Posts tagged: celebrate

“Yikes and Wow”

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“Yikes and wow.” That was the text my wife sent me when told that Bruce Boudreau had been fired as the Washington Capitals head coach and was being replaced with Dale Hunter.

Something has seemed very wrong with the team for a while and even a fan without a clue like me knew that something had to change.

For whatever faults he may have as a coach, Boudreau is one of the people that got me to pony up for my first season tickets near the end of that amazing run at the end of the 2007-08 season. It was that all offense, all of the time, having fun scoring goals brand of hockey. . Early on in Washington, he said something like, “It’s okay if you give up 4 or 5 goals as long as you score 6 or 7,” didn’t he?

The day I bought those tickets for the 2008-09 season was the day that Alex Ovechkin scored his 65th goal of the season, and I happened to have a ticket for that game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The games back then were so fun to watch because it looked like the team was having fun playing the game. It was infectious. It doesn’t look like it’s been there for a while.

Does anyone remember the last time Ovechkin jumped into the glass after a goal?

Where is this team? The one that celebrated every goal scored like it was the most wonderful thing that ever happened? I miss that team.

It’s not as fun going to games and watching guys with the talent and skill the Capitals players have playing a trap, an umbrella power play that keeps a motionless puck on the perimeter when they’re not losing zone, won’t shoot and can’t score. It’s not as fun, but it’s tolerable if it brings wins. When the losses keep mounting, though, and the losses are coming in bunches with scores of 4-1, 6-3, 7-1 and so on… Losses that are enough to bring a child to tears (even if they took place last year).

But there were those far out fantastic games under Boudreau, too. I’ll miss them. I will miss him. The image I have of him, from his foul mouth in HBO’s “24/7,” to his fascination with ice cream (also from “24/7”), to his unkempt appearance, sense of humor and everything is one that I can easily identify with. I am really going to miss him. I wish him well and all the success possible…except when his future teams are play the Capitals.

So, Dale Hunter, eh? There’s a guy that knows how to unleash some fury. Let’s hope that’s infectious, too.

Some of my photos with Boudreau from this season and last:

This photo is from less than a year ago. Four of the nine guys are no longer here.

These three are from last Friday when the Capitals were getting beaten up by the New York Rangers. They tell some kind of story.


A few more photos of Bruce Boudreau behind the Capitals bench:

Mr. Ovechkin, Tear Down This (Bulin) Wall

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The Washington Capitals hosted the Edmonton Oilers last night at Verizon Center.  Wow, there are so many things that could be featured as the high point. Braden Holtby’s shutout. Jason Arnott’s 900th NHL career point, Dennis Wideman’s 200th NHL career point, Alex Ovechkin moving to third place on the Capitals all time scoring list, Eric Fehr notching two goals in his return from a 22 game absence, Marco Sturm’s first point as a Capital, the dreadful decisions of Nikolai Khabibulin that led to two of the Capitals’ goals, the Capitals sixth win in a row…feel free to stop me any time. So, just go to the regular places like Japer’s Rink and Russian Machine, and Ed Frankovic. And, of course, don’t forget the Capitals Outsider box score.

Look at my photos here or on flickr.

New Guys Make Immediate Impact

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With three newly acquired players, the Washington Capitals started strong against the New York Islanders registering 9 shots on goal in the first 7 minutes, but failed to score and only managed two more shots in the next 13 minutes. With that drop in shots, the energy just started seeping out of the building.  Eventually, it came back in the form of boos when despite the additions of Jason Arnott, Dennis Wideman, and Marco Sturm the Capitals power play was just as dismal as ever.

Still, the new guys all brought something. Sturm was robbed on a early breakaway chance. Wideman laid a nice hip check on John Tavares, and Arnott set up Brooks Laich’s game typing goal with 48 seconds left in the third.

The new players also appeared to bring some kind of change in attitude to the game. It was visible in their body language during stops in play and on the bench.  When coach Bruce Boudreau called a time out just before Laich’s goal, there was something clearly different in how the players were standing next to each other and listening to Boudreau’s instructions. It was good. Very good. And it worked.

Alex Ovechkin’s game winning overtime goal was one of the few highlight reel quality goals we’ve seen him score this year.  A couple of my photos of him celebrating…well, they’re a primary reason why I bring my camera to nearly every game.  There is something I really like about being able to catch that joy, that emotion in a moment.

Anyway, read about the game at Russian Machine, Japer’s Rink, Caps News Network and Ed Frankovic’s blog and don’t forget to check out the box score on Captials Outsider.  Look at my photos below or on flickr.

2011 Winter Classic Part 2

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My second batch of Winter Classic photos. This is the good stuff for Washington Capitals fans. There are still a few others that you may enjoy viewing and they will be added in coming days. When they’re all done, I’ll have one more post with all of them and also a “best of” that just hits the high spots. Thanks for your patience. As usual, you can see them here or on flickr.

Some other places to see Winter Classic photos are Capitals Outsider, On Frozen Blog, CapsSnaps had some great practice day photos, and some assorted fanpost photos at Japer’s Rink.

A Goal, A Kiss, A Win

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The Verizon Center in Washington, DC was filled with happy fans for the first time in about a month.  The home team Washington Capitals slowly put their foot on the gas and never let up, defeating the sliding New Jersey Devils by a score of 5-1.

Andrew Gordon was the fun story of the game. After spending a few minutes at the bench long before warm ups began, he had a smile on his face all night. Scoring his first career NHL goal on the Devils’ future Hall of Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur in the first period was well deserved for a guy that went to the net and banged it in. The follow up kiss he gave Marcus Johansson on the bench was one of the oddest hockey moments witnessed in Verizon Center in some time. but just added to the feel good nature of events.

I’m sure you can find better commentary and analysis at places like Russian Machine Never Breaks, Japer’s Rink, On Frozen Blog and the others.  I have some photos here and on flickr. Enjoy!

The Power Play Clicks and the Capitals Win

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WASHINGTON, DC – October 13, 2010: The Washington Capitals celebrate forward Nicklas Backstrom’s (#19) third period power play and eventual game winning goal during their NHL ice hockey game against the New York Islanders at Verizon Center.

Another early season weeknight game, another uninspired performance by the Washington Capitals. The power play finally came to life in the third period and they won 2-1. Imagine that.  Game recaps at Japers Rink, On Frozen Blog, and Russian Machine Never Breaks.

The power play goal was scored by a Nicklas Backstrom deflection of an Alex Ovechkin shot. After the goal, the arena’s video scoreboard was displaying a shot of Ovechkin on the bench as if he had scored, but Ovechkin pointed to Backstrom.   I accidentally took a photo of that and a bunch more.  You can see some of them below or on flickr.

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