Caps Care Casino Night, Year Two

Karl Alzner poses with Emily

Editor’s note: One year ago, Emily Karol gave a newborn RMNB a kick in the pants with her report on the first Casino Night. This year she does the same with the added bonus of Chris Gordon’s photos.

By the way, Emily is looking for a roommate. Available February 1st, she’s got a single bedroom with a private bathroom and a walk-in closet located just 3 miles from Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Email her if you’re interested. Awesome people only, please. Take it away, Emily.

When I learned that the 2nd annual CapsCare Casino Night and Auction would take place on January 9th, I couldn’t be more excited. I attended the first Casino Night and had a blast, but this year’s festivities hit on the birthdays of both Bruce Boudreau and me. Who could pass up the chance to wear a pretty dress, drink some cocktails, and schmooze with fabulous people on your birthday? Not me.

But this evening was very different from the first. I was a year older ,and even though I still attended alone there were many more people I knew and wanted to visit this time around. I purchased the VIP ticket again (hey, it’s for charity!) and was granted access to the coaches and players for a hour before the event really kicked off. I’m guessing the VIP room had fewer people this year; it seemed more casual and the players definitely mingled a lot more. All the guys I met were very sweet. I was surprised at how many of them didn’t know about the blog, Russian Machine Never Breaks. Regardless, they obliged to pose with friendly smiles when I asked, and a few even said they would look up the blog. Ian, Peter, and Neil: I will take my payment in cash or credit.

I made a point in the VIP room to wish Bruce Boudreau a happy birthday and apologize for the dirty looks. That comment provoked a double take from Bruce. I chuckled and said I was the girl in the Mercedes Benz commercials that glared at him during his bird calls and track suit dance. Bruce gave a big smile and said no worries and wished me a happy birthday right back.

The hour flew by quickly, and it was time to venture out into the the main ballroom for food, music, mingling, and gambling. The ballroom was set up completely different from last year, with the food all in the middle by the dance floor. The number of gambling tables doubled. After a quick introduction of the team to the crowd, the party really started. Fans and players scattered throughout the main ballroom and the lobby, which hosted Wii bowling, Rock Band, and the silent auction. I should note that Semyon Varlamov is a sweetheart, staying out in the lobby to sign autographs and take photos with fans for most of the event. Fans were not allowed to take posed photos or ask for autographs in the ballroom, so the fact that Varly stayed in the lobby for most of the time meant a lot to this fan.

I didn’t really partake in any events during the evening. I just wandered around and watched fans interact with their idols. I did see Schultz and Neuvy play on Wii Rock Band, and a year later Mr. Nasty is still intense about that game. Semin and Ovi seemed inseparable, and I loved the wives all hanging out at a poker table together trying to win some chips. The place was really hopping this year.

I’m eager to see what next year’s Casino Night will bring. Two years, two completely different experiences, both enjoyable in their own right. Thanks for reading!

Photos (Click to enlarge)

Nicklas Backstrom at Caps Care Casino Night

Nicky Backstrom can manage only a crooked smile after 16 games without a goal.

Alex Ovechkin and Alex Semin play cards at Caps Casino Night

During a hand of NLHE, Alex Semin checks his wristwatch. It is apparently zebra o’clock.

Bruce Boudreau entertains at the poker table

BBBBBB (Bench boss birthday boy Bruce Boudreau) tells the Slap Shot story for the billionth time.

Tom Poti and Karl Alzner at the Poker Table

Karl Alzner: happy and wholesome. Tom Poti: sinisterly counting Karl Alzner’s stack.

Jason Chimera happily signs autographs at Caps Care Casino Night

Jason Chimera then unhinged his jaw and swallowed this partygoer whole to a smattering of applause.

George McPhee at the Poker Table!

George McPhee, on the button, raises pot value and then throws in D.J. King’s contract.

Super-Swedes Marcus Johansson and Nicklas Backstrom at Casino Night

Marcus and Nicky pore over an Ikea catalog (out of frame). Billy the Bookshelf FTW.

Jeff Schultz and Tyler Sloan at Caps Care Casino Night

Tyler Sloan and Jeff Schultz are either throwing dice or watching MoJo and Backy playing Twister.

Ovi smiles while playing Wii Bowling at Caps Care Casino Night

Okay, Alex Ovechkin’s suit is sharp. No jokes. I need that thing. Fashion bugs: where can I get it?

Alex Ovechkin plays Wii Bowling at Caps Care Casino Night

Ovi’s ongoing Wii Bowling slump has him almost 20 strikes off his 2009-2010 pace.

John Carlson and Jay Beagle clap

John Carlson (not yet 21 here ) and Jay Beagle applaud for BBBBBB’s kegstand (not pictured).

Bruce still at the Poker Table

The guy from the gaming commission had a stroke when he saw this picture.

Mathieu Perreault at the Poker Table

Mathieu Perreault sits at the kids table. In the background, Ovi is clearly peeking at someone’s cards.

Alex Ovechkin at the Poker Table

Alex Ovechkin shuffles his chips. The dealers haaaaaate when you do that, but c’mon: it’s Ovi!

Alex Semin and Semyon Varlamov talk to each other at Caps Care Casino Night

Semyon Varlamov and Alex Semin recite a Plath poem from memory. JK, it was Russian.

Jeff Schultz and Michal Neuvirth play Rock Band

Mr. Nasty and Mikey Neuvirth ditch the party for a Rock Band sesh. Band name: Puzzle Crotch.

David Steckel plays Wii while drinking a beer

“So Hendy was like, ‘if you blindside Crosby in the head, I’ll buy you a beer’, and now here we are.”

Jay Beagle rolls the dice while John Carlson looks on

Beags and Carlson’s persistently cold rolls wiped out the entire table table in two orbits.

Brett Leonhardt dj's

DJ Brett Leonhardt simultaneously checks Facebook and updates his iTunes playlist.

Bruce Boudreau admires his cake lustfully

BBBBBB’s birthday wish was that this cake was made out of cheeseburgers.

Bruce Boudreau points at Semyon Varlamov

Semyon Varlamov is unamused by BBBBBB’s “I’m not touching you! I’m not touching you!” taunt.

Semyon Varlamov, Matt Hendricks, Mike Green, Brooks Laich, Bob Woods all on stage during Caps Care Casino Night

Capitals players and staff with a rousing rendition of Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way.”

Bruce Boudreau high-fiving everyone

It looked like an ordinary birthday high-five until Bruce went for the Top Gun follow-through.

Jason Chimera and Alex Ovechkin share a laugh at Caps Care Casino Night

Jason Chimera and Alex Ovechkin laugh at you. Damn, that suit is cool.

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  • dukefn

    Very nicely done Emily, the pic captions were also world class 🙂

  • Noursie

    the picture captions made me LOL hardcore hahaha

  • I concur with the previous posters. Mr. Hassett’s captions are quite humorous.

  • Holly Golightly

    I’m gonna go ahead and say it. GMGM is the most attractive man in the entire Caps organization. I’ll also say that I don’t appreciate the DJ King contract comment…but you were expecting that 😉 Sounds like you had fun, Em! Happy Birthday!

  • Rockin’ The Red in VA

    Looks like a good time was had by all, BTW

    I WANT Ovi’s SUIT! That is pretty sweet looking

  • FedFed

    On BB/Varly photo:
    “You! Don’t act like you don’t recognize me! Pittsburgh, ’09? It’s too late, Semyon!”

  • JusTaGirl

    The captions for the photo were hilarious! Good pics too! Thanks for sharing! I was there and it was a great event (much better than last year for me at least!) Anyone who is a devoted fan should go to this event, well worth the moula!

  • Peter

    @Holly, I’m sorry. I considered a Nylander joke first if that’s consolation.

    @FedFed, I feel like American TV is a bad influence on you.

  • Jessica M

    I like this trend of the Caps throwing parties on their fans’ birthdays! Looks like a fabulous time. Happy Birthday (a bit late), Emily!

  • Denise Hull

    Thank you so much for sharing the pics. They were great. I’ll have to work on coming to next years event. I think the Caps players are the best and they always are great to the fans.

  • For a guy who’s fashion sense is often criticized, I also agree that Ovie’s suit is pretty snazzy.

    Also speaking of dressing for the occasion, note how Green’s rebellious side took over, making him what seems to be the only player not wearing a red tie. I’m not faulting him for it though.

    And that picture of Matti P. at the kids table is adorable.

    Thanks for the recap!

  • Mary K

    Ha, I also noticed Greenie missed the red tie memo.

    I’ve seen similar pics on other sites, but they are WAY better on RMNB with the captions!

  • Fedor Fedin

    @peter Better than Russian TV 😉

  • BobbyG

    Thanks to Peter and Emily for the awesome photos and LOL captions!

    Ovie’s suit is very hot. He can really dress to the nines when he wants to. Some of his t-shirt choices though…and the torn shredded jeans…yuck. He has had major wardrobe malfunctions in the past LOL.

    I don’t like his haircut at all, it’s way too short. Unless…his plan is to go for the look the season when he scored 65 goals. Whatever it takes…

  • Ray

    Who’s the guy in the suit the followed Ovie all night? Ovie doesn’t need a body guard i hope, maybe a good friend. Anyone know? I put Ovie and Semin out in the same hang with pocket Jacks, It was a fun time!

  • Michal_neuvirth_30

    i love michal neuvirth i wish i could meet him i think i would faint if i ever did !