December 21, 2014

CAPS: Current and Former Capitals Signing Autographs

AUTOGRAPH OPPORTUNITY FOR CAPS FANS!

Several current and former Washington Capitals will be heading out to the Dulles, Virginia on Friday, April 26, 2013 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Autograph tickets are available for purchase. See information below for amount per autograph. Now is your chance to get that something special signed by your favorite Caps.

Braden Holtby – ($65)
Troy Brouwer – ($40)
Jack Hillen – ($20)
Wojek Wolski – ($20)
Aaron Volpatti – ($20)
John Erskine – ($30)

CAPS ALUMNI: (Autographs are FREE with Purchase-see site)

Bryan Watson
Ken Sabourin
Paul Mulvey
Al Hangsleben

See link for more information.

Where: 21100 Dulles Town Circle, Suite #162, Dulles, VA 20166

Jack Hillen - Captials practice at Kettler, September 14, 2012 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Jack Hillen – Captials practice at Kettler, September 14, 2012 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

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.

PHOTOS: Washington Capitals Practice, March 28

Dave and I are back in DC for a visit so we went over to Kettler Iceplex on Thursday, March 28 to watch the Washington Capitals practice. The last time we saw the Caps on the ice in person was in September before the lockout. We’re looking forward to seeing a few games at Verizon Center in the next couple of weeks!

There was a scary moment when Alex Ovechkin left the ice after catching a puck with his chin. He didn’t return to practice and tweeted photos from the doctor’s office before and after the 22 stitches. Ouch.

Here are a handful of photos from practice. It was great to take hockey photos again! As always, please feel free to comment on the post. I really appreciate feedback. Thanks.

This is what hockey fans do on their spring break! - Washington Capitals practice at Kettler, 3/28/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

This is what hockey fans do on their spring break! – Washington Capitals practice at Kettler, 3/28/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

 

[Read more…]

CAPS: Happy Birthday, Wojtek Wolski

HAPPY 27th BIRTHDAY WOJTEK WOLSKI!

The Washington Capitals Forward was born on 02/24/1986 in Zabrze, Poland.

Follow Wolski on Twitter and wish #17 a happy birthday.

Wolski showing a guest the finer points of a wrist shot at Hockey 'N Heels, 1/18/2013. (photo courtesy K. Lucas)

Wolski showing a guest the finer points of a wrist shot at Hockey ‘N Heels, 1/18/2013. (photo courtesy K. Lucas)

Washington Capitals Practice Update & Audio from Oates, Ovechkin, Alzner & Wolski

ARLINGTON, VA–The Washington Capitals held another practice today as they prepare for their three game home stand starting with back-to-back home games against the New Jersey Devils tomorrow.

Mike Green (lower body) skated about thirty minutes before practice and ten minutes into practice before coming off.

“He felt pretty good,”  Capitals Head Coach Adam Oates said.  “He just didn’t want to be explosive, but he felt fine with everything else.”

Oates added that he didn’t read anything into the fact that Green left practice after ten minutes and they are preparing for the chances of him playing and not to play tomorrow.  If he can’t go, watch for Tomas Kundratek and Karl Alzner to be together again.

Marcus Johansson (upper body) skated for about thirty minutes before practice before coming off the ice before practice started and Oates had no update on him.

Brooks Laich (groin) did not skate and Oates said, “Brooks is fine. He’s just been doing treatment where they want him to stay off the ice…for strength purposes.”

Jack Hillen (upper body) practiced, but has not been cleared for contact.

The Capitals rolled their same forward lines at practice today that they’ve been doing: Wolski-Backstr0om-Brouwer, Chimera-Ribeiro-Ovechkin, Fehr-Perreault-Ward, Hendricks-Beagle-Crabb.

Braden Holtby (4-5-0, 3.68 GAA, .888 Save pct.) will start his sixth game in a row tomorrow for the Caps.

Listen here to what Adam Oates, Alex Ovechkin, Karl Alzner & Wojtek Wolski had to say following practice today.

Adam Oates Practice Audio

02-20-13 Adam Oates Practice RAW

Alex Ovechkin Practice Audio

02-20-13 Alex Ovechkin Practice RAW

Karl Alzner Practice Audio

02-20-13 Karl Alzner Practice RAW

Wojtek Wolski Practice Audio

02-20-13 Wojtek Wolski Practice RAW

Photo Gallery: Washington Capitals present Hockey ‘n’ Heels 2013

Thanks to DSP fan contributors Katie Lucas and Manda Kowalczyk, please enjoy the following photo gallery of this year’s Hockey ‘n’ Heels event the Washington Capitals hosted at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

calle jo

Caps assistant coach Calle Johansson (a defenseman) gave faceoff tips. (photo courtesy K. Lucas)

crabb and hunter

Joey Crabb and assistant coach Tim Hunter gave lessons in shooting the puck. (photo courtesy K. Lucas)

crabb

Gratutitous shot of Joey Crabb. (photo courtesy K. Lucas)

kundra and katie

Rookie Tomas Kundratek shows Katie how to pass on the backhand. (photo courtesy K. Lucas)

kundra

Tomas Kundratek, presented without comment. (photo courtesy K. Lucas)

locker

The eloquent Craig Laughlin, telling a surely riviting story. (photo courtesy K. Lucas)

wolski

Wolski showing a guest the finer points of a wrist shot. (photo courtesy K. Lucas)

manda-locker

That Locker sure is the excitable one, eh? (photo courtesy M. Kowalczyk)

manda-beagle

Jay Beagle, getting ready to pose for pictures. (photo courtesy M. Kowalcyzk)

manda-crabb

Okay, here’s another one of Crabb. (photo courtesy M. Kowalczyk)

manda-ladies in the locker

The group got a locker room tour. (photo courtesy M. Kowalczyk)

manda-hugs

Manda and friend pose with Kundratek. (photo courtesy M. Kowalczyk)

Washington Capitals Game Nine Postgame Audio: Oates, Holtby, Brouwer, Ovechkin & More

WASHINGTON–The Washington Capitals lost their sixth game of the season falling to the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3 in front of a sold out Verizon Center.

The Capitals tied it up early in the second off one of the flukiest goals you’ll ever seen, but fell apart soon afterwards.  Head Coach Adam Oates though was happy with how they played.

“I thought we played a good, solid hockey game.”

Oates also said he thought captain Alex Ovechkin played his best game of the season.  The players disagreed with Oates’ assessment that they are playing well.

“We’ve got guys trying to do too much right now,”  veteran Troy Brouwer said.  “Because of the situation that we’re in, everyone wants to win it for themselves.”

Capitals goalie Braden Holtby stopped 20-of-26 shots and he thinks the problem is more of what’s happening in their heads then on the ice.

“I think the biggest thing is just our mental game isn’t strong enough.”

Capitals forward Wojtek Wolski says they need to just start burying some pucks when they get some chances.

“We get a lot of chances and create a lot of offense but we need to just put the puck in the net. That’s the biggest thing. When we do get those opportunities, there are chances to change the game, change the momentum, we haven’t capitalized.”

The Caps have a chance to get back on track against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Verizon Center on Tuesday.

Listen here to what Adam Oates, Braden Holtby, Troy Brouwer, Alex Ovechkin, Mike Ribeiro & Wojtek Wolski had to say following the loss.

Adam Oates Postgame Audio

02-03-13 Adam Oates Postgame RAW

Braden Holtby Postgame Audio

02-03-13 Braden Holtby Postgame RAW

Troy Brouwer Postgame Audio

02-03-13 Troy Brouwer Postgame RAW

Alex Ovechkin Postgame Audio

02-03-13 Alex Ovechkin Postgame RAW

Mike Ribeiro Postgame Audio

02-03-13 Mike Ribeiro Postgame RAW

Wojtek Wolski Postgame Audio

02-03-13 Wojtek Wolski Postgame RAW

Washington Capitals Game 8 Postgame Audio: Oates, Holtby, Brouwer & More

WASHINGTON–The Washington Capitals won their second game of the season as they beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 at Verizon Center.  Alex Ovechkin led the team with seven shots on goal. Even though he didn’t register a point, head coach Adam Oates was very happy with his play.

“I thought it was the best game he’s played this year, quite honestly. He was involved in the whole game.”

It was goalie Braden Holtby’s first game since January 22nd and he could tell the difference between the Caps in front of him then and the Caps in front of him now.

“It was a huge difference from when I last played,”  Holtby said.

Holtby had 29 stops on the way to his first victory of the season.

“It was really big,”  Nicklas Backstrom said on the team’s win tonight.  “We had a tough road trip. We played well against Ottawa and we had a lead there in the third period-same thing in Toronto. So, we really needed this one. Especially in the position that we are in, we need the points.”

The Caps don’t have time to celebrate as they have a huge game on Sunday against the rival Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday.

Listen here to what Adam Oates, Braden Holtby, Troy Brouwer, Nicklas Backstrom & Wojtek Wolski had to say following the win tonight.

Adam Oates Postgame Audio

02-01-13 Adam Oates Postgame RAW

Braden Holtby Postgame Audio

02-01-13 Braden Holtby Postgame RAW

Troy Brouwer Postgame Audio

02-01-13 Troy Brouwer Postgame RAW

Nicklas Backstrom Postgame Audio

02-01-13 Nicklas Backstrom Postgame RAW

Wojtek Wolski Postgame Audio

02-01-13 Wojtek Wolski Postgame RAW

 

Washington Capitals Game 8 Recap: Caps score twice in third to beat Flyers and gain second win

“It was really big. We had a tough road trip. We played well against Ottawa and we had a lead there in the third period –  same thing in Toronto. So, we really needed this one. Especially in the position that we are in, we need the points.” — Nicklas Backstrom

The Washington Capitals aren’t used to measuring success in baby steps, but with a disappointing start to the ’12-’13 campaign they’ll take good news where and when they can. Friday night at Verizon Center, the Caps didn’t play a perfect game and for stretches had the play dictated to them by a team struggling as much as they have thus far. But third period goals by Troy Brouwer and Wojtek Wolski and solid goaltending by Braden Holtby delivered a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers and leapfrogged the Caps over the Flyers and out of the basement of the Eastern Conference.

The Caps got out to a fast start, outshooting the Flyers 10-2 at one point in the first period. Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov though was up to the task in the frame and made a particularly good save on an Ovechkin backhand attempt. An otherwise uneventful period came to an ugly end though.

Late in the period, defenseman John Erskine pinched in at the point in an attempt to keep the puck in the offensive zone and came together with Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds. Erksine got his right elbow up as the two big men collided and landed it with force on Simmonds’ head, sending the forward to the ice, bleeding. There was no penalty called on the play, but it’s the type of hit the league is trying to cut down on and could very well result in a fine and/or suspension for the Caps rugged defenseman.

Incensed with the lack of penalty, the Flyers retaliated. As the teams lined up for the resultant faceoff, Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo and Matt Hendricks dropped the gloves, with Hendricks taking the brunt of the damage. Since the fight came before the puck had dropped, both skaters took game misconduct penalties to go along with their five minutes for fighting.

Both teams got on the board in the second, with the Flyers striking first. A breakdown behind the Braden Holtby (29 saves) drew both Karl Alzner and Mike Green to Holtby’s left behind the cage. When the puck squirted loose to the top of the crease, Bruno Gervais all alone there to bump the puck into the open net.

With 2:18 left in the frame, John Carlson sprung Nick Backstrom on a breakaway courtesy of a lousy line change by the Flyers. Backstrom took his time, switched to his backhand and beat Bryzgalov cleanly for his first tally of the season. The Flyers then took a too-many-men penalty and a cross-check in succession, leading to a 1:12 power play to start the third period.

The Caps weren’t successful on the 5-on-3 unfortunately, but did carry the momentum for much of the period, unlike their road trip through Quebec when they lost third period leads to Ottawa and Toronto. Two minutes after the Caps power play ended, Nick Backstrom won a battle for a loose puck in the offensive zone and found Mike Green at the point. Green sent a cross-ice pass to Troy Brouwer at the bottom of the left wing faceoff circle. Brouwer — with time and space — settled the puck, picked his spot, and beat Bryzgalov over the goalie’s right shoulder to put the Caps ahead 2-1.

The Caps weren’t done scoring though. The Flyers won a neutral zone faceoff, but defenseman Luke Schenn couldn’t find the handle on the puck. While he fumbled with it at his own blue line, Wojtek Wolski poke-checked the puck between Schenn’s legs, corralled it on the other side of the flat-footed defenseman, and send a backhand shot past Bryzgalov, who probably would like to have the shot back.

Nothing has come easy for the Caps this season and almost predictably the Flyers cut the lead back to one a few moments later. Matt Read blasted a shot from the point off two posts and the puck came out right to Brayden Schenn, who pushed the puck into a gaping goal, making the Caps lead a tenuous 3-2.

But unlike previous third period collapses, the Caps held on this time, even withstanding over a minute of 6-on-5 after the Flyers pulled Bryzgalov for the extra skater as time would down.

A 2-5-1 start is nothing to celebrate, but the win over the Flyers Friday night should give the Caps some confidence heading into a Super Bowl Sunday matchup against another hated rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins.

DSP’s THREE STARS

3. Braden Holtby. Was solid all around. Didn’t overplay any pucks into trouble, controlled his rebounds.
2. John Carlson. He’s had a rough start to his campaign, but sprung Backstrom with breakout pass and blocked five shots.
1. Nick Backstrom. Goal and an assist, plus-2. Active in the play. Finally shades of the real Nick Backstrom.

Washington Capitals Morning Skate Update & Audio for Jan. 24: Perreault “didn’t ask for trade”

Audio by Sky Kerstein

Froward Mathieu Perreault caused a little bit of a firestorm around Washington Capitals practice after it was revealed he expressed frustration about his playing time in two separate French-language newspapers following the Caps 4-2 loss to Winnipeg Tuesday night.

From RMNB:

“Whomever the coach is, every year it is the same story, and the GM doesn’t seem willing to change anything,” Perreault told Godin as translated by friend-of-the-blog Lindsey Novak. “Trade me if I am not part of your plans.”

Thursday morning Perreault had to explain his remarks to the local media. While he backtracked from his most provocative statements, he reiterated that he isn’t happy about his playing time, a total of 3:52 at Tampa Bay and 4:58 against Winnipeg. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 1 Recap: Caps Disappoint in Uneven 6-3 Season-Opening Loss to Tampa Bay

After an extra four months of waiting thanks to the NHL lockout, the Washington Capitals took the ice for their 2012-13 season opener Saturday night in Tampa against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Any high expectations for the Caps this campaign were blunted after a tepid 6-3 loss that revealed a team not quite ready for games that count in the standings.

Rookie netminder Braden Holtby allowed six goals on 34 shots, including two goals on the first two shots he faced.

Joel Ward potted Washington’s first two goals of the season, and newcomers Wojtek Wolski and Mike Ribeiro added a goal and an assist and an assist, respectively. Unfortunately for the Caps, those three players were the extent of the list  of Washington players who can feel good about Saturday’s performance.

Tom Poti, Jason Chimera, John Carlson, and Roman Hamrlik all also finished with one assist a piece.

Particularly disappointing was Holtby, who was lights out during last season’s playoff run. One line of thinking was that Holtby, one of two NHL starting netminders who played in the American Hockey League during the lockout, would benefit from facing significant North American competition before the season started. That notion fizzled out at some point during the third period, in which the Lightning turned a 3-3 tie into a 6-3 lead on the strength of goals by Martin St. Louis, Cory Conacher, and Eric Brewer.

Brewer, a stay-at-home defenseman who tallied all of two goals over the course of the past two season, sent two pucks past Holtby in the season opener. His first goal, along with several others by the Lightning, was the beneficiary of poor defensive zone play by the Caps. In fact, the first five of Tampa Bay’s six goals came as a result of a Washington positional breakdown.

For the first two periods of the game both teams traded goals to get to 3-3. Brewer’s shot from the right point that slipped past Holtby sliding to the weak side was answered by Ward’s first goal, a tip-in from the slot. That strike was set up by a shot from Tom Poti, the long-time Caps defender who hasn’t played in an NHL game since January 2011.

Ward’s first goal was a power play strike, and his second goal came on a delayed penalty call early in the second period. That one was a result of a great deal of luck, as Ward’s shot from the top of the crease bounced off Lightning goalie Anders Lindback’s pads, hit the toe of Ward’s left skate, and slid back between Lindback’s legs into the net.

By the time Ward potted his second goal the Lightning had already struck twice, with captain Vincent Lecavalier knocking a puck into a vacated net after a defensive-zone scramble by the Caps left Holtby flat on his back at the bottom of the right faceoff dot and defenseman Jack Hillen sprawled in the crease attempting to block the shot. Lecavalier and Hillen would meet again later in the game, when a strong check by Lecavalier along the goal line caught Hillen off guard and sent the defender sprawling into the boards awkwardly. Hillen left the game with an apparent shoulder injury and did not return.

The play that sent Hillen out of the game was not penalized, but Saturday night’s tilt was a penalty-filled evening, with 13 minor penalties spread between the two teams. Washington opened the game with three power plays in the first seven minutes of the first period, but while the Caps only recorded Ward’s lone power play goal on four attempts, plus the goal on a delayed call, the Lightning feasted on the man advantage with three goals on seven power plays.

At one point both teams had a man in the box as Lightning defenseman Sami Salo was called for holding on the same play Alex Ovechkin was nailed for embellishment. Taking advantage of the open ice during the four-on-four session, Wolski scored his first goal in a Capitals uniform thanks to Ribeiro’s first point as a Cap. The play was started by Hamrlik, who spotted a sloppy Lightning breakout attempt from the defensive zone and deflected the attempted clearing pass. Ribeiro swooped on the loose puck, stickhandled between two Tampa Bay defenders, and whipped a high shot that caught Lindback off guard and left a juicy rebound for Wolski to pounce on in the slot with less than two minutes to play in the second period.

In battling for the loose puck Wolski outmuscled diminutive Lightning forward Martin St. Louis, but the veteran would have his revenge early in the third fame when he one-timed a bump pass from Steven Stamkos over Holtby’s shoulder on a five-on-three advantage. St. Louis was one of six Lightning players, along with Brewer, Lecavalier, Stamkos, Teddy Purcell, and rookie Cory Conacher, to record a multi-point game.

Conacher, a former AHL MVP, put the stops to any Washington hopes for a comeback when his first career NHL goal made the score 5-3 with seven minutes to play in the game. Poti was caught pinching in the neutral zone in an attempt to generate offense and Conacher finished a slick pass from Purcell on the ensuing 3-on-1 with Alzner as the lone defender back.

With the disappointing loss at the forefront of their minds, the Capitals will now have to wait until Tuesday evening and their home opener against the Winnipeg Jets to purge Saturday night from their memories. The shortened 48-game seasons means every game and every point is at a premium, and if the Caps want to sniff the postseason they will have to put forth a much stronger effort on a regular basis.

%d bloggers like this: