Thursday, April 29, 2010

Why I love the Caps.

Read this story by Dan Steinberg from his Sports Bog: Brooks Laich Changes A Tire

A Mother and daughter were going home after game seven when they experience a flat tire. Imagine waiting at the side of the road at night for AAA to arrive. My car breaking down in early October during the AM rush hour is nothing compared to a late night break down. At least I could see traffic and all that was going on around me.

So who pulls over to the side of the road to assist them? Brooks Laich of the Caps.

Class act. Makes you forget about the disappointing ending to the Caps season.

Brooks Laich: Standing tall on the ice and off ice.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Caps Game 7: Another Kick in the Teeth Defeat

That's about the only way to describe this year's Caps exit from the playoffs.
Trailing 3 games to 1, the Montreal Canadiens complete the comeback as they win game 7 at Verizon Center 2-1 and the series 4 games to 3.

So here was my game 7 experience. I was behind the goal during warm ups and the top of section 409 for the game with my friends. The voice is gone, my hands hurt from banging on the iron HVAC plate in the back of my seat and yeah, the disappointment will be around awhile as us Caps fans had visions of a Stanley Cup Championship.

I'm a little numb to get into any kind of a game recap. There are several excellent hockey blogs to the left of this site you can click on and read about what went wrong and what needs to be done during the off season. Before leaving the building tonight I was making plans to attend a training camp session or two with friends in September. I'll definitely bring Benjamin there to see them practice and train.

So in putting a wrap on this Caps season, no matter how many gut wrenching defeats this franchise experiences I guess my fondness for this team just continues to grow. Dad got me into it during the 8-67-5 expansion year in '74-'75 and I have Benjamin, age four and a half to experience this with. He really got into following the team this year. One day we'll see the Stanley Cup hoisted by Alex Ovechkin and the rest of the Caps. I'm still believing.

This year is all over now but a new beginning awaits in September. Let's go Caps!!!

Here are the pics I took. Enjoy!

So close!

Defenseman Karl Alzner, a future superstar, in his first playoff game for the Caps.

Caps applying pressure.

Canadiens everywhere helping their goalie Jaroslav Halak out. Look at how he's protecting the goal.

Lift the puck up!!!! Frustration.

It's all over.

Always the classiest way to end a greuling playoff series. You bash each other around for seven games, do whatever it takes to stop the opponent, do whatever it takes to get a goal and any advantage and in the end, you shake hands when it is over. One team moves ahead, the other ponders what went wrong.

Monday, April 26, 2010

There Will Be A Game 7 In DC

The Caps could not finish off the Montreal Canadiens for the second straight game, losing game six 4-1 in Montreal. Now for the fourth straight playoff series under Head Coach Bruce Boudreau there will be a 7th game at Verizon Center Wednesday night.

Here it is for the Washington Capitals:

Win and the Philadelphia Flyers are the second round opponent for the Caps.

Lose and the Caps will blow a 3 games to 1 series lead for the fourth time in franchise history.

Nothing much left to say. I'm there Wednesday night with my camera. I hope I get lots of great pics and lose my voice in the process. Let's Go Caps!!!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Caps-Canadiens: Game 5

Got to Verizon Center very early and had a front row seat during warm ups. Those guys skate fast and I was scrambling around trying to get some shots of Defenseman John Carlson, a rising star and Alex Ovechkin, Benjamin's favorite player. Enjoy!

Nothing like the Good Ol' Hockey Game

Alex Ovechkin stretching

Varly during warm ups

Caps Defenseman John Carlson

Alex Ovechkin

Pre-game festivites from Section 409.
I really want to see the Caps win the Stanley Cup.

Game action

This shot by the Canadiens Andrei Markov hit the cross bar.

More Caps action

Alex Ovechkin scores the Caps only goal of the night.
Caps suffer a 2-1 loss to the Canadiens.

More pressure by the Caps.

Tough loss for the Caps tonight. They still lead the best of seven series, three games to two with game six in Montreal Monday night. Yep, three days of agony awaits. I was telling my friend Paul I hope I don't see him Wednesday night for a game seven. I think the Caps get it together and wrap it up in Montreal. Believe and Let's go Caps!

Washington Post game story here.

Coach Boudreau after the loss in Capitals Insider

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Caps-Canadiens: Game Two Pictures From The Top Row

Went to an incredible playoff game last night. As readers who tune into this place on a regular basis know, I'm a 35 year Caps fan. This year has been great for the team. They won their third straight division title and clinched their first President's Trophy with the NHL's best record. Nice regular season accomplishments but the main goal is the Stanley Cup, which the Capitals have never won.

So the Caps lost their playoff opener in overtime and were facing a must win at home for game two. I was in the top row of section 409 and the atmosphere was electric.

However, the Caps did not get off to a good start and were down 2-0. There was a goalie change. Caps got a goal but the Canadiens got two more and it was 4-1 Montreal.

But the Caps rallied back and tied the game at 4. Montreal re-took the lead 5-4 with five minutes left but the never say die Caps tied it up at five with 1:21 left in the game.

Overtime. I told my friend Paul I felt good about the Caps chances. Over the years going back to the Caps 1998 Cup Finals run, I'd sat with him for a few playoff games and the Caps had never lost. Plus another friend of mine, Mike C was sitting two rows in front of me. He and I were at the Caps greatest playoff comeback, down 3-0 to the Flyers in game 7 of the 1988 Patrick Division semifinals. Caps won that in OT on Dale Hunter's classic goal.

I told Paul the Caps were winning this and I said they would take care of business in under two minutes.

Sure enough, Nicklas Backstrom made me look good and 18,500 plus fans happy with his third goal of the game just :31 into the OT. Caps win 6-5. Series tied 1-1 headed to Montreal.

Guess who has Paul's extra ticket to game five next Friday...

Enjoy the pictures from game two. I had fun taking them.

I got to Verizon Center early. Caps management and game day staff let folks take pictures during warm ups, so I took advantage of that.

I got goosebumps looking at the playoff logo on the ice. I'm still a little kid following this team. I still get excited going to Caps games at age 48 the same way I did when I was 12.

Comcast Sportsnet's Smokin' Al Koken, who has been a DC sports fixture for over thirty years.

Mike Knuble

Jeff Schultz

Nicklas Backstrom

Montreal's Scott Gomez

Jeff Schultz

Semyon Varlamov, who would come up big for the Caps in this game

The view from the last row of Section 409

Game on!

Caps ready for the draw

Alex Ovechkin

Canadiens on the move

Caps attack the goal

Goal Caps!

Caps Defenseman Tom Poti and Canadiens Scott Gomez fight. Key moment for the Caps as this pumped them up and got them back in the game.

Goal Caps!

Ovie getting knocked around

Caps John Carlson ties the game at 5 with 1:21 left in the third period

Mike C anxious for the OT to start. For the record that's a home Dale Hunter jersey with the A on the front, before Hunter became Captain of the Caps. He's had that jersey for a number of years.

Caps Game winning goal! I was pleased I got this shot as the house was rocking hard when the overtime started. Then it erupted after the goal, thus the blur. Still, I was very happy I got this.

Celebration of Nicklas Backstrom's hat trick!


#1 Star of the Game Nicklas Backstrom

A link to the Washington Post game story.