My favorite numbers from this year’s hockey season happened on January 1st at Heinz Field.
Category Archives: Capitals
We definitely are louder. And we have Hockey Jesus on our side!
December 26, 2010.
That is a date that I think I am going to remember for a while. It was the day that brought the news of Hockey Jesus to the world. That’s right, I am writing about Hockey Jesus on Easter Sunday….so if you are one of those people who can’t take a bit of humor with your celebration of a dude getting crucified you might want to stop reading now.
P and Red had us all over to their place that day for a little post-Christmas brunch. All of the usual friends and family were there to just kick back, eat some food, have some drinks and enjoy the day. I don’t think any of us were expecting the announcement that they were pregnant.
The Caps had just come off the worst losing streak in a while. One that was so prominently being displayed on HBO’s 24/7 and making all of us die-hard Caps fans really doubt our chances this year. With the Winter Classic only 5 days away we were already preparing ourselves for our trip and our seemingly inevitable loss at the hands of the Pens. Things just weren’t really going our way.
That night the Caps were playing the Canes on the road. The Caps ended up winning the game and we all joked about how P and Red’s new little addition might just be the luck we needed. We had no idea just how right we were.
What has happened since?
We won the Winter Classic. F U Pens!
We caught and passed the Flyers for First overall in the East. F U Flyers!
We shook off the ghosts of the past and actually closed out a playoff series (without having to go 7). F U Rangers!
Since that announcement on December 26, 2010, every game that I have watched with “Red and a half” the Caps have won. It has really been a crazy run. We have dubbed the little guy Hockey Jesus. It was on the drive home from a game late in the season when I threw that nickname out there and we started joking about it.
We joked about the image of Jesus checking someone into the boards with reckless abandon.
We laughed about the vision of Jesus giving us a Ovechkinesque gap toothed grin.
And what got the biggest laugh was picturing Jesus turning all the ice back into water so he would be the only one that could skate on it while every other player just fell down and floundered about in a couple of inches of water.
It was about then that we realized that the Hockey Jesus we were creating was kind of an asshole. So I kind of cooled it on imagery and just decided to let the little guy alone and trust in him to get us further into the playoffs.
And we have faith in him for the run for the Cup.
But that faith was tested.
For Game 4, we all went to watch the game down at the Crystal City Sports Pub. After the 2nd period, when the Caps were down 3-0, I was really down on the team. At that point I just knew that we couldn’t come back. All I wanted was to not get shut-out. But the team rallied and did the impossible. To come back and win in the 2nd overtime was one of the best wins I think I have ever seen in my 20+ years of watching this team.
But I realized that I had lost my faith in between that second and third period. I not only doubted our team but I completely lost the faith in our little Hockey Messiah. Later, I apologized to both P and Red for my loss of faith and promised to not lose it again (at least for the rest of this playoff run.)
So on this Easter Sunday, all praise be to Hockey Jesus!
On to the Second Round!
Let’s Go Caps!
WE ARE LOUDER!
Started off Superbowl Sunday with a Caps shutout of the Penguins. Hope that the Packers can beat up on the Steelers tonight and make Pittsburg 0 for Sunday.
Oh… And this sign applies to EVERYONE at the Phonebooth. I don’t care that you are an ancient woman, it still applies to you. So stay in your seat if you can’t make it through the aisle during a stop in play. Or better yet…just stay home.
I have been so incredibly sick all week. The kind of sick where everything hurts. I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat and think I coughed up more lungbutter than is humanly possible. There were a couple of times where I thought that I was dying.
Then, on the day I finally started feeling relatively human again, the fucking Steelers had to go and win their playoff game. And with a freakin’ circus catch? Seriously?
I really do hate every team from that god damn city. And I know that the hate is mostly because I just can’t stand the arrogant asshole fans for any of their teams.** So nothing made me feel better this evening than to get this nice little video sent to me. A Penguins fan at the Winter Classic falling and busting his face just makes my day. I really wish I had actually saw this while up there for the Classic:
I have watched this about 50 times now. Enjoy.
**I guess if you are a Pirates fan I can cut you a bit of slack now…but I am still bitter about the “Killer B’s” during the 90s.
This weekend was a pretty good one.
With Ripley feeling better from our scare earlier in the week Deb and I spent Friday night just hanging out and watching some movies. Newt was really acting cute as she was hanging out on the keyboards:
And then moving to under the Christmas tree (yep, it is still up):
And being her usual mischievous self, jumping into the washing machine as soon as the door is opened:
On Saturday, thanks to Red and P having other obligations, Deb and I took Grandma Jim and Grandma Mary to the Caps game. The Caps really looked sluggish during the first period but turned it on towards the end of the game. Ovechkin‘s goal was pretty sick too as he was pretty much flying through the air when he scored. It is always better to go to the game when they win.
Both Ripley and Newt were happy to have us home after the game:
This morning we got up and went to Restaurant 3 for brunch. This place is the place to go if you are crazy for bacon like we are (thanks to Danielle for reminding me about this joint). We started off with Bacon Bloody Mary’s:
The Bloody Mary is made with bacon infused vodka and a big thick slice of bacon for a garnish. For brunch Deb had the Eggs Nova Scotia and I had the Graceland Waffle:
It was really delicious. A Bacon Studded Waffle (and we are talking huge chunks of bacon), Brown Sugar Glazed Bananas, in a Peanut Butter/Caramel Sauce. Mmmmmm. If you are ever in Clarendon for brunch you should check this place out. And if you are ever there for dinner make sure you get desert: Bacon Studded Waffle with Maple Bacon Ice Cream.
I have seen the Hitler Meme used for just about every situation. Up until now the funniest one I had ever seen was about the video game I used to work on. But this one takes the cake. I love that Hitler was going for the Pens.
Rock the Red!
Bright and early on the first day of the new decade P, Red, Josh and I all climbed into the minivan and headed up to Pittsburgh for the 2011 Winter Classic. We had been looking forward and planning this trip from the day it was announced that the Caps and the Pens would be playing outside on New Years Day. To say we were excited would be the understatement of the year (both old and new).
The game alone was enough to have us talking and dreaming about it all year long but over the last few weeks the excitement was amped up a thousand percent. With HBO’s killer documentary series 24/7 showing the “Road to the Winter Classic” we could barely contain ourselves. The series started out showing our beloved Caps at their lowest low and the hated Penguins at their highest high. That first episode was enough to make even the most optimistic Caps fans hang their heads and start to prepare themselves for the fact that playing on the biggest stage the NHL had to offer might not be the best thing at this time.
But thankfully, over the last few weeks, the Caps had started to turn the corner with wins in 4 out of the last 5 and the only loss was the shootout loss to the Pens. I think that was the first time that I had ever come away with a loss feeling great about the team. We had outplayed the Penguins for almost the entire game and losing in a shootout (which I still think has no business ending any regular season contest) was fine by me. We really looked like we were ready to take them on. The optimism was returning.
Then the weather reports started coming in. For the week before we were dreading the news and each day the outlook grew worse and worse. Weather in the 50s and rain in the forecast had all of us banging our heads against the walls. Was the game going to be able to even be played at all? After all this anticipation would the game be called off? Our hourly checks of the weather for the entire week was just getting us more and more nervous. But then, on New Years Eve, the announcement came that the start time of 1pm had been pushed back to 8pm. I know I stood up and cheered as I watched the announcement on the NHL Network. This was the first time in my life where hearing about something I was so excited about had been postponed and it was a good thing.
Not only did this mean that we wouldn’t have to get up at 5am on New Years Day to drive up to Pittsburgh but it meant we would be playing at primetime under the lights. We were all ready to be asleep by around 10 and ring in the New Year with snores but now we could drink it up and enjoy the night. We already had a low-key affair planned and we stuck to it but we did have a few more drinks than we had planned and got to see Dick Clark (poor poor Dick Clark. Dude, you really need to call it quits ringin’ in the New Year on television. It is quite depressing) pathetically count down as the ball dropped in Times Square.
We were all up bright and early and had smooth sailing all the way up to Pittsburgh. I don’t think I have ever seen P so nervous though. He was complaining about the butterflies and feeling sick for the entire trip. The anticipation inside the van was almost tangible.
We were in Pittsburgh for all of 5 minutes before the first verbal assaults started. We were just standing outside the hotel starting to unload the bags when no less that 6 cars drove by hurling insults at all of us standing around in our Caps gear. I have never been called a faggot more times in such a short period of time in my life. But we basked in their taunts and (for the most part) just let them wash over us without firing shots back at them.
It was quickly apparent that our fears of showing up and being one of a few Caps fans in attendance were unfounded. Everywhere we looked there were Caps fans. We were starting to feel like this was going to be something really special and it was confirmed when we read this article in the Post:
“For one weekend in Pittsburgh, it was hard to ignore how much progress the franchise has already made. Washington sports fans are famously thin-skinned about the never-ending fan invasions staged by opposing teams, with Pittsburgh’s Penguins and Steelers particularly enthusiastic trespassers.
On this weekend, though, the streets of Pittsburgh were thick with young Washington area residents wearing red jerseys and chanting for their team. Security employees at the Hofbrauhaus – a downtown bar – said on New Year’s Eve that they had never seen as many visiting fans, for any team, in any sport.
“You can’t turn a corner without seeing a handful of [Capitals fans], on every corner,” said Howard Frame, 38, a Capitals fan since 1986. “You walk into any bar or restaurant and it’s like the Red Army’s invaded.”
And it was so true. There were Caps fans everywhere. It was amazing. Really, it was the first time ever where my chest was puffed out with pride by the fans of my team. To see this much support for a team that could barely give away their tickets a few years ago was just something that made all of us beam.
We tried to sit in the hotel room and rest up a bit before the game but soon found out that was an impossibility. We were just too antsy to hang out and do nothing. So we packed up all our game gear and headed over to the Rivers Casino for the last few hours before the gates opened. We figured that we could get some drinks and work off a little of our edginess. P and Red both tried their hands at the tables while Josh and I wandered around with blank stares. One thing that wasn’t hard to notice though was the amount of Caps jerseys in the casino. In every direction you looked there were friendlies. It was great to be able to walk around behind enemy lines with your gear on and really not have to worry about being jumped by some drunk Pens fan. There were just too many of us…we were everywhere.
We all had a feeling that the hockey gods were on our side even before we made it into the Casino. As we were making our way up the parking garage to find a place to park they closed off the 7th level on the car right before us. So we followed behind a the Victory Security Guard up to the 8th level of the garage which just happened to be the Red level. So we followed Victory to Red 8. This game was going to be ours.
Soon it was time for the gates to open. We went back to the van and packed on our winter gear in anticipation of the falling temperatures and then headed over to Heinz Field. The walk over was filled with good natured banter back and forth between the fans from both teams and everyone was in a great mood. It was actually quite impressive how well everyone was behaving. For the most part the Pens fans were cordial and the Caps fans weren’t as “dicky” as most of the visiting fans are when they come to DC.
Game time was so close we could taste it.
We made our way to our seats and could not have been happier. They were really great seats and as we looked around we noticed that our section was dominated by Caps fans. Awesome. As the crowd slowly made their way to their seats we could see Red everywhere. Every section had big red blotches mixed in among the black and blue Pens fans. And when the National Anthem was being sung it was readily apparent that we were there in force. The “RED” shout seemed louder than it ever does at Verizon.
I think that my voice was already starting to go before the first period was even half way gone.
When Erskine and Rupp dropped the gloves, all 68,111 screaming fans were on their feet. When Erskine beat up on Rupp and made him quit the fight by calling in the linesman the entire Caps contingent exploded. But when Malkin scored so quickly into the 2nd period the Caps fans were quickly drowned out by the bloodthirsty Pens fans.
But scores by Fehr and Knuble before the 2nd was out had the Caps fans going absolutely nuts. And we never looked back.
What we really couldn’t believe was that Styx was playing between the 2nd and 3rd. Styx? Really? That is the band that Steelers fan’s use to get pumped up on game day. Wow. I mean, I guess it works but Wow.
When Fehr got his second of the night in the 3rd period on a breakaway the game was pretty much over. The only thing left to do was wear out what was left of my voice cheering as loudly as I could. It was great to look around and see all of the Pens fans with that dejected look that we are so used to when playing these guys.
Can’t wait to watch that final episode of 24/7 on Wednesday. Even if I wasn’t a fan of the Caps this would have been such a great series. The team that was just painful to watch in the majority of the first two episodes comes back to beat up on the NHL darlings in the final episode. This is what great sports movies are made of.
Even the food tasted better after that win. My Steak, Potato, Eggs and 2 orders of Bacon were just delicious at the Cracker Barrel as we drove home.
Here is to hoping that this New Year is as good as that first day. Let’s Go Caps!
Can’t. Fucking. Wait.
Last minute changes in plans last night lead Deb and I to a whole lot of fun at the Verizon Center. P and Red called me up and let me know that he had a couple of extra tickets if we wanted to go to see the Caps play the Flyers last night. We weren’t all that sure if we wanted to ditch our existing plans and go at first… that was until P explained the tickets to us. The tickets that he had were for a suite that were given to him from Mrs. Boudreau (the coach’s wife for those of you who don’t know). So once we heard about the suite we decided that going to a Caps game and having our own little box was a chance that wasn’t going to come around every day so we had to go for it.
P’s job as a bartender at one of the better restaurants in DC pays off so many times and I have no qualms with enjoying the fruits of his labor. I really do think this was the night where I became to spoiled to enjoy going to a hockey game in any other way. Being able to stand up when you want to, walk around when you want to and have our own bathroom was just too good. Seriously, the Caps scored a goal and I just had to run to the can and I was back in my seat in about 45 seconds. That is priceless.
The game was an incredible one even though we didn’t come away with the win. But the Caps were on the backend of back-to-back nights and they looked pretty sluggish for most of the game… especially Ovechkin. I don’t think I have seen him look much worse. Usually leaving a game with a loss feels bad but in this case I was actually happy that we left with at least a point. And you don’t get many more exciting games. Coming back from down 3-1 to tie it and then coming back to tie it again at 4…it was crazy, crazy stuff. I still haven’t regained all of my voice. We didn’t look particularly good in the shoot-out but hey, a point is a point and we are still in First place…so it isn’t all bad.
But we really had a great time at the game. So thanks for having us hitch a ride for the fun, P. Hopefully there will be at least one game this season where there isn’t a kid sitting right next to us so you can let all of the F-bombs fly without the dirty looks that accompany them.
Lets Go Caps! Only 41 days until the Winter Classic.