The Washington Capitals held an optional practice in front of a full house, Saturday. Half the team, including Head Coach Barry Trotz, was not on the ice. Everyone was energized and in high spirits from the 6-0 shutout against the Chicago Blackhawks the night before.
Instead of a puck, Daniel Winnik started the warm-up with a perforated practice golf ball. Later Braden Holtby and Nate Schmidt shared a silly moment after Schmidt and Dmitry Orlov put a shot past the netminder. Holtbeast playfully slashed Schmidt’s legs, whose dramatics ensued for a fun set of images. Holtby’s face after his payback was priceless.
Post-practice Matt Niskanen even tried to hide from the camera and we shared a laugh. It was a great welcome back to the hockey grind. Enjoy these snaps from the morning practice.
Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner became the first player in franchise history to play in 500-consecutive games, Friday night against Chicago. He also became the third defenseman since 1944 to do so.
And on a night where Braden Holtby and Jay Beagle starred in a 6-0 thrashing of the Blackhawks, it was Alzner, despite having only one shot on goal in 19:59 of ice time, who was the team’s first star.
By playing a shift in Friday’s matchup with the Chicago Blackhawks, Karl Alzner became the third defenseman since 1944 to play in 500-straight games. Considering how physical hockey is and how demanding an 82-game schedule can be, this is an impressive milestone. And the congratulations have been pouring in.
Baseball Hall of Famer and owner of the longest consecutive games streak, Cal Ripken, Jr., congratulated Karl in a tribute video made by the team.
Karl Alzner is not known for his offensive acumen, but this is a new year.
After Justin Williams could not find the back of the net on a breakaway, Karl Alzner took a pass from TJ Oshie and ripped a blistering slap past Mike Condon. The goal caused one young Caps fan to chuck his popcorn in celebration.
Barry Trotz shook up his defensive pairings a few weeks ago and in doing so he reunited John Carlson and Karl Alzner as the Caps shutdown defensive pair. Carlson and Alzner have skated just over 3,000 minutes together in their career, but only 212 of those minutes have been during the Trotz regime.
But 128 of those 212 minutes have come since the recent reunion. The pair has been Trotz’s first choice to shutdown the top offensive players on the Caps’ opponent any given night. Unfortunately for the Caps, the reunion isn’t going very well. The Caps are getting outplayed when they’re on the ice. This pairing either needs to be broken up or have the difficulty of their assignments reduced.
Late in the third period, the defensive pairing of Carlzner – John Carlson and Karl Alzner – went out for a shift together to keep the rallying Boston Bruins off the board. The Bruins had scored three unanswered goals to tie the game and were pushing for a fourth.
Then a disaster scenario played out. A Bruins player wound up and fired a shot from the point. The biscuit struck Karl Alzner in the slot and the Calgary native went down in a heap. NBCSN play-by-play man Mike Emrick thought Alzner was injured.
There’s no better way to mark the holiday season than with a photo of you, your family, your dogs, Santa Claus, and Santa’s little helpers. Especially when those little helpers just so happen to be Karl Alzner and Daniel Winnik.
On December 18th from 10am to noon, Lindsay Cadillac of Alexandria will be hosting a photo op with Caps players. Lindsay will provide the photographer, Santa Claus, and the famous athletes. All you have to do is show up and cheese at the camera. Perhaps the best part is that you can bring your dogs with you.
During interviews with the media, General Manager Brian MacLellan has routinely fingered the 2016-17 season as the Capitals’ last season in a two-year window to win the Cup. That’s because nearly half of the team’s roster will be due new contracts. TJ Oshie, Justin Williams, Daniel Winnik, and Karl Alzner will be unrestricted free agents on July 1, while Evgeny Kuznetsov, Andre Burakovsky, Brett Connolly, Dmitry Orlov, Nate Schmidt, and Philipp Grubauer are all restricted free agents.
With Brent Burns recently re-signing in San Jose for eight years, Karl Alzner is now set to become one of the top two defensemen on the 2017 UFA market. Nick Kypreos reported Saturday night during Hockey Night In Canada’s Headlines segment that Alzner could fetch a salary of up to $6 million per year on his next deal – a $3.2 million raise over his currently salary this season.
Happy Caps Canine Calendar Day! This morning, Taylor Winnik, the photographer of the newest Caps promotional offering, and Sue Bell, the director of the Homeward Trails Animal Rescue, stopped by Fox 5’s Good Day DC to promote the calendar. The segment was great, but the best part about it wasn’t what was happening on the TV, rather the reaction of those at home.
I’m talking specifically about the adorable Stella Alzner.
The Chicago Blackhawks celebrated Veteran’s Day with a beautiful pregame ceremony on Friday night. Army Chief of Staff, General Mark A. Milley, dropped the ceremonial puck. During the national anthem, 75 veterans joined the Caps and Blackhawks on the ice in an E formation. Each veteran had a hand pressed to their forehead, saluting the flag.
After the anthem completed, the veterans made their way off the ice and something incredible happened.
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