2011-12 Year-End Review: Joe B and Locker

Joe Beninati and Craig Laughlin pose with their Rookie Cards

Photo credit: Chris Gordon

Not all of the people iconic to Caps hockey are the players on the ice. Joe Beninati and Craig Laughlin are a part of the experience all year, holding our hands through nail-biting overtime games, hugging us after crushing defeats.

You know, metaphorically.

Cap Hit: Priceless.

Milestones: Joe B got his very own hockey card this year! Your move, Laughlin.

Things We Said About Joe B and Locker: “Here’s the Joe B suit of the night.” “Hold it here!”

Best Soundbites:

Joe B: “Sean Bergenheim. I want to strangle him. …Mr. and Mrs. Bergenheim, I’m just kidding!”

Locker: “Great pickup by the Caps. Ribeiro has more moves than a barrel of monkeys.”

Best Vintage Locker Pictures: This photo of his old days in a Caps uniform, or this interesting haircut choice. 

Spirit Animals: Ian’s ferrets.

Team Role: Call the games with personality and professionalism; stay upbeat during losses and level during wins; let us know when people are not related.

Execution of that Role: Ten out of ten. We weren’t sure whether Joel Ward and Cam Ward were related, but Joe B was there for us.

Postseason Performance: Sadly, the Caps’ broadcast team does not travel with us past the first round of the playoffs, but suffering through NBC broadcasts just made us appreciate them that much more.

Favorite Joe B Suit of the Year: This brown plaid number, or this stripes-and-stripes combo. The man is like Don Cherry, only not colorblind.

Favorite Locker Tweets of the Year: 

War Wounds: Laughlin had scheduled hip surgery after the Caps’ regular season ended, rocking the red in the hospital and back on the ice in a matter of weeks.

Biggest Fans: These ladies have great taste. 

Usefulness in a Post-Apocalyptic Setting: Every good disaster story needs a narrator.

Overall Year-End Rating: Ten Good Sashas.

All Jokes Aside: 
This was not an easy season to be a sportscaster for the Capitals, and we couldn’t have had better guides. Beninati and Laughlin covered a team in turmoil this year, from disappointments to coaching changes, from player declines to demoralizing losses. They did it all with the intelligence and humor that we’ve come to expect from them, did not lie to us or try to mask the problems but instead delivered them with sensible analysis that never devolved into bitterness.

This fanbase has been through good times recently, and rough times, and the worst possible times, and Joe B and Locker have been a constant through it all. Both of these men have outgrown regional sportscasting, and we’re lucky to have them.

Tagged with:
  • Watched the replay of the season opener last night on CSN, man, was it great hearing these two guys, or what? Love them. Told my son that when you look in the dictionary under “Professional Sports Announcer”, it has Joe B’s picture!

  • Evan

    Haha I love them, when I visited Kettler I saw Joe B and yelled at him (I was behind a metal fence) to come and sign my Caps Jersey. He looked at me and laughed because he thought I was joking, well Joe B I wasn’t, you guys are awesome!

  • we are indeed blessed with these two! other networks can be so painfully biased, but Joe B and Locker tell it straight up…good or bad…and they don’t badmouth opposing teams. some of the other network sportscasters could really learn a few things from these gentlemen. you stay classy Joe B and Locker!

  • Hockey Mom

    Thank you so much for this review!! I love these guys — they’re the best! Best line: “We weren’t sure whether Joel Ward and Cam Ward were related,but Joe B was there for us.”

  • ringtail

    Now if we could just get Joe B to tweet and Locker to tweet more often!

  • Swhirly

    My favorite Joe B soundbite: “And there’s an Alexander Semin pass…..to….no one in particular…”

  • Didn’t Locker say that Hendricks has more moves than a barrel of monkeys? Is he saying the same about Ribs now?

  • Herveus

    Joe B gave us the (hitherto unknown to me) euphemism “produce department” when a player caught a puck in a tender area this season… Thanks, Joe!

  • You also forgot them reminding us that John Carlson and Erik Karlsson (of Ottawa) are not related. 🙂

  • Doc Emerick is the only reason i would ever listen to the NBC feed. Everyone else on that channel is an idiot! Joe B. and Locker are just as good though, if not better. 🙂

  • serpent

    Both are absolutely NOT allowed to retire from broadcasting the Caps games. Ever.

  • Rhino40

    Another excellent write-up, Ana.

    Here’s looking forward to many more chit-chats in the enemy crease after an opposing skater was kabonged in the course of a pretty, witty, bang-bang tic-tac-toe play that ended with the biscuit in the [enemy’s] basket.

    OK, then.

  • Rhino40

    D’OH! html fail…I gotta stop doing that. Oh, well, you get the Idea.

  • lrhflute

    Couldn’t have said it better…so, DITTO!

  • Moira Donohue

    So glad that you included these guys–they really enhance watching the game–in fact, I miss hearing them when I’m actually at a game!!!

  • I can’t be the only one who would have paid to hear this team call round two instead of the pain that NBC foisted upon us.