Editor’s note: Chris Gordon of Caps Snaps once again provides the hook-up. This time it’s the Capitals new gear for the Winter Classic being used at practice. Enjoy! All photos are credited to Caps Snaps.
The Caps took the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Friday wearing some new digs. The players rocked their Winter Classic uniforms during a hard practice before the team flew to Boston.
The goalies had some something new to show, too: their brand new masks.
Michal Neuvirth’s mask is similar to the bucket he has sported during his first 22 games of the season. It features an image of a castle from his native Czech Republic on one side, while the reverse sports the Capitol dome and a Bald Eagle. Each side also displays the official Winter Classic logo crashing through a sheet of ice. The top showcases the Caps retro-styled logo, which is to be used for outdoor matchup while the chin of the mask has Neuvirth’s nickname “Neuvy” painted on it.
Semyon Varlamov’s mask is much simpler. The Russian ‘keeper opted not to design the mask himself but rather to leave it up to the artist, Swede David Gunnarsson, who also painted Neuvirth’s new mask. It features a swath of ice ballooning out of the cage and both sides display the same retro Caps logo as his teammate’s mask.
Spelled out on the top of the mask is “Winter Classic” while the chin features the 22 year-old’s nickname “Varly.”
Varlamov may have a special mask for the game but he still wants to think of the big match as just another day at the office. “I’ll be treating it a regular game because being a goalie I have to get in that mental state,” he said through a translator, though he acknowledged that won’t be easy.
“I know how important it is to the fans, I know how unique it is to play outside, I know it is a game everybody is looking forward to,” added Varlamov.
Michal Neuvirth clearly was looking forward to the New Year’s Day contest. “It’s going to be the first time [I have ever played outside]. It’s going to be a great experience for everybody on this team,” he said. “It’s going to be an exciting time, that’s for sure”
Much thanks to Slava Malamud of the Russian newspaper Sport Express for his interpreting assistance.
Editor’s note: We’re not sure which parts of these unis are for practice and which we’ll see again at the WC.
Alex Ovechkin skates at practice.
Everyone’s favorite hockey blogger, Andrew Gordon, in a grey practice jersey.
Tufts of Matty’s hair flow out of his helmet.
David Steckel in white.
D.J. King and Jason Chimera play-fight. Beagle and Carlson would scrap later as well.