Ask Not the Sparrow How the Eagle Soars, Hockey’s Back!

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If you’re like me, October can only mean two things: Halloween is coming, and HOCKEY IS BACK!!!

To celebrate the return of the Caps, I did what I do best: Illustrate! Here we have Jason Chimera as the Ice Cheetah, John Carlson as Captain America, Nicklas Backstrom as Thor, Braden Holtby as the Holtbeast, and of course, Alex Ovechkin as the namesake, the Russian Machine. Our hockey superheroes in Red are ready to soar into DC again, prepared to thwart whatever stands in their way.

(The quote comes from an anime I watched summer, Kill La Kill. I thought it was pretty fitting, since y’know…. eagles/weagles.)

Hockey is here, so you know I’ll be in the stands, unleashing a little fury to do my part for the thwarting.

LET’S DO THIS.

Destined to be the NHL’s all-time leading outdoor scorer.

Ever since Mike Knuble left the Caps– and possibly even before– hockey geeks have wanted one name above all others on the top line with Alex Ovechkin and Nick Backstrom. Eric Fehr, the 29-year-old country music fan from Winkler, Manitoba, seems to have finally gotten the nod.

Fehr is expected to play right wing on the Capitals’ top line to start the season. Your boy Chuck Gormley reported it first.

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On Wednesday morning, the NHL released a two-minute long video promoting the upcoming Winter Classic in Washington DC. The gravely narrator gets us excited for the Capitals match-up with the Blackhawks on January 1.

Enjoy!

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The jersey’s got stripes! (Photo: Monumental Network)

At noon on Tuesday, the Washington Capitals will debut their new Winter Classic jerseys. All the big wigs are in attendance: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, NHLPA Don Fehr, and Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis. Also scheduled to attend are Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and Braden Holtby, who will be modeling the new sweaters.

There will be a lot of information to cover today: plans for the game, a 24/7-like documentary series leading up to the game, the Caps new WC logo, the NHL’s logo, whatever the Hawks are doing, rink placement inside the stadium, views from the seats, and probably even more.

We’ll update this post as information comes in so keep refreshing. Have a blast in the comments. Also, we’ll have some awesome photos from Amanda Bowen, who is photographing the event for us, later.

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Caps Implement Hogwarts System For Training Camp

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The Washington Capitals have announced their roster and schedule for training camp. It’s basically “blah blah blah,” 66 players, “blah blah blah,” a buncha scrimmages, but I wanna point out the part that struck me.

The Capitals have organized training camp into groups, each named for a different Caps legend.

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Photo: Neil Greenberg

The Washington Capitals announced Wednesday that they will unveil their new Winter Classic jerseys at the finally-agreed-upon-venue, Nats Park, on September 23rd.

“The Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® has made New Year’s Day a highlight of the season for NHL fans everywhere,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said according to the Capitals’ press release. “Nationals Park provides an ideal setting for all the excitement, entertainment and fun as the Blackhawks and Capitals bring our outdoor tradition to historic Washington, D.C.”

“We are thrilled the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will be played at Nationals Park as we welcome the Chicago Blackhawks and their fans to our nation’s capital,” Capitals majority owner Ted Leonsis said. “We are delighted the D.C. area and our great fan base will have an opportunity to experience the Winter Classic, and we know that Nationals Park will provide an incredible backdrop for the game.”

Commissioner Bettman, Caps owner Ted Leonsis, general manager Brian MacLellan, captain Alex Ovechkin, center Nicklas Backstrom, and goaltender Braden Holtby are all scheduled to attend the event.

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Capitals Announce Rookie Camp and Training Camp Dates

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Photo: Greg Fiume

Ah, autumn. The air is cooling. The leaves are changing. The kids are back at school, getting yolo with their baes, lest they feel fomo, or so I’m told.

And the Capitals are gearing up for actual hockey! On Wednesday the Caps shared their schedule for rookie camp. For five days, promising young players will have their mettle tested by saturnine men in red jackets. Andre Burakovsky and Jakub Vrana will be there.  Many will enter, few will win.

The best of the best from rookie camp will stick around for training camp, which will begin on Friday, September 19.

All practices are open to the public, so get yourself to Kettler Capitals Iceplex and save Chris Gordon a seat.

Schedule and deets below.

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Photo: Rich Lam

As first reported by the the Winnipeg Free Press’s Gary Lawless, the Washington Capitals are close to hiring former Predators head coach Barry Trotz. Trotz, who spent 16 years in Nashville, interviewed with Caps brass on Tuesday.

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The home team led their lower-seeded opponent three games to one. Then the goalie got hot.

In those final games, the opposing goalie put up a brick wall and his defense kept shots to the outside. Despite a massive advantage in possession, the home team– a favorite to win the Cup– lost game seven.

Despair reigned. The team’s star, an exemplar of offense, failed to score when it counted most. The team’s goalie looked manifestly flawed.

So the team looked inward. Where did we go wrong? Is this the wrong way to play? Who do we blame?

All the eyes turned to the coach.

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Why I Gave Up My Season Tickets

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[Ed. note: Eric Bovim shares his perspective as an aggrieved season-ticket holder. - Peter]

I have invested nearly $60,000 since 2008 as a season ticket holder into the Washington Capitals. But it’s time to put that to an end.

Even with the overdue changes to the Caps front office announced this weekend, I have decided to give up my tickets as a protest to ownership. I doubt the voice of a lone STH matters much to them; no doubt they will quickly sell my two seats in my section 102, row F to someone on their waiting list. Management never knew me. But I will not let them forget about why I have made the decision to forfeit my precious seats.

For the past 6 seasons, from those seats by the faceoff circle near the glass, I have seen it all. I remember the time I took my little boy to his first game – early 2009 – when he was merely two and a half. Alex was so young then I had to bring along his diaper and pacifier. His mother packed him his bottle. I bundled him up. We were playing the Canadiens. Jose Theodore was out goalie then. We won 3-0. I still remember his face that night at the game, him cheers along with the Horn Guy, him falling asleep later that season in the third period as the Caps rallied to beat Detroit. He stayed asleep even as Verizon Center celebrated a vintage Mike Green goal. I stood and held him as he slept. It was not easy, but it was fun.

We saw many other games over the years together. We became quite comfortable at Verizon together. We had our pre-game dinners all mapped out. He made his tour around the concourse, seeking free handouts from the Red Rockers. When I told him that I had given up the seats he was rightly upset. The games with dad were a childhood ritual that I have abruptly ended. He expected to be able to go. It would be hard to explain to him, however, that I expected much more from the Capitals this year, and that I felt like I was pouring my money down a hole.

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