The Washington Capitals beat the Philadelphia Flyers last night and gave the fans something to cheer about in their 3-2 victory. I thought this photo captured it kind of nicely. Ted Leonsis thought the crowd was loud and pointed everyone to Japers’ Rink to read all about it in the clips. That’s cool because that’s where I would point you to if you wanted to see 42 more of my photos from the game. (They’re also on flickr if you’re into that.)
It Was Holtby’s Show
The Washington Capitals bounced back last night to even their series against the Boston Bruins at two games a piece on the back of a 44 save performance by goaltender Braden Holtby. It was kinda like, “Wow,” from the 400s. Ah, yes, the 400sâ€¦where it takes a dozen Verizon Center security guys to bounce a couple drunk looking for trouble. These were not the asshats from Monday night, just garden variety drunks in a bad mood looking for a bad time.
Like always, there are better places to read about the game like Japer’s Rink, Russian Machine, District Sports Page, On Frozen Blog and Ed Frankovicâ€¦and I am still a very happy camper because Capitals Outsider is still doing box scores.
See my photos below or on flickr and thanks for stopping by again!
Bringing the Hate From Boston, Assachusetts
Every so often, you have to be reminded of what you hate and why. Last night, it was time for me to remember why I hate Boston. It really had nothing to do with the Bruins. In fact, there are two cool things about the whole state of Assachusetts. One is that I met my wife there and the other are the Bruins (but the latter may just be relative). See, for a short period after high school, I lived in Boston. Allston to be exact. At the time, it was a weird mix of over-privileged college students and immigrants. I’m not sure what it’s like today since I haven’t been back in over 20 years, although I have been back to the state (which also reminded me of a number of reasons why I hated it so much). Anywayâ€¦
What got me back into so much hate were the three Boston, Assachusetts loving asshats that sat in front of us. I’m all for good natured chirping yelling and chirping between fans. It’s fun and it adds something for everyone. These three, though, were nothing of the sort. Two boys and a girl. I won’t call them men and a woman, because that ain’t how they behaved. Before they were seated, the girl was flipping everyone off and every other word out of her mouth was what that gesture says with a finger. They were intent on going out of their way to ruin everyone’s time around them and took offense at being called on it. While it never seemed like things would escalate beyond name calling between them and the people around me, a talking to from Verizon Center staff telling them to behave or get tossed finally settled them down in the third period.
In four years of holding Capitals season tickets, I don’t remember anything else quite like this. There wasn’t anything that terrible about it.Â Their presence and behavior just made everything else not fun. Besides the lecture, the only other things that shut them up at all were Capitals goals and when the girl overheard me telling one of my friends that my fear as the parent of girls was that they might turn out like her. She looked at me then, looked sad, and turned away and was quiet and nearly motionless for about 10 minutes.
So, I couldn’t really see a lot of the game through their heads, arms, phones, hats, and such. Little glimpses here and there. What I could see looked like it might have been a game.Â So, I’ve read about it on Japer’s Rink, Russian Machine, Ed Frankovic. Luckily, there’s also the handy dandy box score from Capitals Outsider, too. My photos are below and on flickr.
Did That Really Happen?
Before the Washington Capitals hosted the Buffalo Sabres at Verizon Center last night, former Capitals Peter Bondra answered questions from Capitals season ticket holders in a “chalk talk” session. It was pretty lightweight, but enjoyable, which was good, because for Caps fans, everything went downhill after that in a 5-1 beat down from Buffalo.
Braden Holtby gave up 3 goals on 18 shots. In a follow up to his excellent defensive play while on a power play Sunday night, Alex Ovechkin coughed up the puck leading to a Sabres shorthanded goal.Â Bah. Everyone was talking about how this game was going to be like a game seven in the playoffs. Sadly, they seemed to follow the model of the Eastern Conference Semis game seven in 2009 against the Penguins.
The added salt in the wound heartbreaker of the night was seeing a flag flying (literally) Sabres fan occupying the seat of Capitals super fan, Elliot Segal from DC101’s “Elliot in the Morning” radio show.
I made my own mistakes, too. I kept accidentally changing (and not noticing for a while) a camera setting that led some serious overexposure. Like the Capitals, I’ll hang my mistakes out in public for everyone to see. Except maybe some of these might be kind of cool.
If you want to read about the game (do you really want to?), try the regular places like Japer’s Rink, Russian Machine, Ed Frankovic, District Sports Page and On Frozen Blog.
My photos (overexposed and all) are below and on flickr.
How Fast Does a Red Rally Balloon Deflate?
The Washington Capitals went up 2-0 against the Carolina Hurricanes, gave up 2, then another in the third. They kept fighting hard and Brooks Laich got that third goal back. A few minutes later it was overtime. Just over three and a half minutes in, after a couple quality chances for the Capitals, after 49 total shots for the Capitalsâ€¦the Hurricanes scored. And just like that, the air went out of the Red Rally Balloon. Remember that thing? Yeah, no one else does, either.
When Justin Faulk score that goal in overtime, Verizon Center just went just dead quiet. Not a stunned silence, just dead. Gone.
There’s not much else to say. It all speaks for itself. Still, there’s some good commentary at Russian Machine, Japer’s Rink, Ed Frankovic and District Sports Page. Sick Unbelievable has a little bit about the future not looking all that bad if you need some cheering up. Once again, I think I got a few decent photos that you can see below or on flickr. I’d trade them for a win. Bah.
Brouwer Brings It and Ovie Rolls Out More Magic
Before last night’s game I realized that the warmup music they were playing was what they used to play back in the go-go days 2009. Through Twitter, Jordan Greenberg (the guy that plays the music), told me they’ve been playing it all along. If this is true, I must be getting older and forgetting stuff. Hope I remember that can be a useful skill.
The game itself against the New York Islanders went through a number of phases. The phase where the Capitals were pretty much dominating, winning every battle for every puck, getting off lots of shots and giving up almost none, yet managing to end the period not he wrong end of of an 0-1 score. Second period was kind of the sameâ€¦still winning almost all the battles, but it took eight minutes or so for the Capitals to register their first shot of the period. Um. In the third period, it felt a little bit like the game in Carolina last week.
Then the Islanders went up by another goal. A few more minutes passed and some fans started heading for the exits when Matt Hendricks took a penalty with about 7 minutes left. After that, though, the earth spun backwards and everything was right again. Troy Brouwer scored twice in the final few minutes to tie the game at two and I saw something I hadn’t seen at Verizon Center in quite a whileâ€¦The fans didn’t sit back down after Brouwer’s first goal. The ones that were left. Or, at least, a bunch of them.
Overtime. Does anyone remember a game a year ago almost to the day? When Alex Ovechkin just couldn’t pretend he’s not a total, bitchin’ rock star from Mars and rolled out the magic in overtime against the Islanders? Well, it was kinda like that, but different. The result was right.
To read more better stuff, check out On Frozen Blog, Ed Frankovic, Japer’s Rink, Russian Machine, Capitals Outsider and District Sports Page.
You can see my photos below and on flickr, but I highly recommend Tom Turk’s photos, too. Really great stuff! Russian Machine has a nice little collection worth looking at as well.
What Happens When Watching Is Not Winning
Alex Ovechkin broke his stick at the end of warm ups. When I heard and saw it, my first thought was of Slapshot falling at center ice just before the game against the Flyers in December, which happened to be the last game the Washington Capitals lost at Verizon Center. I hoped I was just doing the silly fan thing of drawing connections where they don’t exist (if not being more irrational), but that’s kind of the way the game went.
The Capitals played poorly and lost to the New York Islanders. It wasn’t like they were phoning it in (like some of the final games of the Bruce Boudreau era), but more like they just plain forgot how to play at the NHL level. Bad passes, a bit too much watching instead of doing, and when doing, everyone doing something different. Oh, well. It’s hard to get mad as a fan over this one.
The Russian Machine, Japer’s Rink and District Sports Page recaps are the regular good quality recaps that you expect form them, but On Frozen Blog focused on Karl Alzner in a good way and Ed Frankovic takes a look at the coach, Dale Hunter.Â All good stuff.
My photos are below and on flickr.
Friday The 13th of Firsts
Years from now, when I talk to my daughter about last night’s game, we won’t remember that it was a critical Washington Capitals victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. We won’t remember the near epic collapse that had some striking similarity to the time when the Capitals gave up a 4-1 lead to the Toronto Maple Leafs little more than a year ago.
I’m not sure what we will rememberâ€¦.
It could be Karl Azlner’s first fight in the NHL. Or maybe it will be Troy Brouwer’s first hat trick in the NHL. There is an outside chance that we will remember that we sat next two friends of mine by pure happenstance for one period. But, if I really had to guess, it will probably be that she dropped her iPod, a gift from her grandparents,Â down a flight of concrete stairs in Verizon Center. And that it didn’t break, crack, or suffer any other meaningful damage. Instead, it suffered just a tiny dent in a corner that may have already been there for some time.
Anyway, read about the game at Russian Machine, Japer’s Rink, Ed Frankovic, and District Sport Page. Look at my photos here and on flickr.Â Thanks!
The Smiles Showed Through
It was brutal, it was punchy, it was smily, it was like old times. But, was it really like old times, or was it more like new times where the Washington Capitals show their fans glimpses of the good old days of late last decade before falling back into all the bad habits again? I don’t know, but I’m sure you can guess which one I’d like to think it is.
What I do know is that I didn’t a single half decent photo of the Jason Chimera’s fight with Mike Weber and the photos I got of Troy Brouwer’s fight with Christian Ehrhoff were not the greatest either.
I also know I got some nice photos of the Caps showing something they haven’t been showing much of in Verizon Center for a long timeâ€¦joy. From Alex Ovechkin’s nearly classic post goal posing with huge smiles to Troy Brouwer skating back to the bench with an ear to ear grin after his fight, the Capitals looked like they were having fun on the ice last night against the Buffalo Sabres. It was good to see. It’s always more fun taking photos of that kind of stuff.
Bet you can guess what I’m gong to say nextâ€¦yup. For more details on the game instead of mindless babble, read the write ups at Russian Machine, Ed Frankovic, Japer’s Rink and District Sports Page. Look at my photos below or on flickr.
Hendy’s Happy For Vokoun’s Victory
I would be lying if I tried to say that I wasn’t holding out a little bit of hope that someone on the Washington Capitals would make former Capitals Matt Bradley bleed, preferably by Alexander Semin going all bongos on him. And I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.Â Instead Semin scored like he just didn’t care in the Capitals 3-0 victory and Panthers fans everywhere were left thinking #NeedsMoreBradley. You know what? It’s probably better that it worked out that way.Â But, you know what? I still want to see Bradley bleed a little bit at Verizon Center. And so do you.
It was also the return of former Capital Tomas Fleischmann who was traded to the Colorado Avalanche last season and signed with the Panthers an unrestricted free agent over the summer. We were treated to vintage Flash, complete without the closing sizzle. I have personally always wanted to see him do well and hope he does soâ€¦against other teams, not the Capitals.
And Jose Theodore returned as well, but he sat on the bench. :yawn:
Of course, it was the first time goalie Tomas Vokoun faced the Panthers since leaving them for the Capitals in the off season. Shutting them out must have felt nice.
It was probably the most complete game the Capitals have played this season. But you don’t come here to read my thoughts about things like that. You go to places like District Sports Page (and their photos), The Peerless, Russian Machine, Japer’s Rink, and Ed Frankovic.
You come here to see photos from the games and that’s what I’ve got below and on flickr. Hope you enjoy!