The Washington Capitals hosted their 2016-17 regular season home opener in style Saturday with a special red carpet event. As cars provided by Lexus dropped players off on F Street, diehard Caps fans lined the entrance, hoping for a picture or an autograph with their favorite athlete.
The event started at 3:30 and was hosted by PA Announcer Wes Johnson, who served as the master of ceremonies. Johnson introduced players as they arrived while preselected fans walked the players down the red carpet. Many Caps, including Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Tom Wilson, Nate Schmidt, and Andre Burakovsky, posed for selfies with fans before going inside Verizon Center.
That afternoon, RMNB had two photographers at the event, myself and the talented Katie Snyder (who you can follow on Instagram and Facebook). Snyder is one of the Redskins’ home-game photographers and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Snyder also does a lot of freelance work, including family-based portraits.
Now that the Capitals have figured out their 2016-17 opening night roster, the team conducted their final photo shoots for the Caps Canine Calendar, Monday afternoon.
Caps stars Alex Ovechkin, Braden Holtby, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Nicklas Backstrom dispersed across several different tourist attractions in Washington, D.C. — the Capitol building, the Supreme Court, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and the DC War Memorial respectively — to take some adorable shots with puppies.
The calendar, which goes on sale on November 18 and benefits Homeward Trails Animal Rescue, is being photographed by Taylor Winnik, the wife of fourth-line winger, Daniel Winnik.
On Saturday, September 17th a large contingent of the Caps organization took over the new Nando’s PERi-PERi in Arlington to help benefit Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation. The players that participated included Andre Burakovsky, Lars Eller, Stanislav Galiev, Nate Schmidt, and Tom Wilson. Additional members that helped out were Caps alumnus Paul Mulvey, PA Announcer Wes Johnson, the Red Rockers, Slapshot, Elliot In The Morning, and CSN’s Caps analysts Craig Laughlin and Courtney Laughlin.
It sure looks like everyone had a great time.
If you just can’t wait until the Capitals start their training camp Sept. 23 to get your fix of brobeans and cinnamon rolls, you’re in luck. Five Caps players will man the grill in a promotion for the new Nando’s Peri-Peri opening near Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston on Saturday.
Andre Burakovsky, Lars Eller, Stan Galiev, Nate Schmidt, and Tom Wilson will appear at the new restaurant between noon and 7 p.m. Saturday, along with Capitals alumnus Paul Mulvey, Red Rockers, Caps public address announcer Wes Johnson, Elliot Segal, and Craig and Courtney Laughlin.
Lars Eller finally put on a Washington Capitals jersey and met with DC press for the first time Tuesday morning — eleven days after Caps GM Brian MacLellan dealt two second-round picks to acquire him. The Caps plan to use the former Canadiens forward exclusively as the team’s third-line center, replacing Jay Beagle and Marcus Johansson who both played the position at different points last season. Eller was excited about his new opportunity.
“Honestly, it’s been nothing but positive since we got here,” Eller said, after putting his new number 20 jersey on. “I’m sure it’s going to be a great fit for me and my family.”
Eller revealed that Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was the first player to reach out via text, despite being on vacation in Europe. “I don’t think there were any smiley faces,” Eller said with a laugh, when asked if Ovi included any of his trademark smilies.
The 27-year-old Dane is under contract for the next two seasons and plans to move his wife and young daughter to Washington before the season starts. Eller’s three-year-old daughter Sophia had a special request. “She asked for a pink room so I’m going to try and get her that at least.”
Photo: Harry How
Heading into the offseason, Brian MacLellan said he was going to upgrade the Caps’ third line over the summer. Per usual, MacLellan did exactly what he said he was going to do by acquiring Lars Eller from the Montreal Canadiens for two draft picks.
MacLellan said that Eller had been on his radar since last season and that he thinks the acquisition fills the Caps third line center spot. MacLellan touted Eller’s skating ability and two-way play as the reasons that he thought the newly-acquired center is a good fit in DC.
Here’s a closer look at what Eller brings to the table.
Orlov and Max Pacioretty fight for the puck. (Photo credit: Richard Wolowicz)
Way back on November 23rd, Dmitry Orlov registered his first NHL point in his second NHL game against the Winnipeg Jets. That night he also made his presence felt physically with two monster hits. On one, he hit Evander Kane so hard into the boards that his stick flew into the crowd. On the other, he laid out an unsuspecting Blake Wheeler with an open-ice hip check.
“I really like the physical element of the game,” Orlov told RMNB’s Igor Kleyner a few days later. “Always have, since I was a kid. One of the reasons I came to play here – there is more hitting. I like that.”
Well, here’s a hit you may not have even known happened. On January 13th against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Orlov caught Steve Downie with a hip check after the pest rifled a shot on goal. The hit flipped Downie end-over-end to the ice in
hilarious spectacular fashion. Video is below the jump.
[Ed. note: for coverage of Rene Bourque, uhhh… check out RMNB on Wednesday morning.]
The Pregame: Fun game! Everyone from a malfunctioning family, raise your hand. Or, if you’re in a public place, just give a little squee inside. Yeah, we thought so. Show me the person who says their family is perfectly normal and I’ll show you a glue-sniffing, trick-turning, psychopathic cat hoarder. You know: like [fill in hated politician here] Oh, biting wit!
And speaking of glue-sniffing (bet you thought it’d be sociopathy), we come to Wednesday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens. Les Habitants. You know: the Baldwin family of contemporary hockey. Or should that be the Donner Party? Either way, they eat their own to the amusement of all.
Oh you bet, we’ve all had a hearty laugh – a long, hard laugh – at the goonish antics of our Quebecois neighbors of late. Like watching the Spuckler family argument spill out onto the un-mowed back lawn, hurling rotting plastic chairs at one another as they jockey for “superiority” amid the weeds and used Timmy Hos coffee cups. Too much back bacon, eh?
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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