Are You Ready for the Capitals Russian Heritage Night?

Thursday at Verizon Center the Washington Capitals will celebrate the heritage of some of our most colorful players: Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetzov, and Dmitry Orlov. We thought we would share some of our favorite photos of these guys in preparation for the night.

Ovi took Washington by storm when he arrived in 2005 after signing a $124M contract for 13 years. Though he hasn’t brought home the Stanley Cup yet he continues to break records in the NHL and in the Caps franchise. As much as we love his playing, we love all those great smiles and other odd faces we catch at practice and during games. You’ll see that just like Alex, our skill with the camera has grown since we started taking pictures in 2010.

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Dima is the ‘quiet one’ – except we know he is a bit of a prankster too. Just look at that mischievous face of his. Orlov plays defense for the Caps and has been kind of up and down in his stats. We get that he is inconsistent, but when he is good – he’s really good. He told fans last year that he was really working on his english so it will be interesting to see if there is more confidence in how he speaks–and in his game as we head to the playoffs.

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But when it comes to charisma and those goofy looks –  Kuzy tops all the rest. From day one he has been great about meeting the fans. This year has not been as great as we had hoped but we have no doubt that he will bring it in the playoffs. Simply put, we love us some Kuzy.

 

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And though he may be in Hershey now, we just had to include our old friend Stan Galiev. No matter where he plays he will always be one of the our favorite Russians! watermarked photo 2 (2016-03-16-1148)

Wishing Stan Galiev all The Best

Stanislav Galiev is one of the nicest guys we have met in our time following the Washington Capitals. We were saddened; however, not surprised to hear that the Caps have placed him on waivers. We are hopeful that if some other NHL team doesn’t snatch him up that we will see him excel as a Hershey Bear.

Galiev first came to the Caps development camp in 2010 and one of us at FiCP was pretty taken with him. Stan was third round draft pick at the age of 18. Right from the start he was friendly and always made time to sign or pose with fans. He was young and just starting his career having won the Memorial Cup with the St. John Sea Dogs in 2011.

He moved up to the AHL Hershey Bears in 2012 and had a respectable showing while still playing with the ECHL Reading Royals. The 2015/16 season was his chance to shine and show the Caps that he belonged in the NHL. Unfortunately he did not have the productive year we hoped he would with only three assists in 26 games.

watermarked photo 2 (2016-03-16-1148) Stan is one of those quiet players with a determination to succeed. We believe he can have a strong and successful career in the AHL level. He may simply need a bit more seasoning before landing a permanent spot in the NHL.  Hershey Bear blogger Kyle Mace said today pondered, “can you imagine the damage he will do on the power play this season?” According to J.J. Regan, CSN,  Trotz had this to say about cutting Galiev: “Based on looking at our roster, where Stan was, just wasn’t seeing enough impact in the game,” Trotz said. “I talked to Stan about that and we felt that we need him to play. If I had to start our 12 forwards, he wouldn’t be in there so he’s in the same boat he was last year.”

Stan will be one of those players we keep an eye on and we wish Stan and Olya  all the best in life as they move on from the Washington Capitals.6galiev vaca

 

The Russians are Back…The Russians are Back!!!

World Cup of Hockey 2016 didn’t go so well for Team Russia–although they made it further than Team USA.

Alex Ovechin,

Dmitry Orlov,

and Evgeny Kuznetsov

were back at Caps training camp today.

Meanwhile, Stan Galiev has been representing Russia while they were away…

As much fun as it was to watch them in World’s it is even better to have them home with us!!

Welcome back boyz!!

Caps at the Beach

While Caps Development Camp was on last week, many of the players were off enjoying the beach, be it at a lake or on the ocean. Here are some pictures they have shared so far this summer:

The Winnik’s could be found relaxing in the beauty of Lake Tahoe after spending several weeks traveling across the US for baseball and hockey. The Carlson’s spent some time with baby Lucca. Even Ovechkin and Nastya strolled the beach.

Nate Schmidt was busy winning bag toss/cornrow games while Philipp Grubauer was off taking pictures of bodies of water!

There is no denying though that Mr. & Mrs. Galiev had the best and most romantic beach time on their resort vaca.

So how is your summer going? Have you made it to the beach yet?

Next up: players enjoying some family time.

From Russia with Love: Kuzy, Dima, and Stan

Season Ticket Holders were treated to a rare private session with three of the Washington Capitals four Russian players in honor of Russian Heritage Night at the Verizon Center Tuesday night. The boys were in great moods coming off a night in which Alex Ovechkin, on an assist from Evgeny Kuznetsov, scored the game winning goal in overtime. Jovial doesn’t even come close to explaining Kuzy’s mood!!

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They talked about the difference in playing in the NHL and the KHL–mostly the size of the ice. Kuzy said one difference is how loud Verizon Center gets. In Russia the rink usually holds about 7,000 people compared to the 18,000 in DC and he said it is so much louder here. And they love it. He said, “we feel the fans, how they are feeling” when they are playing. They draw energy from the crowd – so keep being loud friends!!

They all spoke about the difficulty in coming to America and  learning the language. Dmitry said he knew no English when he came and ultimately hired a tutor to help him learn. Stan, who came to the US when he was 16, had a much harder time, in part because he was so young.  When asked if the non-Russian speaking players are learning Russian or if they are learning Swedish, Kuzy giggled and said “only the swear words. We can’t say in locker room because they all know”

They also agreed that one of the hardest things about living here is being away from their family and friends. Orlov said he typically goes home for a couple months during the summer just to be with his family and see friends. Kuzy spoke about his mother and father and how difficult it is for them to change their routines by living in the DC area. That said, he talked lovingly about his mother’s cooking and that when she is here the day starts with a big breakfast, then a lunch, then another lunch…someone loves his mother’s cooking!!

There were more personal reveals too. Asked what their favorite thing to eat at home after being in America was, Kuzy’s first word was “vodka.” Then he explained what a great cook his wife was–grinned that grin we are all used to by now and said again: “vodka.”

Dima and Evgeny told the crowd that one of their favorite memories was of the Buffalo and the World Juniors Game when they beat Canada in the final. Stan said his best memories are of leading the Saint John Sea Dogs to capture the Memorial Cup in the 2010-11 season.

And then there was Canada. As Stan tells of Kuzy calling a local restaurant to make  reservations for five at 7 pm. The person on the other end of the line said it was not possible–too late to do on a Saturday night. So Kuzy asked if it would make a difference if one of the five was Alexander Ovechkin. The reply? “Five with Ovechkin available any time!”  There IS power in the Ovi name!!

It was a great 30 minutes with some of the most talented players in the league. All of them, for their accomplishments, were pretty humble and completely hysterical. One can only imagine what happened when they were in Los Angeles…but apparently no one is talking!!

Thanks to the Caps and our Russian boys for a great evening.

 

 

Photos From Behind the Scenes of Hockey N Heels

On January 12, Scarlet Caps hosted Hockey N’ Heels. Although there is some controversy about the event name, it is an opportunity to bring more women into the hockey fandom. This event taught all aspects of the game including: face-offs and slap shots, player nutrition, information about equipment. It’s an amazing opportunity to learn from the pros and to make new friends.

I’ve been to Hockey N’ Heels in the past and have been impressed with what I learned from players, coaches, and even the other fans I met. As this wasn’t my first rodeo, I was the resident expert in my group of friends (or so I labeled myself), which included the ladies from FiCP:  Brittney, Renee and me, as well as my mom. My mom even got interviewed by Fox5 and was on the 11 o’clock news. She thinks she’s a big shot now! Once we checked in we were put into four different groups– we naturally Rocked the Red as the Red Group. Continue reading “Photos From Behind the Scenes of Hockey N Heels”