Sunday night, the Washington Capitals played the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome. The best moment of the night was at the beginning of the second period when CSN Mid-Atlantic cameras found adorable Cash Niebergall and the rest of his family in the stands. Alex Ovechkin had bought tiny Cash and his family tickets for the game. Ovechkin planned to meet with them afterwards.
“One of the assists for this should go to our friends at the Russian Machine Never Breaks for the heads up to the Capitals organization to let them know about [the family],” former NHL enforcer Alan May graciously said, giving our tiny blog a huge shoutout over the air.
But then Alan’s shoutout quickly turned to chirping.
Photo: Washington Capitals
On Wednesday night, some of the best players in Capitals history (and Alan May) participated in the 2016 Caps Alumni Game to conclude Fanfest. Capitals greats Olie Kolzig, Denis Maruk, and Craig Laughlin joined fan favorites like Kevin Kaminski, and Matt Bradley, and Brent Johnson for a spirited game in front of a mostly full Kettler Capitals Iceplex.
Former YoungStars Game MVP Brian Sutherby won the exhibition for Team White in a shootout.
Saturday night, the Washington Capitals got shut out by the Blues 4-0. St. Louis’ first goal, by Kyle Brodziak, started with a turnover behind the net by Caps defenseman Dmitry Orlov.
CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Alan May, a veteran of 393 NHL games and 17 professional seasons of hockey, broke down the play and showed how Orlov can learn from veteran Brooks Orpik. This is brilliant stuff (and no, he didn’t pay me to write that, though he probably should, considering how mean he is to me online).
When CSN Mid-Atlantic announced that former Caps player and current Caps analyst Alan May would participate in a Reddit AMA (“Ask Me Anything” for the n00bs), we knew we were in for a treat. May did not disappoint.
In the wide-ranging crowdsourced interview on Tuesday evening, May addressed everything from the current state of the Capitals and what they still need to make a serious Cup run, to his favorite beer and where RMNB’s Ian Oland ranks on the Alan May Scale of Awesomeness (spoiler alert: “you are a zero.zero”).
He also shared the funniest chirp he’s heard from between the benches during coverage of a Caps game.
Photo: Bruce Bennett
Some of us were at home. Some were at Verizon Center. Some of us were being pelted in the side of the head by beer at Nasseau Coliseum. Some were preparing for postgame coverage.
The Caps and their fans were scattered but united in celebration. Follow me around the world.
Reps. John Katko, Pat Meehan, Erik Paulsen and Tom Emmer pose with Lawmakers teammate Peter Bondra after defeating the Lobbyists in the annual Congressional Hockey Challenge. (Photos by Chris Gordon)
When you hear that someone famous is a hockey fan, it has novelty, something not reserved for fans of baseball, basketball, and football. While we may be absorbed in the community, hockey is the smallest of all major professional sports in the United States. Many Americans have never watched it. Fewer have tried it. On Wednesday, however, it was featured at American’s center of power. In the afternoon, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman went to the Hill to meet with members of Congressional Hockey Caucus and announce Thurgood Marshall scholarship recipients. In the evening, four of those congressmen played in the seventh annual Congressional Hockey Challenge. Representatives John Katko (R-NY), Tom Emmer (R-MN), Erik Paulsen (R-MN), and Pat Meehan (R-PA) competed for the Lawmakers. They were joined on their team by former Capitals player Peter Bondra (RW-Slovakia) as well as administration officials, congressional staffers and Canadian Parliament member Gord Brown.
Wednesday is Alan May‘s birthday, so before he hit the road with the team CSN Washington preemptively gave him a birthday cake. If you were wondering if it went better than the disastrous time Locker gave Joe B a cake, you’d be right.
In front of an empty arena, May was surprised by friends with a custom-made cake, featuring an old hockey card, from the DC Cake Room.
Photos: Amanda Bowen
A half a dozen former Capitals players came out to the DC Hilton Garden Inn on Wednesday night to spend New Year’s Eve with fans. Caps great Olie Kolzig, Craig Laughlin, CSN analyst Alan May, former 60-goal scorer Dennis Maruk, and several others signed autographs, took photos, and even played some air hockey.
Amanda Bowen estimates that a few hundred people showed up. Below are her photos.
If you’ve got any good stories from the event, hit us up in the comments!
Bondra scores late in the game. (Photos by Chris Gordon)
This year’s NHL Winter Classic has not had much buildup. Aside from the game, there isn’t much going on. The lack of an official alumni game — which had become a tradition at Winter Classics — angered and vexed many fans. Washington cancelled this year’s Caps Convention, saying they wanted to focus on Winter Classic events and has been hyping its former players all year long, with this season being the team’s fortieth anniversary. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, and Caps owner Ted Leonsis have all given competing answers as to why the event didn’t occur. Nevertheless, a group of former Caps, media members, and As Seen on TV people like NBC’s Washington Amelia Segal, took to the Nationals Park ice on Tuesday afternoon as part of an informal skate that came together in the past few weeks.
“I guess we all unfairly assumed that there would be one,” Alan May, who played in the game, said of an official alumni game, noting that Rod Langway and numerous former Blackhawks and Capitals expressed interest. “There’s nothing that can be done about it.”
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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