The Washington Capitals have been terrible defensively this year. There have, however, been a few bright spots. While he hasn’t looked fantastic (who has so far?), rookie Nate Schmidt has held his own after being called up to replace an injured Jack Hillen. Right now, he’s skating big minutes with a guy named Mike Green. The 22-year-old was playing college hockey just seven months ago and has played in fewer than two dozen professional games. And Saturday, Schmidt got the first point of his young NHL career.
The Washington Capitals released a behind-the-scenes video on Tuesday that gives us a peak behind the curtain of the upcoming Caps Dog calendar, which benefits the Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. Every dollar from the sale of these keepsakes will go to making a pet’s life better, which is why on December 3rd, you will buy one when they go on sale. They’ve be available through the Capitals’ team stores at Verizon Center and Kettler, as well as online.
Because I love you guys, I have collected some of my favorite stills from the new video. If you ask me, the best pic is the one where Grabovski stares deep into that dog’s soul. Or Hula Holtby.
[Editor's note: When Washington Capitals fan Amanda H. went to the Caps Season Ticket Holder party at Six Flags last year, she had Martin Erat sign a photo of Filip Forsberg. This year, she one-upped herself. We'll let her explain.]
Martin Erat signs the toaster (Photo credit: @Komissarov95)
I had debated for a few days what I should get signed at the season ticket holder party. I have a ton of Caps stuff, but nothing really stood out to me, until about twenty minutes before I had to leave. Long forgotten due to the poor toast it makes (No, seriously it’s very bad toast, I have yet to find a setting that toasts most of the bread without burning the other half), my Capitals toaster sat on a shelf, not having been used in months.
Images of walking around an amusement park carrying a toaster danced in my head. It was too amusing to turn down. I have a suspicion those events might be slightly tedious so I felt like this might spice things up. At the very least it’d give me something to say to the players instead of just awkwardly standing in silence. I cleaned it up a little and tested to make sure the sharpie would actually stick. It did!
When my friend Alyssa and I arrived in the parking lot, I had a moment of doubt. Am I really going to go get a toaster signed? Why didn’t I clean it thoroughly beforehand? I figured that either way, this would be a great story and probably worth the effort. I went through security and the bag check. The guy checking my bag thought my toaster was pretty cool.
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have re-signed left wing Aaron Volpatti to a two-year contract, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. Volpatti will earn $550,000 in 2013-14 and $600,000 in 2014-15.
Volpatti, 28, has recorded one goal, one assist and 33 penalty minutes in 31 games with Washington and Vancouver this season. The native of Revelstoke, British Columbia, has collected three goals, two assists and 86 penalty minutes in 69 career NHL games with the Capitals and Canucks.
The 6’0”, 215-pound forward tallied 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) and 91 penalty minutes in 61 career AHL games with Manitoba. He spent four seasons playing for Brown University in the NCAA and was named to the ECAC All-Academic team his first three seasons before being named team captain for his senior season.
Volpatti was claimed off of waivers by Washington on Feb. 28. He was originally signed as an un-drafted free agent by Vancouver on March 22, 2010.
On April 20, 2013, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Photo credit: Francois Lacasse
The Washington Capitals’ final road game of the season was a demonstrable blowout. The Montreal Canadiens, purportedly a good hockey team, played like a troop (sorry, troupe) of clowns led by their porous ringleader Carey Price. The Habs got just one past Braden Holtby, and the Caps served wings and discount pizza to their loyal fans.
On March 16, 2013, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Photo credit: Brian Babineau
The Boston Bruins are the best team in the East. I think they’re the East’s best chance at winning the Cup this year, but that doesn’t mean I’m rooting for them or that I didn’t want the Washington Capitals to crush them on Saturday afternoon. That didn’t happen though. The Caps struggled on defense, and their offense needed help to get the puck behind Anton Khudobin. The game got a little wild in the second and third periods, which is just how the Bruins like it.
Wolski isn’t dead. This is just how he celebrates goals. (Photo credit: Alex Brandon)
Wojtek Wolski was playing first-line left wing when he scored a third period goal against the Philadelphia Flyers. It was February 1. He would take 35 days to notch his next tally, which came during Tuesday’s overtime win over Boston. Wolski scored another goal less than 48 hours later– at the beginning of the Washington’s 7-1 rout of the Florida Panthers.
“It’s the fun part of hockey,” Wolski said of his recent goals. “I had so many chances in the last little while, and they weren’t going in, and we weren’t scoring, and we were losing. It’s tough, it’s frustrating. When it turns the other way and the hard work pays off, it’s reassuring. I’m really happy about it.”
The Washington Capitals have the third worst record in the National Hockey League. They’re lacking in top-six talent and defensive depth. It struck me, then, that their last two transactions have not gone towards solving their problems, but rather have compounded them — at least in my mind.
In the past week the Caps claimed Aaron Volpatti (who had 28 penalty minutes in 16 games with the Vancouver Canucks) off waivers and signed Hershey Bears D-man Steve Oleksy (with 151 PIMs to his name in 55 games) to a three year contract. I’m not suggesting the Caps should try to fix all their woes with a call-up or waiver pick up — they can’t. I would, however, prefer if they didn’t exacerbate the team’s issues. The Caps don’t have a problem with toughness, they have a problem with talent.