Brooks Laich Winks For The Ladies

28 12 2011

Everyone loves the Caps’ forward and team heartthrob, Brooks Laich. So today I’m sharing with you, a beautiful little tidbit of Brooks. Brought to you from the fine folks at Comcast Sportsnet and spotted on a recent post by Russian Machine Never Breaks (RMNB), there is a fine, fine video of Brooks and teammate Joel Ward wishing everyone a merry Christmas. The video is short and sweet and shows the two rehearsing their message before finally getting it right. One more excuse to watch Brooks in his “underroos” is fine with me, but my favorite part is his super cute wink at the end:

My, my, my, what a wink. And Joel Ward’s harmless almost-smile isn’t too shabby either. You can find the fantastic video here and make sure to save that link- I’m sure you’ll want to re-watch it many times. Thanks guys, for the thoroughly entertaining few minutes. I know I’m satisfied.


The Least Popular Man On The Caps

21 12 2011

Many of the players on the Washington Capitals are well loved and pretty popular among the fans. Some of the most popular guys seem to be Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green, Brooks Laich, Mike Knuble, Nicklas Backstrom, and the dynamic duo of John Carlson + Karl Alzner. I think it’s great that there are so many popular Caps players on the team, and that’s just naming a few. But here’s a question for you: which current Caps player is the least likeable/has the smallest fan base?

Now don’t get me wrong- I love all of the Capitals. But many people can see that fans flock to the coolest guy, the best player, the newest face, the most crazy personality. It’s no secret that attracting fans is something of a silly popularity contest. It shouldn’t be, but let’s face it- at least in the professional sports world, that’s how things tend to work.

I’m pretty sure that at one point the least interesting man on the team was D.J. King (a.k.a: my former favorite Cap). But tough guy King doesn’t play with the Caps anymore, so he’s out of the running. So instead, I’m nominating the following four (and still awesome) Caps players for the Least Popular Man On The Team. Maybe this will get the word out that these guys need a growing fan base too!

Troy Brouwer

First up is Troy Brouwer. Sure, he might be scoring goals this year, but this new face to the team, hasn’t seemed to get many fans this season. This 26 year old’s beady eyes and itty bitty teeth may not be what many fans find glorious to look at, but if we can all just look past this guy’s piercing physique, I think we can all agree that Brouwer’s crashing hits and sneaky goals are what really matters to the Caps team.

Joel Ward

Joel Ward seems to be left out of everyone’s list of cool players on the team. I don’t know what it is about this 31 year old, but he strikes me as the strong, silent type. Perhaps it’s the Western Conference (Ward’s former home) that the Caps don’t play much against, that adds to this guy’s mystery. I’m not even going to say his lack of popularity if because he’s one of the few black players, because Donald Brashear was hugely popular when he played in D.C., so that hypothesis is out of the question. Come on now, Joel’s worth another shot.

Roman Hamrlik

This third guy is also new to the Caps for the 2011-12 season. Roman Hamrlik is the second oldest on the Caps team (falling by two years to Knuble) at 37. I’m going to guess that Roman’s age is what’s keeping fans from being attracted to him, but frankly that’s just agism right there and it shouldn’t be decided like that. I’m hoping Roman will get more ice time because maybe all he needs is more exposure.

Jeff Schultz

I hate to admit this, but it kind of took me a while to find a good picture of Schultzy. (Thanks, Scarlet Caps!) Schultz’s lack of popularity on the team is kind of odd, since he’s been with the team for a while. Yet, for some reason, he doesn’t seem to garner many fans. “Double Nickel” (as he’s sometimes referred to, for his number is 55) is the Caps’ tallest player coming in at 6’6″ and is a pretty consistent defenseman. This 25 year old is still young and building his hockey career, but I think more fans need to take a second look at this tall glass of water.

So those four men are my nominations for player who needs to come out at the end with “Most Improved” in the team’s popularity contest. It’s sad, I know, but it’s also kind of true. I think D.C.’s fans really need to branch out and learn about some of the quieter, lesser-known guys on the team! I hope this posting will get the word out that there are some other Caps guys who need some lovin’ too!

What Rally Balloon?

14 12 2011

Yesterday was my office building’s holiday party, and as a form of decoration, there were many red and white balloons floating atop the ceiling of the cafeteria space. When the party had finished, a co-worker and I snook in and snatched up some of these balloons to take back to our office. I’m not really sure why  my co-worker decided this was what we were to do, but as a fan of balloons, I didn’t argue. I took a red balloon for myself, and proceeded to write all over it, “LET’S GO CAPS!!!” in preparation for last night’s match-up against the Flyers on our home ice.

When I got into the office this morning, my once helium-filled balloon, had now sadly drooped to the floor. How appropriate, as the Caps ending up losing their game last night, 5-1. I’m sad to say that unfortunately like the Capitals, this Rally Balloon just didn’t stand a chance. That balloon which once soared proud and high, had become a symbol of our Nation’s Capital hockey club. Now if that’s not symbolism, I don’t know what is.

Grier Retires From NHL

2 12 2011

I first started following hockey in the 2002-2003 season. That was the same year that Mike Grier started playing for the Eastern Conference in the NHL. While Grier had been playing with Edmonton for the previous seven years, this American-born player was back in the U.S. After Grier came to D.C., he continued to play for American teams (Buffalo and San Jose) for the rest of his career. I guess he realized that the United States is really a great place to play professional hockey.

I know we’re supposedly in a post-race society, but I will admit that black hockey players are somewhat of a rarity. Mike Grier though, was extra unique in this regard, because (according to Wikipedia), he “was the first African-American ice hockey player born and trained in the United States to play in the National Hockey League.” Grier was like the Jackie Robinson of the NHL! Cool. In addition to this fantastic statistic, Grier has also had a memorable hockey career, including a bronze medal from the 2004 Men’s World Ice Hockey Championships.

After such a great NHL experience though, Mike Grier has retired. He played in the NHL for 14 seasons  and was last seen playing with the Buffalo Sabres. It’s always exciting to see former Capitals players play hockey these days, so it’s a little sad to see Grier leave the NHL. But maybe he’ll do a “Dale Hunter” and come back as a coach! Who knows.

Bruce Flies With The Ducks

1 12 2011

In the latest breaking news in the hockey world, Bruce Boudreau has a new job! After being jobless for a mere two days, Bruce has joined the ranks out on the West Coast. Boudreau has landed a new career out in Anaheim coaching the (Mighty) Ducks and replacing former Capital assistant coach, Randy Carlyle. Moving out to the Western Conference is a shame, because it means the Caps won’t be seeing Bruce again this regular season. The Capitals only play Western Conference teams once a year, and they already played the Ducks, early in November. But, this could be one more incentive for Caps fans to want their team to make it far into the playoffs; to play a Western team, possibly the Ducks. But that’s dreaming a bit too far into the future.

Anyways, I’m pretty excited for Boudreau. He’s got a pretty fantastic location out there in CA. Anaheim is a prime location because you’ve got both hockey and Disneyland. I’m pretty sure you can’t get any better than that. But I’m also proud of the Caps former coach. He came into the Caps with no prior NHL coaching experience prior. And just days after he was fired from his first job at the post, he is immediately grabbed up to coach another NHL team. That’s just great that he’s made such a name for himself.

So will I be rooting for Ducks now? That remains to be seen. But for now, I leave you with this: Ducks Rock!

Texts From Last Night: Caps vs. Blues Game Edition

30 11 2011

Last night I was excited to be going to the Caps game. Not only was it another game to add to my list for the season, but it was possibly the most exciting and stressful game of the season (at least so far). The Caps had a new coach and were hoping to get out of a losing slump. Could the new guy fix the team? Apparently not. Or at least not in one miraculous game. So instead of attending a memorable Caps game, the experience was missable and I almost regret going. The game got so bad that I was basically texting my thoughts to myself during the entire third period. Below are those texts from last night describing all the unfortunate thoughts that were brewing around in my mind during a very unfortunate Caps game. Some of them might not make the most sense, but I’m sure I wasn’t the only person thinking non-sensical thoughts during that depressing game…

  • “I feel like I don’t even know this team anymore.” -my friend
  • I have an idea: the Caps need to get as far away from their days with the old logo and the failing record as possible. Bringing back a former player from that period seems to be jinxing the team.
  • A new coach and one game isn’t going to turn the team around… but IT SHOULD.
  • Even if the Caps somehow win this, I feel like they’ve already lost it.
  • Once a Cap, always a Cap. Maybe bringing back a former player wasn’t the smartest move. (Has Mr. Kolzig been helping us?)
  • Well, I guess my year+ record of going to Caps games and having them win was only lasting during the Boudreau Era. Apparently I have helped to usher in the Caps by attending a loss. This is so not cool.
  • I started out a Caps fan when the were one of the worst teams in the league. If things are reverted back to that (which is unfortunately entirely possible) I will remain a Caps fan just like before. But I hope the franchise knows that it will be losing a truckload of all those bandwagon fans who joined in on the rush when Boudreau took over DC.
  • Look. That’s all hunky-dory that the Caps have really bonded together as a team. But when the entire class completely revolts against the teacher, that rebellious thinking needs to be changed. Does the team need the same kind of treatment that occurred in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest? If it at least changes something (as it did in the movie) then maybe metaphorically yes…
  • At least with Boudreau around, Caps fans had come to accept a sense of hope. But with the new Dale Hunter, fans are just lost in doubt and mystery.
  • I think Boudreau should have been fired after the upcoming Penguins game. Because at least under him, the Caps have managed to beat the Pens practically every game in regular season. I guess the real test is going to be if the Caps can continue that streak with Dale Hunter.

Caps Don’t Do Well With Coaches Named Bruce

28 11 2011

As many of you may have heard by now (boy, does news travel fast!), the Capitals’ lovable coach Bruce Boudreau was fired and Capitals veteran player, Dale Hunter has been called in to fill the coaching job. I’ll let you soak that one in…

I first heard about the news when I woke up to a text a friend had sent me. The radio was on to a discussion about the firing and re-hiring and it seemed like the whole world was talking about how poorly the Caps have been playing this season. Sure, we had a fantastic start to the season with seven straight wins, but I guess the Caps must have gotten exhausted from all that winning and the team broke down.

Many people have been asking me how I feel, as they know I am such a fan of the Caps team. Honestly, I’m sad to report that I’m not that surprised it happened. I used to think that it was somehow my fault that the Caps lost their games if I weren’t available to watch the game. That jinx could work, as I didn’t see the last two games the Caps played with Boudreau, but in all reality, I could also tell that the team was in some odd kind of muck.

So who’s the new guy taking over? Former Capital player, Dale Hunter is the new man in charge. Dale Hunter played with the Caps from 1987-1998, which was before I really became a Caps fan. Sure, you could check out his wikipedia page, but when I first heard the name, I immediately remembered this great Caps Rap which mentions Hunter at 1:08.

With all this being said and done however, it eerily reminds me that the Caps do not have the best record with coaches named Bruce. Who remembers former captain Bruce “Butch” Cassidy? While I’m not going to go and compare the coaching styles of the two men, I will point out that both coaches were named Bruce and both coaches didn’t last very long. To be fair, Bruce Boudreau’s stay in Washington was for a year longer than Bruce Cassidy’s, but still, it was a shame to see both coaches go.

So here’s to hoping that all the Caps really need now is a new coach. Maybe the Caps organization will have learned their lesson and won’t hire any more coaches name Bruce. But for the record, I liked Boudreau. I’m not happy to see that he’s gone, but I am more a fan of the players than the coaches, and when they players aren’t succeeding, then I will support whatever means will get the team to play better. I’m sorry to see the Bruce era come to a close, but I’m ready for the Caps to get their act together.