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Posted at 8:15 AM ET, 12/30/2010

Capitals' equipment staff ready for the Winter Classic

By Katie Carrera
Morning Roundup

Brock Myles, the Capitals' head equipment manager, has stockpiled as many cold-weather layering pieces and various other accoutrements that the players might need when they take to the outdoor rink at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh for the NHL's Winter Classic.

Unfortunately for Myles and the rest of the Capitals' equipment staff, there's not much they can do to make things easier on the players if it rains -- except possibly put some Rain-X on their visors.

"There's nothing we can put on the shields besides what we normally do," Myles said as the Capitals practiced outside at the Chevy Chase Club Tuesday afternoon. "That's the only thing I'm concerned about, is if it actually does have a little bit of moisture that the players will be constantly wiping their shields, but they do that anyways with towels."

Weather forecasts are predicting high temperatures ranging from the upper 40s to low 50s along with a 50 percent chance of rain. It was bright and sunny on Tuesday, so the Capitals experimented with various methods of applying eye black (some more warrior-like than others) with a temperature of 46 degrees. All players who wear visors have the option of switching to tinted visors if they so choose.

Regardless of the chance of rain, Myles said that if the temperature remains around the same mid-to-upper 40s range, the players won't really request anything different than they ordinarily do when playing indoors.

"The last two Winter Classics, the players didn't really wear that much more underwear or clothing under their equipment because they're skating so hard, they're sweating as it is," Myles said. "The benches are heated -- the benches are really warm -- so we've been advised that the players will not probably double up unless it's extremely cold. If it's a day like [Tuesday], they're not wearing anything special. Not one player asked me for a turtleneck, a long-sleeved shirt, anything."

The hardest part for Myles, though, hasn't been assembling the stores of cold-weather gear, or preparing to sharpen skates more. (No player needed their skates re-done in the middle of the past two Winter Classics, he said.) Rather, it's keeping up with players' ever-changing equipment preferences.

The Winter Classic gloves, helmets, pants and so on were all ordered months in advance with the specific colors and logos, but some players have switched brands or models of gloves or helmets since then.

"I have to scramble and make sure that the manufacturer has another glove ready to go in our Winter Classic colors," Myles said. "Jeff Schultz switched helmets while he was on the injured reserve list, so now we've got to make sure he's got the right helmet for the Winter Classic. Just things like that."

FROM THE POST
The Capitals practiced outside on Tuesday for a test run to see how things might work in Pittsburgh for the Winter Classic. (Don't forget to check out the video and photo gallery, too.)

Relive those funny, profanity-laced comments from HBO's "24/7" here with our random quote generator.

AROUND THE WEB
Recaps of episode three of "24/7" from SB Nation and FanHouse.

Greg Wyshynski talks to Alan May about how the Capitals alumni might try to defend Mario Lemieux in the Caps-Penguins alumni game scheduled for Friday morning at Heinz Field. (Puck Daddy)

On the meteorologist who has stolen the spotlight for the Winter Classic, for the time being anyway. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

By Katie Carrera  | December 30, 2010; 8:15 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Roundup, Winter Classic  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Top quotes from HBO '24/7' episode three: Capitals vs. Penguins
Next: Winter Classic weather update: Rain, then cold

Comments

It's good to know we'll be able to compete w/the Pens when it comes to equipment.

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 30, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

@vermont:

You're almost starting to sound like a Pens fan. If the outcome of last week's game had been reversed, their comments would have been:

"Caps didn't deserve to win"
"Caps got lucky"
"Game didn't matter 'cause Pens have Cups and Caps don't"
"Caps won 'cause the Pens were tired"
"Pens were jobbed by the refs."

...and so on, ad nauseam.

But because they have taken one game from us so far this season, now suddenly that game is laden with significance:

"Pens dominate Caps always have always will"
"Caps not built for the playoffs"
"Not (good enough to be) a rivalry..."
"Pens are clearly a superior team in every way--always have been always will be"

Um...NO. Can't have it both ways. Besides, the days when those statements were even remotely true are coming to an end--they may even be OVER.


Riddle me this: If the Pens are so "clearly superior in every way", then why did they need a G**d-D**n SHOOTOUT to defeat the Caps even though Ovie and B├Ąckis were in scoring funk?

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 30, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

@Rhino40

When teams face each other in the playoffs and they look at their head-to-head record during the regular season, I think they should just count shootout wins and losses as ties. This is because there is no shootout in the postseasons, so having shootout success in the regular season has no bearing on the outcome of the game between two opponents.

For possible playoff purposes, the last game between the Pens and Caps was a tie as each team scored two goals. For regular season purposes, the shootout win is meaningful, for the playoffs, it isn't.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 30, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone else find it amusing that Schultz switched helmets "while on injured reserve?"

I'm just picturing this guy going to the store, sleeping, driving around town, all the while wearing his helmet. And then, suddenly, he chucks it aside and changes.

Rhino: For whatever reason, vermontcaps is to Erskine as my cat is to getting those Pounce treats. There's just no explaining. Isn't there some expression, "Love is Blind," or whatever? Well, there you go.

I agree with him though about Erskine THIS YEAR. If it were me, I'd sit Poti. But we're not "in the game" so what do we know.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 30, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

@Rhino

Keep dreaming that we're a better team than the Pens. If you thought the Pens brought their "A" game last week, then you haven't been watching any of their games this year.

Offense? Pens are better....

Defense? Pens are better....

Special Teams? our pp is a smidgen better but falling fast, the Pens pk is best in the league

Toughness? Pens lead the league

Coaching? Bylsma outclasses BB

Riddle me this, Rhino: in what facet of the game are we better than the Pens?

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 30, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal

My infatuation with Erskine has nothing to do w/him but everything to do with the style of game he plays. Take him out of the lineup and we're nothing but a collegiate or European all-star team.

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 30, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

in what facet of the game are we better than the Pens?

Posted by: vermontcaps

All of them

Posted by: sgm3 | December 30, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

@sgm3

I wish I shared your unbridled optimism...such a flippant remark coming from someone as thoughtful and thorough as yourself is very telling.

I forgot to add that the Pens are also better in goaltending....

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 30, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I forgot to add that the Pens are also better in goaltending....

Posted by: vermontcaps

Nope.

But I will give you that the Pens are better at whining.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 30, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

@sgm

gonna continue on the next thread....

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 30, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

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