October 25, 2014

About Katie Brown

Katie Brown is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Capitals. She resides in Arlington, VA, and developed a love for the sport of hockey as a youngster while watching her brothers play. Katie works at a nonprofit organization by day but the rest of her time is devoted to watching, writing, and talking about hockey and perfecting her mean one-timer. She is co-host of Girls Just Wanna Have Puck podcast. You can follow Katie on Twitter @katie_brown47.

Capitals participating in Hockey Fights Cancer campaign during month of November

Per a press release from the Washington Capitals, the Caps will wear purple jerseys during warmups beginning with their home game October 29th and extending through the month of November as part of the Hockey Fights Cancer campaign. Capitals goalies Braden Holtby and Justin Peters will sport lavender goalie masks throughout the campaign as well.

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals are teaming up with the National Hockey League October through November to educate the hockey community about cancer. Hockey Fights Cancer is a league-wide initiative founded by the NHL and NHL Players’ Association and is dedicated to raising awareness for national and local organizations involved in cancer care and research.

The Capitals will host Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night during the game against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday, Oct. 29. Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) Foundation is hosting a jersey auction to raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s National Capital Area Chapter. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) exists to find cures and ensure access to treatments for blood cancer patients. The organization funds research to advance more breakthrough therapies for blood cancer patients, and serves as the voice for these patients, working to ensure access to treatments for all.

During warmups, players will wear purple Capitals jerseys with a Hockey Fights Cancer patch. The jerseys will feature players’ names and numbers in white twill backed in lavender with ribbon cutouts on the numbers. Lavender is the official color the NHL’s Hockey Fights Cancer campaign, as it represents all forms of cancer. Braden Holtby and Justin Peters will also wear Hockey Fights Cancer-themed goalie masks during the game.

These autographed, practice-worn jerseys and goalie masks will be auctioned off at the MSE Foundation table located on the main concourse at section 104 of Verizon Center during the Capitals game against the Detroit Red Wings. Bidding will start when doors open at 6:30 p.m. and will conclude when the second intermission ends. MSE Foundation donated more than $35,000 to the LLS National Capital Area Chapter last year through the 2013 jersey auction. To view a photo gallery of the masks visitMonumentalNetwork.com.

During the game, management, coaches and broadcasters will wear the lavender official Hockey Fights Cancer tie.

Eleven-year-old Bethesda, Md., native and local wish kid Ryan Darby will participate in a ceremonial puck drop on behalf of Make-A-Wish® Mid-Atlantic. Make-A-Wish Mid Atlantic is the beneficiary of a $5,000 grant distributed by the NHL to the Washington Capitals in support of a local cancer organization. Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic serves children who reside in central and southern Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland and Northern Virginia. Founded in 1983, the Mid-Atlantic chapter has granted more than 8,200 wishes in the Mid-Atlantic region since its inception. For more information, please visit: www.midatlantic.wish.org.

In addition a portion of proceeds from tickets purchased through the Capitals special Hockey Fight Cancer linkwww.msesales.com/caps/hfc will be donated to LLS. Use the promo code HFC to activate the discount and donation when purchasing through the link.

Hockey Fights Cancer is an initiative founded in December 1998 by the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association to raise money and awareness for hockey’s most important fight. To date, through the NHL’s U.S. and Canadian charitable foundations, more than $12.8 million has been raised under the Hockey Fights Cancer initiative to support national and local cancer research institutions, children’s hospitals, player charities and local cancer organizations. The Hockey Fights Cancer program is also a component of the NHL’s “Biggest Assist Happens Off the Ice” campaign – the League’s long-standing tradition of addressing important social issues in North America and around the world.

The Hockey Fights Cancer program is supported by NHL Member Clubs, NHL Alumni, the NHL Officials’ Association, Professional Hockey Trainers and Equipment Managers, corporate marketing partners, broadcast partners and fans throughout North America.


Photos courtesy of the Washington Capitals.

HFC Jersey Peters Mask Holtby Mask

Three Stars: Washington Capitals vs. Edmonton Oilers 10/22/14

Read the recap of tonight’s game in Edmonton here: http://wp.me/p1QLZd-6Rr

They may have lost to the Oilers, but there were a lot of good things to take away from the Capitals performance in Edmonton, including but not limited to the power play (which is pretty good), and controlling play at even strength. They out-attempted Edmonton 66-36 through 3 periods.

First Star: Mike Green

He missed the home opener, but he has 6 points in five games since his season debut against Boston. When he’s allowed to play like he’s supposed to, he really gets it done. Whatever Barry Trotz is doing agrees with him.

Second Star: Nicklas Backstrom

He is a Steady Eddie if there ever was one. Six points in 6 games, and his assist on John Carlson’s power play goal was his 500th career point.

Third Star: Andre Burakovsky

Despite the fact that he was playing on a line with Jay Beagle all night, he dished the puck to Mike Green and earned a primary assist on the goal. He has 6 points in 6 games (2g, 4a). Let’s hope that line pairing doesn’t last.

Washington Capitals Game 6 Recap: Capitals lose 3-2 in regulation to Oilers

On the first stop of their road trip to western Canada, the Washington Capitals parked in Edmonton for the night to visit former Capitals Boyd Gordon and Matt Hendricks.

The Oilers struck first, John Carlson answered on the power play, and Mike Green’s wrister gave the Caps the lead, but 20 seconds later, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins struck for the Oilers. Tie game. Late in the second Nikita Nikitin scored the go-ahead goal for Edmonton. The Capitals lobbed everything they had at Ben Scrivens, but he was figuratively on fire, and had a fine crew of shot-blockers in front of him. Caps lose for the first time in regulation, 3-2.

  • Power play looks pretty good, and the Oilers defense makes it look even better.
  • Jay Beagle made his first start of the season against Edmonton. He was really excited. Trotz had him on the ice with 1:30 left, which is puzzling, to say the least. He played on a line with Marcus Johansson and Andre Burakovsky, which is ostensibly the Capitals’ second line.
  • Two consecutive shots on goal in the second period by Karl Alzner. Adam Oates wouldn’t have allowed that to happen.
  • Mike Green scored a beauty, but the Caps allowed a goal against 20 seconds later. Some habits are hard to break, I suppose. Last season, the Caps gave up a buttload (scientific term) of quick response goals, and it helped them lose a lot of games.
  • Former Capital Matt Hendricks fought with new Capital Liam O’Brien. It was weird.
  • Alex Ovechkin didn’t have a shot on goal until the third period, but he’s been terrific otherwise this season. Everyone has their off nights.
  • How’s this for a fancy stat: after Wednesday’s game, the Capitals held their opponent to less than 30 shots on goal for the sixth time this season, the first time they’ve done that since November 2010.
  • The Capitals had 66 shot attempts to the Oilers’ 36, but still couldn’t find the back of the net. The Oilers were shot-blocking machines, and Ben Scrivens was pretty good too.
  • Nicklas Backstrom assisted on John Carlson’s first period power play goal, his 500th point in his 501st game.

Washington Capitals Power Rankings: Weeks 1 & 2

Each Monday this season, District Sports Page will rank the active roster of the Washington Capitals “power ranking” style. The criteria for rankings will be questionable and highly subjective, so don’t think too hard about them.

Note: this list actually covers weeks 1 & 2, since the Capitals only played 5 games during that timespan.

Rank Player The whatfor
1 Alex Ovechkin Six points in 5 games, and he looks great at even strength. Fun times.
2 Mike Green I think he’ll outlast Brooks Laich in the injury sweepstakes. If there was any worry about how he’d fit into the updated defensive corps, thats gone now. He’s thriving.
3 Andre Burakovsky Five points in five games. He seems to be adjusting to his role as a center. It’s like he was born to be a 2C.
4 Troy Brouwer He got bumped up to the first line against Florida when Fehr moved back to the third line, and scored the equalizing goal against San Jose that sent the game to OT.
5 Nick Backstrom Mr. 500 is kind of a big deal ’round these parts. Just ask Barry Trotz.
6 Braden Holtby Two wins, a shutout in Boston, not a bad start to the season for Holtby (aside from that one time he was pulled less than 10 minutes into the game against San Jose.)
7 Jason Chimera This guy was all over the ice Saturday night, and he definitely worked on his moves during the offseason.”)
8 Marcus Johansson Part of the “Swedetrick” against the Devils, and has 2 goals through 5 games. He’s shooting more and looks pretty confident on the ice.
9 Eric Fehr He’s already been bumped from the first line to the third with Chimera and Ward, and it’s moderately unfortunate for a player who can skate as well as he can to be stuck at center, but there’s still a lot of time left for things to change.
10 Justin Peters He’s only gotten one start, but it was a good one, and has subbed in capably when needed.
11 Evgeny Kuznetsov Three points in 5 games, which is not bad, but he’s still being shuffled around the lineup a bit.
12 Nate Schmidt If Nate Schmidt ever stops smiling, the world will probably stop turning and the sun will cease to shine. Besides that, he looks more like an NHL defenseman every day.
13 Karl Alzner Karl is as Karl does. No surprises here.
14 Joel Ward This.
15 Brooks Orpik Orpik, usually paired with John Carlson, looked good, aside from the first period of the Sharks game, where everyone was struggling.
16 John Carlson Four points in four games for Carlson, and he’s seeing a lot of power play time as well.
17 Matt Niskanen He’s eating up a lot of minutes, and seems to be meshing well with partner Karl Alzner.
18 Liam O’Brien Probably the sassiest guy on the team. Not many people his size would dare taunt the mountainous John Scott.
19 Brooks Laich Laich has one point in 5 games, and it looks like he’s going to miss some time with an upper-body injury. Say it with me: at least it’s not the groin.
20 Chris Brown He’s done pretty much what is expected of him as a fourth line winger, and scored a goal, too.
21 Michael Latta Healthy scratch for 3 of 5 games this season, only seeing action against Boston and San Jose thus far.
 – John Erskine Healthy scratch. Not a great probability we’ll see him dress for a game any time soon.
 – Aaron Volpatti Still on IR for the foreseeable future.
 – Jack Hillen Healthy scratch since his one start in the home opener. Probably won’t be seeing much of Hillen this season.
 – Tom Wilson Still on IR, but Trotz has hinted that he may see a rehab stint in Hershey fairly soon.
 – Jay Beagle Not in the doghouse, but still on IR. He practiced Monday morning, so he might be back soon.
 – Dmitri Orlov Yup, still on IR.

Three Stars: Washington Capitals vs. Florida Panthers 10/18/14

The Panthers aren’t divisional rivals anymore, which is weird, but the Capitals still kind of beat up on the new kid like the old days. Jason Chimera scored a weird goal, and the Panthers got one back on a power play, but the Capitals were perfect in the shootout and won 2-1.

First Star: Jason Chimera

The Ice Cheetah was everywhere on the ice against the Panthers tonight. Since the re-addition of Eric Fehr, the third line has been abuzz, including Joel Ward scoring a weird goal against the Devils Thursday night. Chimera’s goal was as fancy as they come. He was clearly working on his finesse in the offseason. He had another great scoring chance on Al Montoya later in the game, and had a team high 5 shots on goal.

Check it.

Second Star: Justin Peters

In his first start with the Caps, Peters effectively brought home the bacon for the Capitals, stopping 20 of 21 shots, and stopped Jussi Jokinen in the shootout for the Caps’ win. It was his first start since December of 2013, when he was a member of the Carolina Hurricanes. He’s a super solid No. 2 goalie. And he has great hair. What more do you want?

Third Star: Alex Ovechkin

Ovechkin was the third shooter in the shootout lineup, and scored the winning shot with the prettiest shootout goal he’s made in years. He had two shots on goal and seven hits in the 2-1 win.

Honorable mention: Nicklas Backstrom

He finished with three shots on goal and did not register a point, but Mr. 500 is still one of the best. Congrats on 500.

Three Stars: Washington Capitals vs. New Jersey Devils 10/16/14

The Capitals soundly whipped the Devils 6-2 Thursday night at Verizon Center. They are still undefeated in regulation, as both of their losses so far this season have been in the shootout, and their record is now 2-0-2, which also happens to be the DC area code. Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson, and Andre Burakovsky all scored, which I believe is now known as a “Swedetrick.”


First Star:

Braden Holtby.

Once again, Holtby is our first star. He made a few ten-bell saves to keep the game close, including a crucial stop on Jaromir Jagr. In the third period, Holtby’s work was supplemented by offense (for once) in the form of three goals. He stopped 26 of 28 shots in the win.


Second Star:

Marcus Johansson.

It’s only 4 games in, but Johansson is my vote for most improved under Barry Trotz so far. His second period tally was the kind of shot he probably would have passed up last season. Overall, he looks far more confident in his abilities; fast and sharp. Trotz has been good for him.


Third Star:

Joel Ward.

If Ward and Jason Chimera are the heart and soul of the third line, Eric Fehr is the brains. Tonight, Ward was reunited with the brains, and scored perhaps the funkiest goal of the season so far. He chucked the puck to the rear boards behind Cory Schnieder, but it bounced up and to the right of Schneider, behind the goalpost. When Schnieder retreated to protect the goal line, the puck went in. Good goal. Just watch the video.

Three Stars: Washington Capitals vs. San Jose Sharks 10/14/14

Despite trailing 3-0 in the first period to the San Jose Sharks, the Washington Capitals rallied and tied the game late in the third, but fell in the shootout, 6-5. John Scott scored on the Capitals. At least they came away with a point.

First Star: Alex Ovechkin

The Captain scored two goals and logged one assist and eight shots on goal in the Capitals’ shootout loss against San Jose, his 87th career multi-point game. Four goals in two games (one each at even strength and on the power play) is a great start to the season for Ovechkin.

Second Star: Mike Green

In his first two games, Green has notched three points, two of those (1g, 1a) against San Jose. No sign of injury slowdown, and hopefully for the Caps he stays that way. He might be technically a third pairing defensemen on the depth chart, but for skill, there’s probably not a defenseman on the roster that can match Green.

Third Star: Troy Brouwer

Brouwer scored the equalizer that sent the game to overtime, nearly completing the Capitals’ comeback. While Antii Niemi should have probably stopped it, the goal Brouwer scored Tuesday night is the kind of goal the team needs him to score.

Honorable Mention:

Nicklas Backstrom: He finished the night with 2 assists, both dishes to Ovechkin on his two goals.

Liam O’Brien’s tongue: Good thing John Scott only picks on people his own size, or at least he did Tuesday night. Probably because he scored a goal for once.

Three Stars: Washington Capitals vs. Montreal Canadiens

Tonight we are debuting new game night content for DSP. Each Capitals game night, we’ll pick our three stars of the game, and our reasons why. Leave a comment and let us know what you think! Also see game recap and photo gallery.

First Star:

The inaugural first star of the night is Andre Burakovsky.

In front of family, friends, and the home crowd at Verizon Center, he scored his first career NHL goal on his second shot and the first Capitals goal of the 2014-15 season, 125 seconds into his first NHL game. He also rivaled Tomas Hertl “this is dream” levels of adorableness during his 2nd intermission interview with Smokin’ Al Koken. He also had a scoring chance in overtime, and made an appearance in the shootout.

Here’s the goal:


Second Star:

Braden Holtby.

Holtby stopped 23 of 24 MTL shots in regulation and overtime, and made 2 flashy glove saves in the shootout, until Brendan Gallagher sunk one for the Canadiens win. Even if you hate the shootout, it’s worth watching simply for Holtby’s casual glove saves.

Third Star:

Brooks Orpik.

Orpik lowered the boom 6 times during his debut as a Capital, and was cheered heartily by the Verizon Center crowd for the first time in his career, and certainly not the last. It was exactly what was expected of him, and there’s plenty more where that came from, to be sure.



A breakdown of the Washington Capitals 2015 Winter Classic sweaters

Washington Capitals majority owner Ted Leonsis took the podium at National’s Park on Tuesday afternoon, joined by other prominent names in the hockey world to reveal the jerseys the Capitals will wear for the 2015 Winter Classic.

“New Year’s Day used to be about college football. Now New Year’s Day is about the NHL,” said Leonsis.

A bold statement, as New Year’s Day is still mostly dominated by college football, but now cedes some of the spotlight to the NHL, since the Winter Classic series began in 2008. Leonsis says he knew he wanted one to be in DC since he watched the inaugural game with his family six years ago.

The wait for the Winter Classic sweaters, for fans, at least was perhaps more arduous than waiting for the venue to be announced. The Capitals’ opponent, the Chicago Blackhawks, was old news, and it seemed clear from the initial announcement at Capitals Fan Fest on September 21, 2013 that Nationals Park was the venue that made the most sense for the event (this was confirmed September 6 in a report by the Washington Post and later confirmed by the NHL).

But what would they wear?

Taking into account that the franchise is celebrating their 40th anniversary this upcoming season, it was expected that some type of retro design would be used. While teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens have been in existence since 1917, the Capitals comparatively don’t have the benefit of almost 10 decades to draw from.

Unlike the 2011-12 season, where the Capitals introduced a 1974-era third jersey similar to the one worn in the 2011 Winter Classic (essentially the same), the 2015 Winter Classic sweaters are not currently planned to be used as third jerseys, according to the Capitals’ senior writer Mike Vogel. It is always possible that these sweaters could eventually replace the current third jerseys at some point in the future, but that’s not in the plans right now.

Since the retro 1974-esque theme had already been done, the Capitals delved into the history of hockey in Washington D.C., namely the Washington Eagles, an Eastern Hockey League (EHL) team, who played where the Kennedy Center stands now, from 1939-1942. After the Eagles folded, a new team, the Washington Lions, was formed, and played in D.C. in different iterations from 1941-1957. The Lions were relocated to Cincinnati and became the Mohawks, but the Lions were resurrected and persisted until 1957, when their name was changed to the Washington Presidents, who hung around through 1960, when the Washington Chiefs entered the D.C.  sports scene. The Chiefs were considered an independent team, and played from 1971-1976. The Capital Centre was built in 1973, and ushered in a new era of hockey in D.C – the Washington Capitals.

The NHL, the Capitals and Reebok designed the sweaters, according to a press release, and began the process about a year ago.

The design combines several The principal color of the jerseys is described as a “deep red”, technically a shade called oxblood, somewhere between bordeaux and burgundy (thanks, Pantone), a departure from the typical bright Capitals red, and gives the sweaters a vintage look. Stripes on each shoulder, the waist of the jersey, and the legs are meant to harken to the jersey of the Washington Eagles of the 1930s and ’40s.

The 1941-42 Washington Eagles. Image courtesy of http://icehockey.wikia.com/.

The 1941-42 Washington Eagles. Image courtesy of http://icehockey.wikia.com/

The “Capitals” wordmark emblazoned on the front is in all capital letters (a clever touch, to be sure) and incorporates stars, a signature look present on Capitals jerseys throughout the years.. Underneath the stars, a large “W” in Prussian blue (also known as midnight blue) dominates the chest. But this is no ordinary “W”. The letter stands for Washington, obviously, but it contains a hidden message – the center of the letter is curved in such a way as to represent the shape of the Washington Monument. The “W” symbol is also present on the pants (which are also blue) the players will wear with the jersey.

Image courtesy of Monumental Network.

Image courtesy of Monumental Network.

WC 6

Image courtesy of Monumental Network.

WC 13

Image courtesy of Monumental Network.

Player numbers, as well as “C” and “A” designations are in white, outlined in the same Prussian blue as the “W” on the chest and the pants. The contrast created by the bright white set in blue accent helps the numbers pop, which is helpful for announcers calling the game and spectators watching from the stands.

WC 11

Image courtesy of Monumental Network.

WC 10

Image courtesy of Monumental Network.

WC 9

Image courtesy of Monumental Network.

WC 8

Image courtesy of Monumental Network.

WC 7

Image courtesy of Monumental Network.

WC 3

Image courtesy of Monumental Network.

The pants feature a star design on the outside of each leg, bookended by white stripes. The “W” on the left leg of the pants is in white with three white stars perched atop the letter.

Unlike many jerseys that feature faux laces at the neck, the jerseys have actual laces, accented by the Prussian blue around the collar.

WC 5

Image courtesy of Monumental Network.

WC 2

Image courtesy of Monumental Network.

Seen in broad daylight, the oxblood color of the jersey stands out more than against the red background that doesn’t offer much contrast or lend itself to accentuating the nuances of the design.

Image courtesy of Monumental Network.

Image courtesy of Monumental Network.

Image courtesy of Monumental Network.

Image courtesy of Monumental Network.

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