Saturday, February 13, 2010

February 13 - Washington Capitals vs. St. Louis Blues

Blergh. The Capitals put together a much better all around effort tonight. Jose Theodore made some amazing saves, the defense was actually playing, Knuble scored two and Semin scored on another sweet wrist shot, and yet, the Caps lost in a shootout.

I think this is a much better way to go into the Olympic break than with the past two games, but I wish it could have been a win. The St. Louis team was way better than I expected them to be. Since we only play them once a year, I wasn't that tuned into them.

Coach Boudreau seems pretty angry about the hit on Matt Bradley... and I don't blame him. I hope Bradley is ok and has time to rest and heal over this break. I also hope the player who hit him - whose name escapes me - gets a lengthy suspension.

There are rumors that GM George McPhee is looking at some trades before the deadline, which could mean this was the last time the Caps as we know them played together. At least they put together a solid effort. I hope they don't change the team too much - I do love these Caps.

Tonight's viewing was a bit lonely. Neil's in Morocco for work and it was just me and the dogs (my mom is visiting, but she was in the other room on the phone). I'm looking forward to watching some Olympic hockey, but it's sad to think there are no Caps games until early March! I am sure there will be some hockey blog posts soon...

Friday, February 12, 2010

February 18 - Washington Capitals vs. Ottawa Senators (at Ottawa)

Third game in a row with a hat trick! This time it was Alex Semin and his goals were a thing of beauty... and yet, the Capitals still lost. :(

Bruce Boudreau was seriously harsh on the defense and Varlamov after the game last night... and I agreed with him. All game I kept wondering why they didn't pull Varly. It's a bad sign when your team scores five goals including a hat trick and you still lose in regulation. The Capitals are better than that and they could have shored up the defense and kept a few of the Senators' six goals out of the net.

I really hope the Caps win on Saturday in St. Louis. It would be good to head in to the Olympic break remembering how to win.

February 17 - Washington Capitals vs. Montreal Canadiens (at Montreal)

And the streak is over. This was a wildly entertaining game and the Caps mounted a huge comeback which included Brooks Laich's first ever hat trick. He scored his third goal with mere seconds remaining in the third period and forced the game to overtime and Neil, Erik and our friend Ambrose and I were on the edges of our blizzard-bound seats.

There were more high fives in my living room on Wednesday night than any night in memory as the Capitals scored goal after goal and came back to tie. And yet, they lost. Ovie had a goal in the second period that was disallowed after being called a goal and to many, the call seemed questionable. If the goal had been allowed, the streak would have continued and history would have been altered.

The team has definitely been loose on the defense and there have been many comeback situations that could have been avoided if the Caps hadn't allowed quite so many goals.

As a fan, the streak was magical. It is amazingly fun to watch your team win game after game after game. It's sad that the streak has ended, but it's also OK for the Caps to face some adversity now - all the better to build more character and use it to win the Cup in June. Let's go Caps!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

February 7 - Washington Capitals vs Pittsburgh Penguins

Wooooooo! The streak continues! The Capitals are 14-0 and they beat the Penguins today!

The win and the streak were in serious question after the first period in which Sidney Crosby scored on the Caps twice and the Caps couldn't seem to put anything together. Then Ovie got a goal, but it was followed by two goals from Penguins and at one point the score was 4-1. Ugh.

Fortunately, at some point in the second period, the Capitals woke up. Eric Fehr got a great goal when he followed his own rebound and crammed it between Fleury's legs. That goal was followed by two more from Ovie and the game ended in a tie. There were some seriously bad calls by the refs including a call within the last 4 minutes on Jeff Schultz for slashing that was completely fabricated. Somehow, the Caps pulled through. At one point in the game they lost Knuble for 10 minutes and later Backstrom got a 10 minute misconduct (both for sticking up for teammates when the Penguins started fighting). The team also got through a 5 on 3 without letting the Penguins score. Thanks to some kick-ass defense, some truly amazing saves by Theodore and Ovie's hat trick and Fehr's goal, the Caps got a shot at overtime and Knuble scored the game winner.

Neil and I were in our seats (or on the edge of them) up in 419 unable to relax the entire game. Neil did catch one of the Capitals parachutes with a T-Shirt attached during the second intermission. :) I am now the proud owner of a very large red shirt that says Rock The Red with the Caps logo - I will use it as a nightgown (not to mention the parachute... what does one do with a Capitals parachute? I want to tie things to it and drop it from my 6th floor balcony...)

There were way too many Penguins fans in attendance today. The theory we came up with is that many Caps fans couldn't get to the game because of the 24" of snow (more in some places) and sold their tickets last minute to Pens fans who lived closer to Verizon Center. Who knows. The good news is that in the third period, it was hard to remember that there were any Pens fans in attendance. The Caps fans got loud and stood up and made the presence of a few Penguins fans unimportant.

After Crosby got two goals early in the game, all I could think was that Ovie needed three. I am so thrilled he got them. There has never been any question in my mind as to who is a better player, but the media always makes a big deal of it. So there. Ovie ended the game with three goals and an assist.

It's so good to beat a hated rival. It's even better to win 14 games in a row. This was the last home game before the Olympic break. I sure am going to miss these Caps.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

February 5 - Washington Capitals vs. Atlanta Thrashers

Best sign I saw at this game read "We Beat The Snow for 13-0".

And 13-0 it is!

The Caps beat the Thrashers 5-2 in an exciting game that started when you could see DC's streets and ended with several inches of snow on the ground. Part way through the game the announcer came on to warn people that DC's buses were stopping at 9 and the metro was ending above-ground service at 11. What was most impressive was how full the arena was in spite of the terrible weather. All of DC has been panicking about this storm for several days, the grocery stores are empty,  and yet, Caps fans showed up.

Michal Neuvirth had 43 saves and an amazing performance. Ovie scored a sweet goal on the power play. Green had a great, nearly full-rink empty netter. Backstrom scored another beauty and Semin and Chimera scored 68 seconds apart in the beginning of the third period. But the victory was really due to Neuvirth.

The majority of the crowd stayed through the end of the game and left the arena to find some significant snow on the ground.

Neil in the middle of F Street as we began our walk home

 The hockey fans heading out into Snowvechkin.

Trees on our walk home. (This morning some of them had broken limbs that were weighed down by the snow.)
The Penguins' arrival in DC is in question. I still want to go see the game tomorrow at noon,  but it's looking like that may not happen.

Meanwhile, as the snow continues to fall this morning, the awesome cover from yesterday's Washington Post is still on display in neighborhood newsstands.



Aahh.. Snowvechkin...

February 4 - Washington Capitals vs. New York Rangers

And now it's 12! This game looked in doubt for a while, but then the Caps did what they've been doing and stepped on the gas and scored some goals. The most amazing was Ovie's at the tail end of the second period which brought the score within 1 again and gave the Capitals hope of pulling off #12.

I think this is my favorite Ovie goal so far this season. It was also the goal which got Ovie to 500 career points. He is one of few players to get 500 in his first five seasons and he's not done yet.

This game was closer than some of the recent blowouts and the Caps gave up four power play goals, but the good outweighed the bad and the streak continues!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Red Rocker Fail - Her Favorite Book is Facebook???

Red Rocker Sarah says her favorite book is Facebook. Oh dear.

I was torn when the Red Rockers arrived at Verizon Center last year, but I liked that their uniforms covered most of their bodies and they didn't seem to be pushing negative ditzy female cheerleader stereotypes forward. I have always wondered about the female entertainment at sports games - do men really need hot women to look at when they're supposed to be focusing on the game and cheering for their team? I get the athleticism of cheerleaders and I like it. I respect them. I like when female skaters come on the ice during Capitals intermissions and I am totally cool with a Capitals spirit squad - the Red Rockers. It's nice having excited people jumping up and down throwing out t-shirts and Chipotle burritos... I believe it adds to the ambiance at the game. There is even at least one male Red Rocker. Way to go Caps!

However, I have found that the interviews of the Red Rockers that are shown on the big screen at games, and certainly Red Rocker Sara's little online Q and A seem to oversimplify these women and make them seem unintelligent. If Sarah is a financial analyst, she must have brains. I am guessing she was joking with the Facebook comment... but oh how I wish she made it more clear.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

February 2 - Washington Capitals vs. Boston Bruins

11 in a row!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Neil, Andy and I watched most of the game from the Front Page in Arlington, right across from the Caps' practice facility. Neil had a 9:45 hockey game of his own at Kettler, so we wanted to be close so he didn't have to miss much of the Caps game.

When we arrived late in the first period and sat down at our table, I was concerned. The Caps had 5 shots to the Bruins' 13 and the Bruins had a goal. Not good. However, I had a feeling they would come back from the first intermission with a little something extra. I believe in these Capitals and, more importantly, they believe in themselves.

So it wasn't the Caps' best game, but that's almost silly to even say because they won 4-1. The victory was due in large part to the amazing play of Jose Theodore. If he keeps playing like this (41 saves!) the Caps are going to have to re-sign him for next season.

The Capitals goals came from Knuble, Laich, Gordon and an empty netter from Ovie. It's so fun to be a Caps fan right now. It must be out of this world to be a Capital right now.

The Caps are in NYC with their dads today and play the Rangers tomorrow night. I hope they make it 12, but even if they do not, I hope they remember what it feels like to win like this come Stanley Cup time.

Ovie Drives Slower - Thank God

Ovie talks to Bruins CSNNE reporter after the morning skate on February 2, 2010.

Alex Ovechkin was asked if he should have a special speed limit. "Right now I'm driving slow," he said. "It's bad weather. I try to drive safe."

Sunday, January 31, 2010

January 31 - Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Ten in a row! Ten in a row! The Caps tied a franchise record today by winning their tenth straight. It wasn't as thrilling a win as many of the last nine, but it was still a win.

Ovie's game-winning goal was pretty awesome and I loved his celebration. The Caps won 3-2 with the other two goals from Backstrom and Laich.

The Caps looked a little tired today and Neil and I were tired too after walking around Alexandria all morning and racing back to get to the game. It was encouraging that the team still pulled out a win in spite of being a little low energy. (Perhaps equally encouraging was the fact that Neil and I stayed awake until the end of the game.)

The man with the crazy red head featured in my blog earlier brought what looked to be his son and his head was also painted terrifyingly red. The younger red head won Clydes Fan of The Game. I am still perplexed about how they turn themselves so shiny and red. It's not your regular face paint. I also wonder things like, does it clog pores? and what would I look like red? I hope to run into one or both of them at a game someday so I can ask.

This was Green's first game of suspension and Tyler Sloan filled in. He hasn't played for a while because the team has been doing so well with the lines that were playing. I thought Sloan played really well. If he's trying to prove he deserves to play more, today was a good step in that direction.

Two games on the road this week. If they win against the Bruins on Tuesday, this Caps team will have a franchise record for wins in a row. Here's hoping they can pull it off!

Best Souvenir Ever

My husband Neil went to monitor elections in Ukraine a couple of weeks ago and he came back with the best souvenir ever. In some little shop in Kiev a shopkeeper was selling Russian nesting dolls and look at what Neil brought me:



Words can't describe how amazing I think this is. Sure, the faces look nothing like my Capitals, but between this and my Capitals Mr. Potato Head, I'm the luckiest Caps fan on the planet.

January 29 - Washington Capitals vs. Florida Panthers

And the winning streak is at 9 in a row with the Capitals outstcoring the Florida Panthers 4-1. This was a good game with a few low points including an apparent knee injury to Mike Green and a subsequent three-game suspension to Green for elbowing in the head. I didn't see him elbow anyone, but there were several hits between Green and Michael Frolick. Apparently, they don't like each other much. This is Green's first suspension of his career and hopefully the upsied of it is that he'll have time to let his body heal up.

Meanwhile, the Caps will go for # 10 this afternoon and I'm off to get ready for the game. Go Caps!

January 27 - Washington Capitals vs. Anaheim Ducks

Best headline I saw after this game was in the Washington Examiner and read "Caps Cook Ducks, 5-1".

This game was awesome. The Capitals took 49 shots on goal. Michal Neuvirth stopped 30 shots and only let one in. And the Caps just couldn't stop scoring.

Ovie got a fluky goal in the first period that he called "the easiest in my career". And after a slow second period, the Caps were on fire in the third.

One might think that it gets a little boring to head to the arena, sit up in 419 and see the Capitals outscore their opponents night after night after night. But, really, it doesn't. It's amazing. Especially when the teams they are playing are good and the Ducks are. The winning streak is extending and the Caps are climbing in the standings and as a fan, I couldn't be happier.

January 26 - Washington Capitals vs. NY Islanders (at NY)

Another amazing game. Another amazing win. Neil and I ordered the new, and surprisingly tasty Dominoes pizza and watched this one from home.

Final score: 7-2 including a goal and an assist from rugged defenseman John Erskine. He hadn't scored a goal in 109 games and his assists are few and far between.

It's not like the Islanders are a bad team this year either. This was an awesome and extremely convincing victory. Everything the Caps are doing is working and it's really exciting to be a fan.

Theo was hurt in this game an Neuvirth relieved him for the third period. All indications are that it's not a serious injury.

January 23 - Washington Capitals vs. Phoenix Coyotes

I went into this game a little worried. The Caps have a history of playing really well against known rival teams (see Pittsburgh) and then putting together real stinkers against teams from the West that they only play once or twice a year. The Coyotes have been winning a lot and I wanted the Caps winning streak to continue. Turns out, I need not have worried. The Caps won 4-2 and Michal Neuvirth had a great comeback after being pulled in two consecutive games.

Maybe all the good fortune came from this guy who I saw on the way into the game:

This guy's head was practically shellacked in thick shiny red. If I see him again I HAVE to ask what it is, how he does it and how he gets it off for work the next day. ;)

Friday, January 22, 2010

January 21 - Washington Capitals vs Pittsburgh Penguins (at Pittsburgh)

The only thing better than the Caps winning a game against the Flyers is the Caps winning over the Penguins and last night's game was fantastic. Not only did my Capitals win, they did so convincingly.

Pretty much every player had a great game, even Jose Theodore who gave up a really weak goal at the beginning of the game, bounced back and put in a solid performance with 34 saves. Ovechkin came away with two goals, an assist and a great defensive move - awesome. Knuble did another pound in of an Ovie rebound and scored another great goal. Backstrom had a fancy falling-down goal in the crease, Eric Fher scored on a lucky bounce combined with great positioning on his part and the most beautiful goal was the game winner by Tomas Fleishman with a truly sensational pass from Alex Semin.

The Penguins were good, but really, unremarkable. The Caps kept them in check nearly the entire game. Aah the satisfaction of a 6-3 walloping against the NHL team I hate most. :)

Check back this weekend for photos of the amazing souvenir Neil brought me from Ukraine. (Yes, it's Caps-related)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

January 19 - Washington Capitals vs. Detroit Red Wings

Jose Theodore is a rock star. I have not seen a goalie performance like his against the Red Wings ever. The Wings ended up with 46 shots and only 2 goals in the Caps' unlikely 3-2 win. If not for Jose being a monster in goal, the Red Wings could have won that game at least five times over.

The Caps had 20-something shots. Ovechkin was held without a shot on goal and for the first period, the only Capital playing was Jose. The fourth line was on fire and both Matt Bradley and David Steckel scored and Nick Backstrom had a pretty Ovie-like goal and somehow, we came away with a victory.

Somehow = Jose Theodore. Not only did he make 44 saves, he also got an assist on one of the goals. Yep. An assist from the goalie. Amazing.

Neil, my mom and I attended the game and my mom, a Red Wings fan, wore a Capitals sweatshirt. :) I am not sure if she was REALLY hoping the Caps would win, but she seemed glad they did and announced that she thinks it's their turn to win the Cup. I have to agree.

I am hoping that Jose remains amazing and the rest of the Caps actually skate tonight against the Penguins. It's about 6 hours until game time and I'm already nervous.

Monday, January 18, 2010

January 17 - Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Woo! There are few teams I dislike more than the Philadelphia Flyers and it has been immensely satisfying to see them solidly beat by my Capitals twice this season on home ice.

I went to yesterday's game with my friend Erik, who is a great hockey companion and jumped up and cheered with me for all five Caps goals. This game had it all. At the beginning there was some suspense as the teams traded goals. Then there was the thrill of Brooks Laich's short handed goal of beauty, the kick-ass-ness of Tom Poti's goal tending on a Jeff Carter shot (that's right, Tom Poti's goal tending), the comfort of Jose Theodore's strong performance and finally, the amazingness of Alex Ovechkin converting his first career penalty shot with a skillful deke.

Every time a Capital put a good hit on a Flyer, I felt a bit of joy. Each time the Caps scored (in spite of what some may call uneven refereeing that gave the Flyers lots of power plays) I was elated. When Flyers fans began leaving the arena in droves in the last half of the third period, I was overjoyed. (For such hardcore and often mean fans, they sure did abandon their team in a time of need.) Few things are more satisfying than watching the Caps beat the Flyers.

A funny from the Capitals Insider that needs repeating here:
With a 5-3 win over the Flyers this afternoon, the Caps regained first place in the Eastern Conference by recording five or more goals for the fifth time in their past six games. When they do that at home (and they've done so three times during that stretch) it means fans can redeem their ticket stub for 10 free wings at Glory Days.
Which leads me to the quote of the season. After converting his first career penalty shot (on his sixth attempt) Ovechkin told reporters: "I just wanted to give the fans free chicken wings."

Here's a post-game photo of me and Eric. I am  looking happy to be victorious and Eric is making his "I'm a bad-ass in my borrowed Caps shirt" face.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

January 15 - Washington Capitals vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Pardon the delay in posting. The View from 419 has suffered from lack of Internet for the past four days. Today is a big day - Internet is back and the Caps play the Flyers! 

I LOVED this game.

I brought my Canadian friend, Lia and my mom to the game with me. Lia is from Toronto and she had a rough night trying not to cheer for the Caps. Or more accurately, she couldn't make herself cheer against her home team, in spite of their abysmal performance.

I felt a little bad for Lia, but mostly I had a ton of fun being there with two of my favorite people and watching the Capitals kick butt.

Ovechkin's goal and four assists were incredible. Knuble's net presence is helping him get more and more goals and the new top line of Ovie, Backstrom Knuble is really working. Jose was outstanding and, really, I can't think of one Capital who wasn't outstanding. It was such a fun game to watch. I did feel a little bad for Toronto when they couldn't even convert on the long five on three at the end of the game... but they beat us this season and this game was good revenge.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

January 13 - Washington Capitals vs. Florida Panthers (at Florida)

My mom's in town and after picking her up from the airport and making a quick dinner, I immediately sat her down on my couch and we watched the game. :) When the Caps were down by two or three goals, I said something like, "This HAS to get better," and she said, "Should we turn it off for a while?" That question was kind of like blasphemy in my household. I mean, turn it off???!!!

When the game ended a couple hours later with Tomas Fleischmann's first-ever shootout goal, my mom smiled and commented that it was a good thing we hadn't turned the TV off. Whewh.

So the game wasn't pretty, but the comeback was extraordinary. I loved Chimera and Ovie's goals, especially. It's good to see the team play with that kind of character and determination. They're going to need it down the stretch.

I also thought Jose Theodore was outstanding. He can really play when he's having a good night and in spite of his occasionally spotty performance, I like him.

The Caps are home tomorrow night to face the Leafs and I am bringing a Toronto native to the game with me. She claims to be part Leafs fan, part Caps fan. We'll see...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

January 12 - Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (at Tampa Bay)

Meh. This was not the best, and also not the worst game of the year. But whenever an opponent scores 7 goals against the Caps, it's a little concerning. The final score, 4-7 was at least not of blowout proportions, but really, the Lightning trounced all over the Capitals and our two goalies.

Neuvirth was pulled after the first period when the lightning had 4 already. I don't think any but the last goal were he fault, though. The Caps were not playing defense. They let far too many people in black jerseys get way too close to the net. They just weren't skating.

Theo came in as relief goalie and ended up getting scored on three times and again, I didn't think it was all his fault. Both goalies also made some spectacular saves. The Lightning were just shooting machines and the Caps needed to shoot more, skate more and defend more.


The most interesting part of the game was in the final minutes when Tampa Bay tough guy Steve Downie started fighting with Ovechkin and Matt Bradley intervened. I was thrilled that Bradley prevented Ovie from hurting his precious hands, but that's probably because I am a girly sports fan who loves Alex Ovechkin and never wants him to get hurt.. I realize that to others, it might have looked a little bit like Bradley stole Ovie's fight. But surely all hockey fans realized the need to protect the MVP. The DC Sports Bog has an amazing play by play of the fight that made me laugh out loud and I really can't do better, so check this out if you know what's good for you.

Here's to a better game tonight!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Caps Video You Should Watch

First a video showing Michal Neuvirth's new mask. I like how it's got Caps logos on both sides. :)

And now, one of the most hilarous videos ever featuring Ovie as a reporter behind the scenes at the Verizon commercial shoot. I particularly love all his comments about Brooks Laich and then their body fat discussion at the end. How can anyone not love this guy? Enjoy!

Monday, January 11, 2010

If US Weekly Says Hockey is Cool, It Must Be

I am going to make a confession. In spite of myself, I enjoy ending the week with a leisurely reading/picture looking through celebrity gossip magazine US Weekly. When I first discovered the magazine's de-stressing powers a few years back, I was ashamed to subscribe because I didn't want my name on the subscriber list in case it would lower my intellectual street cred. Eventually, though, the $4.95 cover price drove me to subscribe and I haven't looked back since.

In every issue of US Weekly, after the steamy stories about Tiger Woods and where he's hiding out this week and the photos of celebrities holding their children and going to the gym, there is a feature called Buzz-o-meter where the intrepid US weekly staff ranks a few trendy things as being popular among celebrities. Usually there is a restaurant or night club, a beauty product, a pair of $800 shoes and a designer's new $3,500 purse. This past week, however, in the second-most-buzzworthy position was...wait for it...HOCKEY.

That's right. It's no longer only LA Lakers games that attract the rich and famous. Apparently, enough celebrities (including Zac Effron!) have been spotted at recent NHL games to make hockey buzzworthy. Wow. Each week in Sports Illustrated (see, my reading habits are diverse) there's a small feature called "Sign of the Apocalypse" or something like that and I think that hockey turning up in US Weekly would fit very well in that section. Maybe I'll pitch it for next week's issue.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

January 9 - Washington Capitals vs. Atlanta Thrashers (at Atlanta)

Woo! Another convincing win! We watched the first period from our friend Lia's house as we wrapped up an epic game of Trivial Pursuit 90's edition, so we missed some of Neuvirth's outstanding saves, but I did catch Semin's great shorthanded goal.

After a taxi home during the first intermission, we paid more attention for the last two periods. In the end, the Caps had eight goals from Knuble (2), Semin (2), Backstrom, Steckel, Chimera and Poti. The Thrashers got one goal, just one. It was great to see Chimera score his first goal as a Capital. Sure, it was the 8th goal and not a real necessity, but I'm sure it was a confidence booster, nonetheless.

Wins on the road like this one are almost more exciting than when they thoroughly dismantle the opposing team in a home game. It's important to see that the Caps have what it takes to win in enemy arenas. (Though the Atlanta arena looked pretty empty last night)

Ovie had an assist on one of Knuble's goals, but was pretty quiet, otherwise. I am hoping he gets a bunch of goals soon so he can pull ahead in the most goals category. I think he's a goal behind first place in the NHL right now. Not too shabby.

The Caps have two more road games before they're home to play Toronto on Friday night. I hope they play just as confidently and effectively in Florida this week.

Friday, January 8, 2010

January 7 - Washington Capitals vs. Ottawa Senators

My husband, Neil, had another hockey game to play so my friend Rebecca and I went to the game last night. The arena was a little emptier than it has been lately. I think the fact that it was a freezing cold week night must have combined with the fact that Ottawa isn't that popular here in DC. But it wasn't empty by any stretch. There was still a fantastic atmosphere in Verizon Center.

The Caps came out swinging again (thank goodness) and a great goal from Boyd Gordon (his first of the season) helped the team take the lead early. Goals from Knuble, Backstrom and Ovechkin followed. Backstrom got two goals and Ovie put one in the final minute and a half of the game. The top line of Ovie, Backstrom and Knuble was awesome and all the other lines, especially the fourth, looked great, too.

Perhaps the most important individual performance of the night, however, was that of Jose Theodore. This was his first game in quite a while and he looked fantastic. I have been feeling bad for Jose. Even though he really wasn't good in the last game when the Caps lost to Carolina, and he's had several shaky performances, I like him and I know he has the potential to be great. It has to be tough to be the most experienced guy and be continually passed up for 21-year-old rookie goaltenders. Last night was a great game for him and I hope for his sake, and the sake of the team, he can continue to play like that for many more games.

Overall, an awesome game last night. Such a solid and convincing win. Rebecca, who had been to only one other Caps game, seemed to have a lot of fun and even joined in on the cheering - a great sign of someone enjoying the experience.

The Caps are off on a road trip now and back in town next Friday to play Toronto. Can't wait!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Things I Have Done Since Becoming a Sports Fan That I Never Thought I Would Do

1. Subscribe to Sports Illustrated and ESPN magazine in MY name.
2. Spend an entire day at a fan convention and enjoy it.
3. Lurk around after practice to get autographs from athletes!?!
4. Attend hockey practice.
5. Attend pre-season hockey practice for prospects and feel really excited about it.
6. Stop watching my TV shows (Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Desperate Housewives) in favor of watching all the Capitals away games on TV and attend all the home games in person.
7. Obsessively check hockey blogs.
8. Subscribe for text message updates about the Caps. (I NEVER subscribe for any texts and NEVER give out my cell #)
9. Spend more than $200 on a necklace consisting of a silver #8.
10. Purchase a hockey jersey to wear to games.
11. Get into smack talk with friends who are fans of other teams.
12. Memorize sports statistics.
13. Care about sports statistics.
14. Pay to have my photo taken with a hockey player.
15. Attend a hockey seminar for women and learn how to take slapshots from Capitals players.
16. Attempt to never miss the post game press conference with the coach.
17. Email the team's owner.
18. Start a hockey blog.

I'm sure there are lots more where those came from... but that's a start. :) For the record, I am happy to have done all of those things, even if I never expected to do them.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

More About Captain Ovie

The Washington Post has a great article this morning about Ovie's new position. I particularly like the section below, which shows how well-liked Ovechkin is by his teammates and also a level of maturity he has that many assume he lacks.

In recent days, Boudreau discussed options for the captaincy with McPhee and the team's veteran leaders. The decision, as it turned out, wasn't as difficult as Boudreau anticipated.

"I had talked to a lot of [players] the last couple of days and they said Alex is the only choice," Boudreau said. "He's our leader, he's our guy. What shows he was ready was when I talked to him two or three days ago, he said he would accept the responsibility but 'only if my teammates want it.' He was already thinking about the team instead of himself, which is what captains do."

Ovechkin added: "It means a lot. It shows they trust me and they want me to be the captain, I said right away, 'Bruce, if you want me to be captain, ask [other] guys if they want me to be captain.' "
Hooray for Captain Ovie! 

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

January 5 - Washington Capitals vs. Montreal Canadiens and Alex Ovechkin is Captain of the Capitals

What a great night for Caps hockey! Ovie was in the starting lineup and was announced as the new captain of the team and then the Caps beat the Habs in style.

Alex Semin was on fire tonight and scored two goals and Tomas Fleischmann had a goal and two assists in his first game as a center. Eric Fehr also scored, which was great for him, especially since he had fallen out of favor of Coach Bourdeau over the past week and was a healthy scratch in the last game.

What a relief that the Caps broke that losing streak and they did it against a worthy opponent.

Here's a video from with cheesy music showing Ovie putting on his captains jersey for the first time. I think it's awesome that the team has entrusted him with the responsibility.

In more Caps news, the Caps Insider is reporting that David Steckel signed an extension. Yay!

Top Ten Goals of the Decade and It's Hockey Day

Puck Daddy recently ranked the top ten hockey goals of the decade and Alex Ovechkin made the list twice.

Neil and I were there for last year's goal against Montreal and there have been few moments as incredible (if any) inside Verizon Center.

Conicidentally, the Caps have a home game against Montreal tonight. I can only hope for something aproaching the magic we got to witness last year. Really, though, I am mostly just hoping for a win.

For now, I'm rocking the red at work and looking forward to game time.

Monday, January 4, 2010

January 2 - Washington Capitals vs. Los Angeles Kings (at LA)

Meh. Instead of talking about this game, which was, at least, not a blowout. I would like to present the funniest thing I've seen in quite a while.

I LOVE that this guy got so many players to pose with him for the video. Really, very impressive.

Here's to winning again!

And, here's a great commercial I saw during the Winter Classic. Amazing: