Category Archives: Capitals/NHL

Kids won at Verizon Center this weekend, Wizards and Capitals did not

Verizon Center experienced two RAIN DELAYS on Saturday night as a leaky roof dripped water on the court during a Washington Wizards vs. Houston Rockets game. During one of them, Rockets center Dwight Howard played one-on-one with a kid from the stands:

I remembered the kid getting a layup through. The Wiz lost 107-114.

Sunday, another boy, Braden Nienaber, got to do a ceremonial faceoff before the Washington Capitals game with Alex Ovechkin and Buffalo Sabres center Steve Ott.

Sending the visiting player out of the faceoff was the highlight of the game. Naturally, the Caps went to a shootout, but lost 2-1. I hope Sabres goalie Ryan Miller plays like that in the Olympics for the US team.

As for the hole in the roof, I blame The Post‘s Nationals beat writer Adam Kilgore:

He related it back to his beat as well:

His lede on the gamer was also strong:

Verizon Center had shown uncommon rudeness toward the Washington Wizards all season, but at least it had the decency not to spit on them. It’s one thing for the Wizards to rarely win at home relative to the rest of the league. It’s another for the building to turn against its tenants.

From Washington Wizards lose to Houston Rockets under leaky Verizon Center roof

Well played, Kilgore, well played.

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Capitals Brand Thunder browser theme no longer has former players

Earlier this month I noted that the Washington Capitals Brand Thunder browser theme had two former players, Tomas Vokoun and Alexander Semin on it:

capitals-browser-theme

Brand Thunder even got back to me on it:

As of this morning, Brand Thunder has updated the browser theme which no longer has the former players or any players in the new tab window:

caps-new-browser-theme2

There is still an issue though:

caps-new-browser-theme1

The tiles of Alex Ovechkin make the tabs and bookmarks toolbar hard to read. Previously, that area had a “Weagle” to the left of the menus and a red background. It was sharp and legible. I’ll let Brand Thunder know, they were pretty responsive last time.

MORE FEEDBACK

They fixed it!

caps-new-browser-theme3

That was a pretty quick turnaround time by Brand Thunder. Looking good…

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Verizon Center now serves DC Brau & Port City beers


Good news for local beer lovers, Verizon Center, home of the Washington Capitals, Wizards and Mystics now serves two local brews, Port City and DC Brau. They haven’t even put out press releases yet. It looks like Port City’s Downright Pilsner and DC Brau’s Citizen (Beglian Style Pale Ale) and Corruption (IPA) are what’s currently available.

I’ve heard the taps as being located behind section 114 or 115. It’s somewhere over there. I have to go see it for myself. This team with “no weaknesses” is 1-3 after last night’s 3-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, so the secondary market should be getting pretty cheap.

Thanks to Frank Chang (@chanuck) for answering some of my questions and Jeff Lucas @jephilip for allowing use of the top photo.

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Leonsis can’t commit to 2015 Winter Classic being in D.C.

A few weeks ago, after the Washington Capitals were awarded the 2015 Winter Classic that “…if Leonsis is true to his double bottom line ethos he will publicly eliminate the possibility of a Baltimore Winter Classic for his WASHINGTON CAPITALS, even before a site is selected. The NHL needs to go along with this as well.”

With the Caps owner Ted Leonsis on WTOP this morning, I tweeted a question:

Leonsis noted he doesn’t have the final say, but he can influence it. He also mentioned Nationals Park and Downtown DC by name:

I think that’s a fair question and I wish I could commit. There are two teams that play in it, we would be the host city, and I have some input but the league makes the decisions. I certainly would love to have the game played in D.C., Nats park would be a great venue. but the league will canvass, reach out, look at all the options and do the research — there’s a lot that goes into this

Here is his full response to my question.

I’m annoyed that this was announced before a venue was selected. Here’s my suggestion for Leonsis and influence — make sure it is at Nationals Park, RFK Stadium or FedEx Field or tell the NHL you aren’t interested.

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WASHINGTON CAPITALS 5 Calgary Flames 4 (SO)

GOOD:
Alex Ovechkin, 2 goals, 1 assist, shootout goal
Connor Carrick, 1 first NHL goal
Nicklas Bäckström with the equalizer in the 3rd
Michal Neuvirth bailing out Holtby
Not making a big deal about the final Southeast Division title banner

BAD:

Braden Holtby, 3 goals allowed in 1st period
Jack Hillen out for a while with a lower body injury
The security lines to get in

MEH:

The Caps browser theme showing Tomáš Vokoun and Alexander Semin

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Capitals’ Brand Thunder browser theme features Tomas Vokoun and Alexander Semin

The MLB regular season ended on Sunday and the NHL regular season began on Tuesday, so I switched my browser theme from the Washington Nationals to Washington Capitals. After opening a new tab, I noticed something about the Caps theme, created by Brand Thunder:

capitals-browser-theme

Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Bäckström and Mike Green make plenty of sense, but Tomáš Vokoun (get well) and Alexander Semin? Neither of them are on this year’s team. Neither of them were on last year‘s team.

vokoun-semin-capitals-2013-wallpaper

Also, Ovechkin’s sweater is tucked into the back, he could get a penalty for that so they better fix that too.

So much for a team with no weaknesses:

The Caps aren’t the only team with an outdated Brand Thunder theme — the Calgary Flames have some players that shouldn’t still be on there either:

calgary-flames-wallpaper

As of this posting, Flames fans get to console themselves with 3-1 lead in the second over the Caps. Braden Holtby has already been pulled by the Caps. The Flames lead is now 4-2.

UPDATE: Hey, the Caps came back and won in the shootout, 5-4. Yay.

I guess I should mention this is on Firefox. Feel free to check other browsers.

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Will NHL, Capitals owner Ted Leonsis put the 2015 Winter Classic in Washington, D.C.?

winter-classic-logo-weagleOne of the frequent phrases that Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis used in his book The Business of Happiness and on his blog was “double bottom line.” He described it to Inc. as “be successful from a business standpoint but also be community-minded.”

Last year, I suggested that lockouts, like the one that Leonsis was apparently a hardliner on, don’t have a double bottom line. After it was over, Leonsis did not elaborate much on his role, other than he was sorry that he was not part of an earlier solution.

With the announcement that the Capitals will host the 2015 Winter Classic, Leonsis’ commitment to the double bottom line will once again be evaluated. While the Caps are hosting it, a venue has not been identified which is unusual compared to other Winter Classics. Apparently, Nationals Park, RFK Stadium and FedEx Field are under consideration. Why this was not decided as prior to the announcement is unusual and perhaps the skeptic in me sees this as a way by the NHL and Leonsis to have sites competing against each other to give the Winter Classic a sweetheart deal. Shrewd business sense, but it does not strike me as a “double bottom line” approach.

winter-classic-logo-curly-wNationals Park has the advantage of being the newest facility available with the most luxury suites and greatest merchandising and food availability. Depending on the vantage point, having a view of the Capitol dome. That’s certainly an impressive visual. Additionally, one of the minority owners of Monument Sports & Entertainment, the company that owns the Capitals, Wizards and Mystics, is Mark Lerner, whose family owns the Nats. Seemingly, that relationship would help make a Winter Classic at Nationals Park more likely, though the District certainly has a role as it is the owner of the ballpark.

RFK Stadium
offers a historic venue, primarily as the home of the Washington Redskins, but also the Washington Nationals and Senators and soccer at the MLS (DC United) and international level — World Cup 1994 was played there. The bouncing stands would also contribute to nostalgia and atmosphere. There are thousands of parking spaces and a nearby Metro station. The Capitol and the Washington Monument are visible from west side of the stadium, but the actual arena is completely enclosed. Another significant downside is the stadium is over 50 years and showing every one of those years.

A third choice, FedEx Field, is the largest venue in the area, boasting over 80,000 seats most of which would be aligned decently for a hockey rink, albeit far away. There is plenty of parking and a Metro station within a mile. FedEx Field is also just inside the Beltway from the Capitals original venue, the Capital Centre, but that also means it isn’t in Washington, but Landover, Md.

One troubling report is that Leonsis is also considering venues in the city of Baltimore, some 35 miles away from the District and certainly not WASHINGTON, D.C. or even near it. Nationals Park and RFK Stadium are of course, in D.C. while FedEx Field is visible from D.C. and vice versa. Simply put, if Leonsis is true to his double bottom line ethos he will publicly eliminate the possibility of a Baltimore Winter Classic for his WASHINGTON CAPITALS, even before a site is selected. The NHL needs to go along with this as well.

On a lighter note, I mocked up a couple of graphics of what I’d like to see the Winter Classic look like. Both are based on the previous Caps logo, but with red, white and blue colors. The only real difference is the choice of “W” I used in each — the Caps’ “Weagle” in one and the Nats “curly W” in the other. I think it’s safe to assume that neither is likely, especially the latter, even if the Winter Classic is at my #1 choice, Nationals Park.

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Smokin’ Al Koken’s origin story

The Washington Capitals made their seemingly traditional first round exit on Monday and while that is still being discussed (remember, D.C. isn’t a hockey town at all) I’m post, for posterity, recent coverage of rink side broadcaster, Smokin’ Al Koken. Dan Steinberg has been profiling Koken, who was “present at the creation” of the Caps, on DC Sports Bog but all in a long feature.

‘Smokin’ ’ Al Koken has ties to Capitals and Washington, D.C., sports going back to 1970sThe Post

Koken’s Caps responsibilities allowed enough free time to serve as the third sports anchor at WUSA along with Ken Mease and Brenner. Among Koken’s duties was doing live interviews from RFK Stadium during Redskins postgame shows, and out of nowhere one weekend, Brenner threw it back to “Smokin’ Al Koken” at the stadium.

The WUSA sports desk kept the nickname going over the objections of the station’s news director, who worried that it sounded unprofessional.

“Whenever Glenn threw to him, he’d say Smokin’ Al Koken,” said Larry Duvall, then a sports producer at WUSA and now with Comcast SportsNet. “I would type in ‘Smokin’ Al Koken,’ like it was his official name. The news director would say, ‘No, no, no, we shouldn’t do that.’ But Glenn said, ‘Aw, c’mon, keep doing it,’ so we just kept going.”

Being nicknamed by Glenn Brenner equals all-time cred in DC sports.

Today, DC Sports Bog has Al Koken, from the archives which features a pre-Smokin’ prior to the first Caps game.

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