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Morning Reading List

Tom Boswell will tell you quite plainly that he's never been a die-hard hockey fan. This year and this season however, something -- or perhaps everything -- about the Capitals caught his attention, and he thinks the rest of the city should take notice.

*In case you missed it yesterday, check out Tarik's post from when he caught up with Bengt Gustafsson, who is the Caps' "guest coach" this week.

*Mike Vogel shares his midseason thoughts on the Caps, league and potential post-season awards.

*Before the rest of the Eastern Conference All Stars are announced today (the Western Conference was named yesterday) the Canadian Press lets you know who they'd pick for both starters and reserves.

In the system:
*Andrew Joudrey scored the game-winning goal to give the Bears a 3-2 win over Norfolk yesterday.

*The AHL named its PlanetUSA All Stars yesterday with both Keith Aucoin and Chris Bourque making the team. Their selection brings the Bears' All Star total to four as Alexandre Giroux and Bryan Helmer will play for the Canadian squad, which will be led by Hershey coaches Bob Woods and Mark French.

*Dmitry Kugryshev was named the QMJHL's rookie of the month for December after recording 13 points (4 goals) and accumulating a plus-6 rating in seven games.

By Katie Carrera  |  January 8, 2009; 7:43 AM ET
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Next: Thursday Practice Update


Hey Katie, how are things?
Whats your take computer assisted voting in MON and PIT?

Green is a good color for you.

Posted by: JSchon | January 8, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all. I really love how the Canadian media at the halfway point of this season has abruptly looked up from its (admittedly deserved) Boston lovefest and gone "wait a minute, the Caps are actually good this year? I'm confuuuuused". It's just worth a laugh and a pat on the head. Yes, we actually are. Pull up a chair and join the party.

@JSchon: I think it happened in the Western Conference, too, judging by the makeup of the Western starting lineup. J.S. Giguere over Evgeni Nabokov or Niklas Backstrom? You've got to be kidding me. One more reason why fan voting this year was a joke.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 8, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

It is an excellent column by Boz. My favorite graf:

""This is cool," my wife said. "It feels like a sports event that's not in Washington." Okay, that hurts"

Posted by: greggwiggins | January 8, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

I think we can all agree that when you give fans a choice AND you make the choice and easily exploitable online option things will be fail.

What I think is even more dumb is that the scoring for the skill shot is going to be by the fans. Lord knows how that is going to turn out.

Posted by: trunkenmath | January 8, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

I don't think club level seats cost more than than lower bowl (maybe less?), but they are hard to get - they usually only go on sale if everything else is sold out (although they did start to sell packages up there this year - not through the Caps, but through WA Sports). Where is the best place to sit? That's personal opinion. I love our lower bowl seats and would not want to sit any place else (I like to be close enough to really hear and feel the action and to see the players faces/expressions, but high enough to see over the glass). Others like to be up top to get a better view of the play developing (I feel like I am watching foosball up there, and that I have a fine perspective of the developing play where I sit). Mr. Boo prefers club level seats (I assume he feels like it is a happy medium). The reality is, as long as you are in the house, you can't go wrong! :-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 8, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Much as I enjoyed the Boz column, I'll reserve judgment as to whether or not this isn't the post-Skin/underperforming Wizard column-space filler.

Posted by: Section117 | January 8, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse


Just remember, club level seat $ goes to Dishonest Abe, not Uncle Ted.

My favorite place to sit is right along goal line, caps shoot twice, and above the glass enough to see the action. That's where I sat for my college's games and grew to love the location. Unfortunately, my wallet precludes me from sitting lower bowl, so I'm up in 414, a little offset from the goal line.

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 8, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

RE: Boswell. Anyone else get angry when "Zamboni" references are used WRT the Caps? Or is it just me?

My college's Zam driver tricked out his ride. Put a HUGE air-horn on it, chrome tip on the muffler, shiny blue headlights and custom orange and white rims (matched our school's colors).

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 8, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Anybody get a look at Dmitry Kugryshev in the worldjrs? Last time I looked, his numbers werent great but what was his ice time/role? I also saw he was picked for the shootout in one of the late games, when Filatov was not.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 8, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

FFSEnough, it's like Kleenex for tissue or Xerox for a copier. So it's probably just you.

Posted by: koalatek | January 8, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Good candor and column by Boswell.

Posted by: Cerealman | January 8, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

We love you Katie and Tarik. Keep up the good work!

Posted by: madflava | January 8, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse


The xerox comparison was the one I was going to use as well.

Posted by: _Mark | January 8, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

If only one other Capitals besides Ovechkin makes the ASG, I hope it's Backstrom -- the kid really deserves it.

Posted by: Cerealman | January 8, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

True, but not to worry - I don't want to sit club level, anyway! :-) I also like sitting closer to our goal, although not on the goal line - on the blue line (I actually prefer that to center ice). My next favorite place to sit is in the loge behind our goal. Those seats are cheap, have great views and are really comfy.

Regarding our Olympias, I really don't mind the Zamboni references ... it is kind of like Xerox machine or Scotch tape. Besides, bumper stickers and tshirts that say "my other car is an Olympia" are just not as catchy as those that say Zamboni!! ;-) Having said that, I do think it is funny that the Caps logo'd "ice resurfacer" key chains say Zamboni on them and not Olympia! I think there are even Caps Zamboni toys.

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 8, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Xerox is the big winner!! Does that show our ages?!? We need JMU to weigh in on this one ... ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 8, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

My bed is shaped like a Zamboni... I have custom chrome air pipes for that special occasion.

Posted by: JSchon | January 8, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Just read the Canadian Press' "Who they'd pick" for the ASG.

What a joke. They can't even get a player from each team on the list. Sure, toss 3 Bruins and 2 flyers on there as reserves but leave off any Hurricanes (yes, I can see how they can be forgettable but come on, give yourself some credibility when making such a column.)

Say in the opening that "The fans got it mostly right" yet last I checked 3 of 6 starters is not "mostly right." And Kovalev as a starter is so abhorrently wrong (he shouldn't even be in the game) it makes saying they got it anywhere near right just absurd.

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 8, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

My bed is shaped like a Zamboni... I have custom chrome air pipes for that special occasion.

Posted by: JSchon | January 8, 2009 9:16 AM
/shudders to think where the water's coming from.

Posted by: Section117 | January 8, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Would anyone like to describe Scott Hartnell in two words or less?

Posted by: SA-Town | January 8, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

FFSEnough, it is not just you -- but I'm an editor by profession, so it's in my job to notice and remove inappropriate uses of brand names.

The Zamboni family are probably the most annoyed, though.

Posted by: jen-s | January 8, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Scott Hartnell = another punk

Posted by: uncatim | January 8, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

scott hartnell = tool-shed

Posted by: _stevo | January 8, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Here are a few 2 word names...

Pillow Biter
Stupid Face
Ankle Grabber
Grape Smuggler
Cr@p Stabber

Posted by: JSchon | January 8, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Wow, Varlamov sure got robbed on making the allstar team. He has better number then both Frazee and Larsson.

Posted by: CapsFanSince1979 | January 8, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Nice story by Boz, an admitted baseball freak. I think hockey has made it when Kornheiser says he likes it. ;)

Jschon, I could have enjoyed my Mcdonald's this morning without knowing what type of bed you slept in. And I thought my wife compained about the goal above our bed...

Posted by: Leeguru | January 8, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

scott hartnell = nice man-perm

Posted by: _stevo | January 8, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

kornheiser was at the caps flyers game on tuesday, he was walking down 6th street right behind us and then went through the press entrance

Posted by: _stevo | January 8, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

There are some players you hate to play against, but would love on your team. Hartnell is not one of them.

He is the biggest punk in the NHL...

Posted by: SA-Town | January 8, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

My bad Lee...

Did you light the lamp last night?

Posted by: JSchon | January 8, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

My bad Lee...

I crossed the line...

But the puck didn't...


Posted by: JSchon | January 8, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Here's a good Larry Brooks rant directed at specific Rangers as they lost to the Canadians on the strength of old friend Rober Lang's hat trick in the third period last night.

I wonder how he's treated around the Ranger's practice facility and locker room? He's about as critical a writer as any hockey scrib I follow. He speaks the truth but does so while making very specific, negative comments that call out the GM, coaches and players alike. No sugar coating with LB.

Posted by: Riddler1 | January 8, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I found the Boswell column a little condescending, actually. "OUR Capitals?" "They're good?" "They didn't relocate to Oklahoma City?" As a fan since '83 I get just a little resentful when uninformed bandwagoners start popping off like they know what they're talking about. The Caps in the 80's were not terrible. Far from it. They made the plasyoffs 14 years in a row. What other area team has done that? Ever? No, they didn't make it to the finals until '98 but they were at the dance many times before that. What was terrible was the reception and support those playoff teams got from the local press and public. So forgive me if like Sec117 I'm sceptical and like maybe a few others just a little peeved and resentful at Tommy come lately and the rest of the bandwagoneers.

Posted by: kevbnyc | January 8, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

scott hartnell = carrot top on skates

Posted by: reesem37 | January 8, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Actually Carrot Top on Skates is Tomas Fleischmann...

Posted by: JSchon | January 8, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

@FFSEnough - Zamboni has become a generic term for ice resurfacer. It doesn't bother me that *our* "Zamboni's" are really Olympias; they do the same basic function, and for so long, Zamboni was the ONLY type out there, it's not surprising that people call all ice resurfacers "Zamboni's". Hell, before - I think it was you - corrected me, I figured Olympia was a type of Zamboni, like F-150 is a type of Ford.

In any case, the term has become generic, like "Coke" for any brown soda, or "Kleenex" for any soft paper you use to blow your nose on, or "Xerox" for a photocopier, or hell, even "PC" - which used to refer to IBM machines only - for any personal computer.

Do any of those generic terms bother you, or is it just Zamboni = ice resurfacer?

Posted by: irockthered | January 8, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

So forgive me if like Sec117 I'm sceptical and like maybe a few others just a little peeved and resentful at Tommy come lately and the rest of the bandwagoneers.

Posted by: kevbnyc | January 8, 2009 9:47 AM
Oh, I'm not peeved and resentful, if they come they need to stay and trumpet the team. When I take noobs I try to buy them a beer and make sure they enjoy the experience so they keep coming back. When it comes to the Boz and increasing coverage, I just keep this Steinz quote in mind:

"But just FYI, over the next weeks you're gonna start to see lots of other Post employees joining the Caps coverage team, the same way immigration reporters and sports reporters and dozens of other folks got added to the politics crew during the election."

Posted by: Section117 | January 8, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

@SA-Town - I can't agree that Hartnell is the "biggest punk in the NHL." Is he a punk? Absolutely. But the biggest punk?

What are you basing your superlative rating of his punkhattery on?

Posted by: irockthered | January 8, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse


I understand where you are coming from, but there are probably 5,000 bandwagoneers filling up the Verizon Center every home game, buying all things red, drinking watered down domestic beer. Of those 5,000 bandwagoneers, if 10% of them become STH then none of us should complain. TEB does a great job with what he is allowed to do, if Boswell writes anything about the Caps we shouldn't be that critical about it, we know he isn't a real fan, we know the truth, and at least he admits he isn't a real fan. I got news for you, there arent many real hockey fans in DC, there just isnt. You want a crap load of real hockey fans, then move north of Baltimore to start. Sometimes the truth hurts, we aren't a hockey mecca, lets just embrace all bandwagoneers and hope some of them become real hockey fans.

Posted by: JSchon | January 8, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Just some Zamboni vs. Olympia information.
Zamboni is owned by Ford. Back in the day, Zam's used to use Jeep chassis but seeing as how they are Ford owned now, I doubt this is the case any longer.

Olympias are made by a Canadian company called Resurfice.

Finnish Ice-cats are also gaining popularity in Canada.

Much of the decision to use Zam vs. Oly vs. Kitteh is due to licensing agreements of the home rink. Example: GM owns the Canucks arena and therefore do not use Zams. Many major sports operations franchises have deals with auto manufacturers that would stipulate what vehicles/equipment they can use in their building.

Zam was late to market with their electric model, giving Olympia and Kitteh each a leg up for arenas not wanting to have to ventilate (thus losing temperature control). All three now provide electric ice-resurfacers, with propane (ours), natural gas and gasoline being phased out.

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 8, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I have been a fan since I was about 5 years old in 1979, and I have *zero* problem with bandwagon fans or with columnists finally recognizing the Caps. I think it's great that this city is starting to pay attention to this team - we were all bandwagon fans at some point. This is a fun team, and I am loving this run.

(Though also as a lifelong Caps fan, I know it's doomed to end in an early playoff exit to the Pens. So I am enjoying it while it lasts.)

Posted by: katzistan | January 8, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Wow. No love for Greenie from CP.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | January 8, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

@FFSEnough - Good information, but it still doesn't tell me why using the term "Zamboni" like you'd use "Kleenex" bothers you... ;-)

Posted by: irockthered | January 8, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

regarding Boz's comments -

I have always liked Boz. IMHO, he is a true sportswriter, and even though he may not know much about "certain" sports, I always enjoy his commentaries. In my book he is welcome to come to games and write about them.

However, if the idiot Kornholer writes ONE thing about the Caps this year (especially if it is a positive piece), I will make it my personal mission to spit in his face (figuratively, I mean) by sending him endless emails reminding him that he is no longer a sports writer and no longer relevant in ANY way to Washington sports and that he is a "choking dog" on MNF. Wilbon, on the other hand, gets a bit of a free pass. At least he knows and likes hockey somewhat, and has never really dissed the Caps (like Kornholer has for years!)

As far as bringing hockey noobs into the fold - I personally have gotten 2 non-hockey (but overall sports) fans actually following and becoming interested in the Caps, and they are starting to come around. I am taking one to his first ever game on the 13th (Oilers). He is really looking forward to it :)

Posted by: Snowdog | January 8, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Kornheiser... I love that guy...
He hasn't written a thing in 2 years... So if you hate him, you're safe.

Posted by: JSchon | January 8, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse


Did you see him dancing in front of our bench trying to mock Semin for his fight? He is in the goalie's face all day. He pushes and grabs at every whistle. He is just a bum and an agitator that I dont like.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 8, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Hartnell's 2 game suspension for hitting a guy and elbowing while he was on his knees..

Posted by: SA-Town | January 8, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

@--Boo-- I think you and I are in agreement. I cannot stand the lower bowl. Some of the seats are blocked by the penalty boxes and benches. For me center ice, club level or above is good. Personally like the upper tier because it is dark and I feel like I am watching gladiators battle below me.

But living in M√ľnchen, I do anything to just get back into the building.

Posted by: trunkenmath | January 8, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

JSchon - I loved the Kornheiser of old. I think he is one of the great humorists of his time. His Sunday Style columns used to bring tears to my eyes.

That said - he has always just irked me to no end with his Capitals commentary. And for that, he remains on my grr list ;)

Posted by: Snowdog | January 8, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

@jen-s and FFSEnough - In formal writing, or something like a newspaper article, I would never refer to a photocopier as a Xerox machine, unless it actually *was* made by Xerox. I would not call a Pepsi or a Dr. Pepper a Coke.

This is an informal blog.

I've got copy-editing and technical writing experience on my resume, and a degree in English with a minor in journalism, and if I got all bent out of shape about everything on here that offends my sensibilities as someone with an English degree and copy-editing experience, I'd spend all my time correcting spelling and grammar, and no time enjoying the writing. ;-)

Since being corrected on the fact that an Olympia isn't a type of Zamboni like an F-150 is a type of Ford, I've referred to the thing as an "ice resurfacer," even on here. But in informal writing, "Zamboni" takes less time to type, and since most people know that a Zamboni is an ice resurfacer, most people instantly know what is being discussed.

I'm not going to stress myself into an ulcer over calling the thing a Zamboni; it isn't worth it to me. Not in an informal blog.

:lt;/soapbox> - We now return you to your regularly-scheduled hockey discussion. ;-)

Posted by: irockthered | January 8, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

@SA-Town - Oh, I totally agree on not liking him... I just think there might be one or two guys in the whole NHL that are worse than he is. Can't think of any at the moment... ;-)

Posted by: irockthered | January 8, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I love his radio show. I just find him entertaining. His schtick with Feinstein, Wilbon and Bob Ryan. I'd rather hear non-cliche sports talk. I do not want to hear from athletes or coaches. I like hearing criticism because thats what we do, and for that Kornheiser is alright in my book. Plus he's read a half dozen of my emails on air.

Posted by: JSchon | January 8, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

@katzistan: Your comment on the end probably ticks me off more than bandwagon fans. If you really are a Caps fan of 30 years you would know that this group of players in not like any other group of Washington Capitals. Even the when watching the team that went to the finals you felt shocked they were getting as far as they did. Some still say, and may be completely right, that we only got that far because the rest of the high seeds choked in the first round. Now, with this group, especially with the goaltending getting solid, I EXPECT these guys to win every night, not HOPE. So to say the Caps will have another early exit at the hands of the Penguins is a statement made by a fan that has not turned the corner with the rest of us. We no longer hear that rediculous term of "Caps hockey" which basically meant we had one scoring line and 3 grinding lines. Now BB says we need to play the "system" which is a different mind set.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 8, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Actually, we don't totally agree - I am a STH and dig my lower bowl seats! :-) But our seats are not obstrucuted - we are up high enough that we have a great view of the ice over the glass. We are center preferred, but closer to the blue line of the goal that we shoot on twice, so we get to see a lot of our goals, and yet still have a good view of the other end. (BTW, it is "Mr." Boo who prefers club level). Anyway, MUENCHEN!!! Wie geht's? Warum wohnen Sie in Deutschland?

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 8, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

While I go back and forth on my like and dislike of Boz, I do love seeing the extra attention devoted to the Caps. I love seeing positive things in print about a DC franchise. It's been so negative for so long.

I just wish that retailers would get the hint. I went out last night looking for some gear. I stopped at a Modell's. Pitiful. I stopped at a Dick's. Horrifying. In case they haven't gotten the word yet the Redskins are done for the season. Let's pull the burgundy and roll out the red!

Posted by: RicketyCricket | January 8, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

@FFS and Boo

The club level seats generate revenue for Washington Sports & Entertainment --- you know, the same company that Ted is a part of the ownership group! And no matter where you sit at the Verizon Center you are putting $$$ in WSELP's pockets...ticket sales, concessions, parking, merchandise...that's all event revenue to the organization.

Posted by: CapsSighting | January 8, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

@ SA town

The guy he hit was Andrew Alberts, who ironically now plays for the Flyers. After the hit last year he said that its a tough call being as he is on his knees and the player is finishing his check.

Thats a tough one..look at it..the puck is there and Hartnell finishes the can help but elbow a guy when his head is elbow height.

Reverse the situation and put OV there and we'd be talking about how terrible a suspension is on that one.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | January 8, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I was lucky enough to snag a pair of seats this year in the loge behind where we shoot twice as my first full season tickets. If money were no object, I would probably be looking for tickets near yours, but I am very happy with my seats in the loge of 105.

Posted by: _Mark | January 8, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse


You have hurt me. if it wasn't so accurate, it would have been worse....

for the rest of you:


Posted by: Leeguru | January 8, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

@RicketyCricket - Try up around Baltimore; it's even worse. They don't have ANYTHING Caps-related! There's all this football junk and nothing whatsoever for hockey. :-p

Posted by: irockthered | January 8, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I can't make it for practice because of this pesky job thing, but I'm contemplating an afternoon run to KCI to hit the pro-shop. Is it worth my time?

Posted by: RicketyCricket | January 8, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

@Leeguru - *giggle!*Zamboni*giggle!*

Posted by: irockthered | January 8, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I know ... that's why I don't even bother to talk about $$ (plus it makes me think about how ticket prices went up, and that just hurts).

You've got great seats - nothing to complain about there! I really do love the loge for lots of reasons - I can't believe the loge price went down this season. As far as I am concerned, they are they best value/deal in the house. We actually thought about making that move ourselves, but we just love our seats ... :-/ Frankly, your seats are the wiser investment.

Careful - you may be told to sit in the corner for 10 minutes!

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 8, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I can happily report that a noob that I brought to a game mid-season last season has bought his first three pieces of caps gear this year and recently purchased a hat trick pack of tickets for games this season. This will bring him to a total of seven games attended this season including a preseason game I brought him too. I have now been "accused" by him of creating a monster. He does not miss any televised game and I always get the call with questions. Can we say.....proud of my hockey student!

Posted by: juicefan | January 8, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: goskinsgo | January 8, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Screw Kornheiser. He never paid any attention to hockey all his years at the Post - except to call the Caps "choking dogs" every spring. We don't need him on this bandwagon. And he sucks on MNF, too.

Posted by: CAP-lanta | January 8, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

early exit to the Pens? what kind of pathetic, defeatist attitude is that? This ain't 1998, Jagr now plays in Siberia, the best player on the planet is a Cap, and we ROCK the RED! If you can't deal with that, take your pessimistic vibe and go home.

Posted by: CAP-lanta | January 8, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse


WS&E, while Uncle Ted is the majority owner of the Capitals, and CEO of WS&E, he does not own WS&E outright. Abe still does. WS&E is the holding company for VZ and the Wiz. Everything else that goes on in the arena pays rent except the Wiz. Concerts, WNBA, Circus, Rodeo, Caps.

Ted was quoted this year that even with the increase in ticket sales and merchandise sales, he's losing more money this year than he was last year on the team. Why is that? The increase in salary to get near the cap has made the bottom line of the team rise. Usually a team can recoup this cost through added ticket sales and consessiosn, but suite, club and consession sales, as you stated, go to WS&E, NOT to the Caps. The team (Capitals) has to shell out rent for games.

I guess I misspoke earlier saying that club level = Abe money over Ted money. Yes, Ted still gets $, but the Caps do not. Until Abe dies or sells his stake in WS&E, it will stay that way. Luckily/hopefully Ted's got enough cash to keep the team afloat until this situation can be rectified.

Posted by: FFSEnough | January 8, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Early play-off exit to the Pens?

Have you seen the Pens' record lately? If the play-offs started today, they wouldn't make the cut. The teams we need to worry about are Boston and the Rangers - and unfortunately, the Flyers. And maybe Montreal, as well. But we've beaten them all, this year, and if we stay the course, we've got a decent chance at making the Finals.

Believe it.

Posted by: RedRocker1 | January 8, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm feeling a little resentment from long term, die-hard caps fans. I freely admit to being a bandwagoneer. Born and raised in Fairfax County and a devoted Redskin fan, I paid little attention to the Capitals --- save for following their progress in the papers as I do for most local sports teams. One of the main reasons is that I never played hockey as a kid and the rules were foreign and sometimes confusing to me.

But things changed with the signing of Ovechkin and especially when Boudreau took the helm as coach. There was a distinct buzz about this young, up and coming team.
I went to a few games last year and was so impressed that I bought a partial plan and playoff tickets. Now I'm a season ticket holder and hooked on the game. I've purchased Caps gear for home games and follow hockey blogs to learn more about the game and familiarize myself with other teams and players. Most importantly, I find myself turning the sports pages to Caps articles first and then reading about the Redskins.

Will this change in the future? I doubt it. As one post said, we all start out on the bandwagon at some point in time.

Posted by: r1ckh | January 8, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

(Though also as a lifelong Caps fan, I know it's doomed to end in an early playoff exit to the Pens. So I am enjoying it while it lasts.)

Posted by: katzistan | January 8, 2009 10:08 AM

@Katzistan: I respectfully disagree--Crosby, Malkin and past history notwithstanding, I think that monkey is off our backs for good now. If the current trend continues (improved health, stacking up the wins), I don't believe anyone in the East except Philly or maybe Boston has a real chance to stop us from reaching the Finals. As for the West, I would rank the potential threats as 1) San Jose, 2) Detroit (3) Calgary

I got news for you, there arent many real hockey fans in DC, there just isnt.

Posted by: JSchon | January 8, 2009 9:58 AM

@ JSchon: I was born in Southern CA, grew up in Northern CA. at a time when neither the Ducks nor the Sharks existed--I'm not even sure the Kings existed either, but what little I did know of hockey at the time was that some red-hot ROOKIE named Wayne Gretzky was in Edmonton tearing up the league.

So it's accurate to say that my formative years were not exactly steeped in the Lore & Traditions of the NHL. I didn't pick up a stick until age 35 or play in an organized league until age 38.

I began following the Caps (and despising the Pens) when I moved here in 1986 and have followed the games on TV/Radio whenever or lose. My first "live" Caps game was in 1998. Time & money are mainly what stand between me and frequent attendance/STH status, but in my heart & soul I am for the Caps 100%--win or lose--and I try never to miss a game on TV...

Based on the above facts, am I (by your definition) not a "real" hockey fan? If I am not, what can/should I do to become one given that I can't afford ST's or any seat below the 400 levels. Please be specific--I'd sincerely like to know what it takes to be a "real" hockey fan.

@SA-Town - Oh, I totally agree on not liking him... I just think there might be one or two guys in the whole NHL that are worse than he is. Can't think of any at the moment... ;-)

Posted by: irockthered | January 8, 2009 10:31 AM


Here are my candidates:

--Does Sean "Pottymouth" Avery not count anymore just because Dallas released him?

--What about Jarko (sp?) Ruutu? After all, he likes to bite! ;).

--Maybe there's also Briere...but then again he's just sort of a whiner.

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 8, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Seat info:

Club seats are a $90 face. Lower bowl seats range from $60-$105 depending on seat location and game. You can find good deals on lowers or clubs on ebay, stubhub or razorgator. I got club seats for tonight for $70 from razorgator.

Also on student rush nights they will sell $45 club seats if they run out of the student tickets.

Just a little info since I saw the topic being discussed.


Posted by: C-A-P-Scapscapscaps | January 9, 2009 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Just a comment about ZAMBONI in a post above. They are not owned by Ford, and do not use ford engines. Of the ones available now, there are only GM motors, Hyundai, Nissan, and an electric version.

I have never seen reference to being part of the Ford motor company, and if it is true, please post a link. Lots of neat info can be found at

Posted by: chup | January 14, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

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