Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind, don't matter, and those who matter, don't mind. ~Dr. Seuss
Girls just wanna have fun ~ Cyndi Lauper
Make some fun, happy time ~ Alex Ovechkin

Monday, February 28, 2011

Bidding Adieu to Ohio State

Ah, Stecks, we’ve had you on our team for so long, it’s gonna be weird not seein’ you in Caps red. Now you’re going to be in Devils’ red, at least the color will be familiar! And now you are in the same division as Sidney Crosby, how fortuitous is that, Danger Dave?

Many people don’t realize Dave Steckel is a mountain of a man, but I think Sidney Crosby can attest to this fact. You may well remember the 2011 Winter Classic game on 1/1/2011, where Stecks’ 6’5” 217 lb. body unintentionally collided with Sid and, according to Mr. Crosby, is a factor in his current concussion condition. (Say that 3 times fast). Many NHL players, including current Penguins, came to Stecks’ defense, acknowledging that Mr. Steckel is not a dirty player and it was obvious to them and the NHL; when the collision was reviewed after the game; that the hit was indeed deemed unintentional and not a punishable offense. But, Danger Dave is probably still on the Pens Most Wanted list. And it may be debatable as to what Dave would consider his crowning achievement; the hit to Crosby or his game winning OT goal in the playoffs in May of 2009 against the same Penguins, but neither probably endears him to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Low and behold, he’ll be facing the Penguins this coming Friday, March 4th, and again on March 25th and April 5th. And he probably thought he was done with them for the regular season, eh?

In case you don’t know, Stecks was originally a 1st round draft pick by LA, but after 4 years at Ohio State, he never signed with them. He joined the Caps in 2005 as a free agent and except for his first two seasons played in both Washington and Hershey; his whole NHL career to date has been as a Washington Capital. This season, Stecks has 11 points in 57 games (5 goals, 6 assists). His career as a Cap has resulted in 23 goals and 53 assists in 291 games, but we know his talent as a center is his best asset. In his four full NHL seasons, Stecks ranked among the top seven on draws, last year being his best with a 59.2% overall.

One thing I’ll always remember Dave for as a Capital was his interaction with the kids who came to watch him play. Warm ups at Verizon, Dave always tossed pucks over the glass to the kids in the crowd. Every time. Gotta love that about him.

We’ll miss you Stecks, and I know we all wish you well, but we’ll be seeing you again on March 18th. Good luck with the Devils.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Play Date with Dmitri Orlov

It seems like it’s been forever since I’ve been to Kettler for a practice. Actually, it’s been since the fall, so I was a happy girl this morning when I drove up that spiral ramp to the top of Ballston Mall. Imagine my surprise when I arrived to find Dmitri Orlov on the ice with our boys. (I must say I seem to have some kind of sixth sense for going to watch practices. As infrequently as I go, I just happened to be there for Chris Clark’s last day, and I was also there the day the investigators were there when that doctor debacle hit the proverbial fan. Anybody want advice for stocks or lottery numbers?)

After the win in Pittsburgh and a day off, the guys seemed to be in great spirits. I don’t think I’ve seen so many smiles, playful joshing, and all around fun at a practice in a very long time. Yeah, they worked hard, as always; but the energy was high and it was a fun practice to watch. Ovi and Sasha both seemed to enjoy having Dima out there with them and I noticed several times where both of them seemed to be either giving him advice or interpreting for him. Nicky seemed no worse for having a broken thumb and Hendy had the biggest grin of all of them.

The coaches worked the boys hard and Dima got a good taste of the NHL, albeit in friendly surroundings. Hershey should be very happy when Dmitri gets on the ice at Giant Center; he’s looking pretty good. But, when he gets a chance to practice with the Caps again, he needs to learn how to play and win at Juice Boy. That was probably not what he was expecting after his first NHL practice with the team he hopes to join as soon as he can. Welcome to DC, Dmitri!

Here’s a few shots of today’s practice. More can be found here.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Should the Winter Classic Jerseys become 3rds?

Tonight's first period of the Caps/Habs game got eveyone tweeting that we should keep playing in the Winter Classic jerseys because they seem to have inspired the team. After all, they really did seem to come out with a fury we haven't seen in a while. I know we didn't win against the Habs, so I'm not ready to declare them "lucky", only inspiring. But win or lose, would you like to see them more?

Lets get a show of hands and let Ted Leonsis, George McPhee, and whoever else needs to know that we would like to see the Winter Classic jerseys in the rotation for game jerseys. Even Brett Leonhardt thinks this is a good idea, so who are we to argue?


So, get your votes on Caps fans, what could it hurt?

Should the Caps keep using the Winter Classic jerseys this season?