On Saturday, several Washington Capitals players rented out Kettler Capitals IcePlex to scrimmage against local college kids. Two readers who attended, Lexi Martinez and Kate Hudson, share their experience below. Lexi did the write-up, and Kate snapped the photos. Enjoy!
Caps fans got a surprise Thursday night, when John Carlsontook to Twitter to announce that he’d be joining a few teammates back on the ice at Kettler the following morning for something special. Along with Brooks Laich, Jason Chimera, Jay Beagle, Jeff Halpern, and former Capital Peter Bondra, John would be scrimmaging a team of college players from around the area. It was thrown together late and all for fun, but for me, it meant a little taste of the Caps hockey we’ve all been missing so much. Naturally, I was freaking out.
Ticking off the last item on his summer to-do list, George McPhee has signed defenseman John Carlson to a six-year contract on Friday. Carlson will earn about four million dollars a year over a pretty long term. He will be the second highest paid D-man on the team next season (behind Mike Green).
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I spent draft night like I would any other. I had my personal sommelier open a bottle of fine wine, reclined on my settee, and tuned my 65″ Sharp Elite PRO-X5FD series television onto TSN.
My Capitals had two pics in the top 20, but I pondered how they’d handle it. Would they trade up for a top pick? Would GMGM infuriate the entire fan base and take more Russians? Would they work a deal for a veteran player? The possibilities are endless, I thought to myself as I fed my hairless sphynx some truffle shavings.
When you were little, someone must have asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up. Some of us wanted to be lawyers. Others, the president. When I was six, I told my parents I was going to be an astronaut. That did not work out, so yay for hockey blogging.
When Capitals defenseman John Carlson was asked what he wanted to be while he was a youngster, he nailed it. He wanted to be a hockey player– a famous one at that.
The real question is, which is the real John Carlson? Was it the John Carlson who stumbled through the regular season, seemingly unfamiliar with the concept of ice hockey? Or was it the solid young defenseman that showed up in time for the playoffs, once again becoming one of the mainstays of the Capitals’ blueline?
For all our sakes, we are hoping it is the second. Sophomore year is over; it’s time for John Carlson to come out of the slump.
We try to read lips, but it’s not easy to know what our Capitals are saying. Not unless a HBO crew is following them, or they’re within earshot of Pierre McGuire.
Luckily, Karl Alzner, John Carlson, Mike Knuble, and Matt Hendricks got mic’d up for the second round of the playoffs. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the Rangers vs. Caps. Tears and swear words not included.
There were a few common themes to the Capitals’ last postseason interviews, before they went their separate ways for summer. The first question posed was always about Dale Hunter, who has made the decision to return to the London Knights franchise in Ontario rather than stay on to coach the Caps. The team expressed universal admiration and gratitude for what he brought to the Capitals in his short tenure, often focusing less on his system than on the character and sense of accountability he was able to instill.
There was clear disappointment at the early ending to the season, but a different tone to the team’s assessment of their year than the year before — many of the Caps mentioned that they thought they were able to go out in a way that they feel better about this year, though of course they’d all still rather be playing hockey.
Read on for the details of Jay Beagle‘s injury, Brooks Laich standing outside Hunter’s window holding a boombox, and Hunter’s odd career model for Alexander Ovechkin.
In a few short hours, the Capitals will face the Rangers in New York City to battle over who will advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. But we shouldn’t worry. Why? Because our team is made up of a bunch of super heroes.
The Capitals had they backs against the wall Wednesday in Game 6, down 3-2 in the series after dropping Monday’s game in heartbreaking fashion. For this team, during this year, that was nothing unusual. Their head coach was fired in November. They were on track to miss the playoffs late in the season. But they beat the defending Stanley Cup champions in the first round. And they just pushed the number one seed to a final, deciding game in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
“Everyone would like it to be smooth sailing all the time, but it’s just not the way it works around here and the way it works in the playoffs,” John Carlson, nestled in a corner of Washington’s locker room, told reporters. “I think everyone is paying the price for each other. I think everybody is sacrificing, doing what it takes, whether it’s playing, whether it’s not playing, whether it’s chipping the puck out instead of trying to stick handle, whether it’s getting the puck deep — everyone’s committed and knows when they look left, look right, look across that people want it. If you look in the playoffs right now it’s the best team teams. Teams that work together the best are most successful.”