the team would rather he rest during this time off. Pulling out of the festivities will result in a one game suspension. This means when the Florida Panthers visit DC Tuesday, Captain Alex Ovechkin will not be in the lineup. Oh, and Marcus Johansson left the game with an injury–no details available.

What’s Next?

The Capitals will not practice at Kettler until Monday, February 1, at 2:15pm.

The next game is Tuesday, February 2 against the Florida Panthers at 7pm at Verizon Center.