August 14, 2022

Caps in Advance: Week 20

There may be no more stressful time for an NHL player during the regular season than the lead in to the trade deadline, particularly when your team’s owner has already gone on the record to say that moves will be made.

Washington’s four games this week are its last before Monday afternoon’s deadline, and the next quarter of games will go a long way toward determining general manager George McPhee’s stance and activity.  Two of the Caps’ upcoming opponents, the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs, occupy the final two spots in the Eastern Conference’s playoff field.

Luckily for the Caps, Dale Hunter’s squad has performed exceedingly well against its upcoming slate of foes. Washington is a combined 9-2-0 against Ottawa, Toronto, the Carolina Hurricanes, and Montreal Canadiens, outscoring the four foes by a margin of almost 3 to 2.

In personnel news, extremely encouraging is the return of defenseman Mike Green, who skated 18 shifts for almost 15 minutes in Saturday night’s 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, his first game action in over a month and only the second full game he completed since late October.  Green’s fellow Young Gun Nicklas Backstrom remains out indefinitely with a concussion, but the return of the high-scoring blueliner adds even more punch to a defensive corps that already boasts two of the top 20 goal scorers in the NHL: Dennis Wideman (T-4th, 10 goals) and John Carlson (T-17th, 7 goals). [Read more…]

GAME 52 RE-CAP: Iron Man never breaks? Laich hurt as Caps fall 4-1 to Bruins

Brooks Laich had to be helped off the ice in second period on Jan. 5 (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The Boston Bruins, defending Stanley Cup Champions, came into Verizon Center on Super Bowl Sunday and avenged their loss to the Washington Capitals of 10 days ago.  As good teams do, they took advantage of a couple of defensive miscues by the Caps and emerged with a 4-1 win.

But the bigger story to the Caps was losing resident handyman Brooks Laich, who left the game with a left knee injury after colliding with Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg with eight minutes remaining in the second period.  Laich, one of the toughest players in the league, needed help getting off the ice and down the runway to be examined by the Caps’ training staff.  He came back out and tried to put weight on the leg during a timeout but was not able to skate. [Read more…]

GAME 51 RE-CAP: Caps make Bell Centre home away from home

The Washington Capitals have officially found someone they can beat on the road.

Tomas Vokoun stopped all 30 Montreal Canadiens shots he faced, leading the Caps to a 3-0 shut out of Les Habitants before a disgusted crowd of over 21,000 at Bell Centre in Montreal.  It’s the second time this season the Caps have shut out the Canadiens on their home ice, and third time in their last three trips to the Old Province.  The Caps are 5-0-1 in their last six trips to Montreal.

Vokoun was sharp in goal, but hardly tested by a Montreal team that’s really struggling to put goals on the scoreboard.  The Habs are 9-11-7 at home, 3-5-2 in their last 10 games, and now tied with Carolina for fewest points in the Eastern Conference. [Read more…]

Dennis Wideman on Team Chara for NHL All-Star Game

The two 2012 NHL All-Star Captains, Zdeno Chara and Daniel Alfredsson, selected their teams through a player fantasy draft again this year on Thursday night in Ottawa. Much like they probably did on playgrounds as kids and no one wants to be picked last.

Washington Capitals defenseman Dennis Wideman was selected by his former Boston Bruins teammate (2007-2010) in the 15th round out of nineteen. This is the 30 year old’s first All-Star Game.

Wideman is the only Washington Capitals representative since Alex Ovechkin decided to sit this one out after his suspension.

The All-Star skills competition is Saturday, Jan. 28 at 7:00 p.m. ET and the All-Star game is Sunday, Jan. 29 at 4:00 p.m. ET.

You can see the full draft results by round here. Dan Rosen of nhl.com predicts Team Chara will win.

Dennis Wideman selected for first All-Star game. (Stock Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Cheryl Nichols is a Columnist and Photographer for District Sports Page. She is credentialed to cover the Washington Capitals and has reported on the community service and fan events for Nats News Network and Caps News Network since 2006. Cheryl is an accomplished action photographer and has been published in The Washington Post and many other local media. She was a credentialed photographer for the 2010 season covering the Washington Nationals. You can follow her on Twitter @cnichols14.

GAME 48 RE-CAP: Hattie for Matty; Caps win without young guns

It’s awesome. You can’t describe that feeling. This is what you dream of. You dream to play in the NHL, but when you get a hat trick, it’s even better. It was just a great feeling.” –Mathieu Perreault after his first career hat trick.

While President Obama was addressing the Nation a few blocks away, the Verizon Center erupted in shock and joy as Mathieu Perreault got his first career hat trick and the Washington Capitals defeated the Boston Bruins, the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, 5-3.

Ice scattered with hats and Hat Trick graphics on scoreboard for Perreault

Earlier in the day, things looked grim to some. The last game that both Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom did not play was back on Jan. 31, 2006. Last night was the first game without all three “big stars” since they were drafted, (Ovechkin, Backstrom and Green).The Washington Capitals needed to have players step up their game. And they did indeed. [Read more…]

CAPS: Hockey ‘N Heels 2012

Hockey ‘N Heels returned to the Verizon Center for the first time since the inaugural event in 2007. Many fans that had previous attended the Hockey ‘N Heels events at Kettler were excited about the venue change, especially the opportunity to see the Caps’ locker room. Getting a chance to walk across the Verizon Center ice was a treat as well.

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Caps Locker Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

This was the second Hockey ‘N Heels during the 2011-2012 season. The first one was in November at Kettler and featured Nicklas Backstrom, Troy Brouwer, Mathieu Perreault, former Head Coach Bruce Boudreau and former Assistant Coach Bob Woods. (Re-cap and photos). After talking with several attendees, an overwhelming majority preferred the Verizon Center venue.

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center: Fans with players' sticks in Caps Equipment Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

On Monday night, Jan. 23, 2012, MIX 107.3 radio personality Chilli Amar kicked off the event with about 200 female hockey fans, close to half were first timers by a show of hands. The 6-9:15 p.m. event featured instructional lessons and on-ice demonstrations targeted towards the Capitals’ female audience. As always, this year’s event was only open to members of Club Scarlet, the Capitals’ female fan club.

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Chilli Amar and Caps Goalie Tomas Vokoun (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The evening was divided into six sessions, including two on-ice demonstrations. The two on-ice sessions featured learning how to shoot the puck with defensemen Dmitri Orlov and Dennis Wideman and teaching the ladies how to stop the puck in the net with goalie Tomas Vokoun at the other end of the ice.

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Dennis Wideman providing shooting instruction (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Caps Goalie Tomas Vokoun helping fan put on goalie glove (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Caps Defensemen Dennis Wideman and Dmitri Orlov (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The third session was a photo station, a new addition to Hockey ‘n Heels this season. Nicklas Backstrom posed for photos in November and this event featured forward Alexander Semin taking pictures with each Hockey ‘n Heels attendee. The photos will be emailed to the attendees after the event.

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Alex Semin posing for photos with fans (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The fourth session featured Caps’ strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish explaining to the ladies what fitness routines the players go through. The ladies actually performed real drills that the players do before games.

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Mark Nemish (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Ladies running through strength and conditioning drills (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The fifth session was a question and answer sit down with former Capital and Comcast SportsNet analyst Alan May (Caps assistant coach Jim Johnson was unable to attend as previously scheduled). May broke the news of Alex Ovechkin’s suspension to the ladies which prompted many questions about the suspension, hits, concussions and general play of the game.

Alan May can sure tell a story. One group was entertained by his animated tale of the scrap with Kevin “Killer” Kaminski during the Alumni Game in the fall. The one comment repeated throughout the tour (sixth session) was that there was not enough time with May. If you follow him on Twitter (and if you don’t you should), you already know that he is open, honest and funny.

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Q&A with Alan May (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The sixth session was a tour of the event floor at Verizon Center including the media room, family room, players’ lounge, visitors’ locker room, Caps locker room and equipment room. During the tour, head equipment manager Brock Myles explained the different equipment the players wear, how he arranges the locker room in order to get ready for a game, which equipment was kept at Kettler and a lot of other fun tidbits. Mike Knuble prefers Big League Chew bubble gum. The team travels with 3,500 lbs of equipment for a game. He has the inside scoop. Many ladies expressed how much they enjoyed the tour and that it was their favorite part of the event.

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Brock Myles (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center: Q&A with Brock Myles in Caps Locker Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

There were also fantastic refreshments from Taylor Gourmet and attendees got to take home a souvenir Club Scarlet tumbler. Hockey ‘N Heels was another success and the women are looking forward to the next one.

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Attendees received souvenir tumbers (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Tour Photos:

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center: Media Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center: Caps Family Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Fan testing out couch in the Caps' family room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Game goals hanging on wall (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Caps hockey sticks (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center: Caps Equipment Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center: Glove dryer in Caps equipment room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center: Blade sharpener in Caps Equipment Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center: Skate blades in Caps Equipment Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center: Containers in Caps Equipment Room including gum for Ovi and Knuble (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Additional Photos:

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Dennis Wideman explaining how to hold a hockey stick (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Fan getting goalie tips from Caps Goalie Tomas Vokoun (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Caps Goalie Tomas Vokoun helping fan put on goalie glove (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Alex Semin posed for photos with each attendee (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Nemish coaching ladies through strength and conditioning drills (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Alan May at Q&A (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Ladies in Caps Locker Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Caps Locker Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Caps Locker Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tomas Vokoun (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Dmitri Orlov (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Dennis Wideman (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Last fans leaving Verizon Center (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)


Cheryl Nichols is a Columnist and Photographer for District Sports Page. She is credentialed to cover the Washington Capitals and has reported on the community service and fan events for Nats News Network and Caps News Network since 2006. Cheryl is an accomplished action photographer and has been published in The Washington Post and many other local media. She was a credentialed photographer for the 2010 season covering the Washington Nationals. You can follow her on Twitter @cnichols14.

CAPS: Hockey ‘n Heels Update

As previously announced on DSP Beyond the Game, Hockey ‘n Heels is back for a second time this season. The November event was a success so it is no surprise that the Monday, Jan. 23 event is SOLDOUT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Details have been released for the event.

MIX 107.3 radio personality Chilli Amar will kick off the event, which runs from 6-9:15 p.m. with check-in beginning at 5:30 p.m. The annual event features instructional lessons and on-ice demonstrations targeted towards the Capitals’ female audience. Once again this year’s event was only open to members of Club Scarlet, the Capitals’ female fan club.

The evening will be divided into six sessions, with the popular on-ice demonstrations featuring instructions from Dmitry Orlov, Tomas Vokoun and Dennis Wideman. The two on-ice sessions will include the ladies learning how to shoot the puck with defensemen Orlov and Wideman, with Vokoun on the other end of the ice teaching the ladies how to stop the puck in the net.

The third session will be the picture station, a new addition to Hockey ‘n Heels this season. This event will feature Alexander Semin taking pictures with each Hockey ‘n Heels attendee. The photos will be emailed to the attendees after the event.

The fourth session will be a question and answer sit down with Caps assistant coach Jim Johnson and former Capital and Comcast SportsNet analyst Alan May. The two will discuss the rules of hockey and take questions from the group. The fifth session features Caps’ strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish explaining to the ladies what fitness routines the players go through.

The sixth session will give the ladies a tour of the Capitals locker room courtesy of head equipment manager Brock Myles. During the tour Myles will explain the different equipment the players wear and how he arranges the locker room in order to get ready for a game. Have you ever wondered what type of flavor gum Mike Knuble likes? Myles knows. He has the inside scoop for the ladies.

All sessions and players are subject to change.

WHO: Washington Capitals Dmitry Orlov, Alexander Semin, Tomas Vokoun and Dennis Wideman along with assistant coach Jim Johnson, strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish and head equipment manager Brock Myles as well as former Capital Alan May

WHAT: The annual event features instructional lessons and on-ice demonstrations targeted towards the Capitals’ female audience.

WHEN: Monday, Jan. 23, 2012 6- 9:15 p.m.

WHERE: Verizon Center, 601 F Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20004

Ovechkin and Wideman to represent Capitals as NHL All-Stars

BACKSTROM, 15th IN NHL SCORING, NOT SELECTED FOR ALL-STAR GAME

The NHL and the Washington Capitals announced today that LW Alex Ovechkin and D Dennis Wideman will represent the Caps at the 2012 NHL All-Star Celebration, to be held Jan. 26-29 at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Ont.

Ovechkin is having a down year by his standards, with 17 goals and 16 assists for the season, playing to a minus-8, but his popularity is essential to a game that will be missing star power, notably Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, still out with concussion symptoms.  This will be Ovechkin’s fifth consecutive All-Star game, tying the club record held by Peter Bondra.

Wideman, 28, will be making his first appearance at an NHL All-Star Game. The Kitchener, Ontario, native currently ranks fifth in the league among defensemen in points (29), tied for fourth in goals (8), tied for fifth in assists (21) and leads the Capitals in average ice time (24:08).

Center Nicklas Backstrom was passed over by the selection committee.  The Swedish pivot is 15th in the NHL in scoring and leads the Caps with 13 goals and 29 assists for 42 points.   Backstrom’s 29 helpers is eighth in the entire league. 

Alex Ovechkin during warmups at Verizon Center (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

 
 

Dennis Wideman selected for first All-Star game. (Stock Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

 

 

Game 40 Re-CAP–Kings 5, Caps 2: Crowned With Thorns

How soon can Nicklas return?  (photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Here’s how bad it got for the Washington Capitals Monday night at the Staples Center: Much of the last two periods was devoted to a social media guessing game regarding Capitals beat writer Mike Vogel‘s least favorite musical acts. As entertainments go, it certainly beat anything the Caps served up on the ice as they fell to the Los Angeles Kings 5-2 — their second straight loss — and ensured that they would return home from their two-game California swing empty-handed.

The game started well enough, as Marcus Johansson potted the first of his two goals 94 seconds in when he finished off a 2-on-1 break by wristing a shot past Jonathan Bernier to give Washington a 1-0 lead.  But despite their early deficit, Los Angeles had the better of the puck possession, scoring chances, and shots, and their pressure finally paid off with 8:19 left in the first period when Kyle Clifford banged a rebound past Tomas Vokoun to tie the game. [Read more…]

Game 39 Re-CAP–Sharks 5, Caps 2: Bitten Again

Tomas Vokoun allowed four goals on 38 shots Saturday night in San Jose (Stock Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

A night that began with promise ended familiarly — with the Washington Capitals losing a road game to the San Jose Sharks, as has now happened 11 times (with a single tie thrown in for good measure) since October 30, 1993.

Not content simply to have the Caps fall to a disappointing defeat, the hockey gods saw fit to throw an extra wrench into whatever optimism Washington might have been feeling entering Saturday night’s game. Mike Green, so recently returned from a prolonged absence with a groin injury, did not return to action after taking a hit from Andrew Desjardins behind Washington’s net early in the second period. In all Green could only managed 7:11 of ice time, and only nine shifts. [Read more…]

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