Friday, October 31, 2008

Bruce, You Rock!

We've all heard that Cap's bench boss Bruce Boudreau is one of the most down-to-earth guys in the league. When Hockey Mom had the chance to chat with him for a few minutes at the Caps Media Luncheon last month, he was very chatty and teased me about who I was voting for as I am a fellow hockey mom.

Check out this piece from the Washington Post Reliable Source to get a glimpse of what a cool guy he really is.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween Hockey Fans!

Hard to believe but Halloween is upon us already. So Hockey Mom wanted to wish all of you fabulous hockey fans out there a happy and safe halloween! Some of the Capitals players were asked what professional athlete they would be in a Halloween-themed video and there were some pretty funny answers. Two of the guys wanted to be Alex Ovechkin and poor Matt Bradley was not getting any love from his team mates! Hey Matt, HM thinks you look quite dapper in your suits - don't listen to those guys. Check out the fun here:

Looking forward to Saturday's game against the Buffalo Sabres. We'll have to order some chicken wings in honor of the occasion, though they'll never stand up to their Buffalo counterparts!

There's been some off-ice drama within the Sabres team this week. Adam Mair of the Sabres took offense with an on-ice play by Ottawa Senator's winger Chris Neil (who by the way, does have a lot of thugnasty tendencies). After the game, Mair wanted to say his piece so he stormed down to the Ottawa dressing room to have some words, still in skates and helmet. He was stopped by Senators players Luke Richardson and Jarko Ruutu (Jarko Ruutu also has a bit of a nasty temper - don't want to mess with him unless you're the "Donald". In the end, Mair was fined $2,500 for this act in the heat of the moment. When asked what he intended to say if he got to Chris Neil, Mair said "We don't play those guys until January, so I wanted to wish them a Happy Halloween." When asked the Senator's response, he quipped, "I think they said Merry Christmas." The Buffalo News' John Vogl asked if Mair was trying to talk to Chris Neil or Jaarko Ruutu? "It's Halloween for everybody, John."

So see, everyone is in the Halloween spirit and I hope that Saturday's contest with Buffalo brings the Caps treats and not tricks. Stay tuned for game preview to come....and don't forget your flashlights tomorrow night!

Now This Guy's Got the Right Positive Attitude

So I have to admit Hockey Mom was scratching her head too after witnessing Jose Theodore's first few wobbly games. But check out this article - this guy has a great perspective and makes some interesting points!

Keep the faith...and keep up the great work Caps!

h/t Kukla's Korner

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Give Blood. Play Hockey.

As if Caps fans weren't already some of the greatest people on earth, 462 of them (including one hockey-crazed family I know personally) lined up to donate blood at the Capital's sponsored Inova Blood Drive last Saturday. All in all, Caps fans donated more than 415 units of blood! One blood donation can save up to three lives, and the 415 units collected could help more than 1,200 local patients. Blood and platelets help many people, including trauma patients, surgery patients, newborn babies, cancer patients and transplant patients.

Inova Blood Donor Services also sponsors my twins' house league hockey teams and the rink boasts a really neat Inova sign that reads "Give Blood. Play Hockey." Nearing the holiday season, there is always a need for all blood types so if you'd like to become a valuable blood donor, call 1-866-BLOODSAVES (1-866-256-6372) or visit And a big toast to all of the terrific Caps fans who participated in Saturday's blood drive!

The Capitals organization is fabulous in terms of serving their community and the team will continue their efforts with a canned food drive at the upcoming Caps/Rangers game on November 8. In conjunction with WFED 1500 AM and the Capital Area Food Bank, the Caps will be collecting canned food and monetary donations, with the help of the player's wives and girlfriends. As d-man Mike Green has been involved in the fight against hunger in the D.C. area, the first 2,000 fans to make a donation will recieve a Mike Green poster. Knowing the enthusiasm and generosity of the Capitals community, Hockey Mom is certain that my fellow fans will help the team make this the most successful food drive ever! Keep up the great work!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Capitals Take On Predators

Hockey Mom feels like the kid in the movie "The Christmas Story" (you know Ralphie!), sitting here by the radio/computer listening to the Caps/Predators game instead of an Ovaltine commercial. Thank goodness for modern technology when I can't catch my favorite team on t.v.!

Jose Theodore is in net for the Caps. The Caps have the lead in shots on goal into the third period with tallies from Viktor Kozlov, David Steckel and the still on fire Alex Semin. A huge Hockey Mom fist bump to Semin, who surpassed fellow Russian (and Alex Ovechkin's best friend, NOT) Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins as points leader for an offensive player with 16 points!

The gnarly-toothed Predators tied it up 3 - 3 in the third period with a goal from Jason Arnott. Then once again, the men in red took it into overtime. Jeez, it's wacky trying to follow this game with no visuals! So with 22 seconds left in overtime and still no score, we go to the nail-biting shoot out. I think I've told you how I feel about the shoot out - makes me a nervous wreck. So I can only imagine how goalies Dan Ellis and Jose Theodore feel. Not like all eyes are on the goalies or anything - no pressure there...

Viktor Kozlov's first attempt for the Caps was stopped by Dan Ellis. Jose Theodore stops the Preds first shot. Still hot, Alex Semin nets a bee-oo-tiful top-shelf goal. (Note for newbies: Top shelf is not where you store the flour and sugar; it's when a goal scorer's puck hits the upper corners of the net - just wanted to clarify). Second later the Pred's Ville Koistinen scores to even it up. Michael Nylander keeps the momentum going to score the final shoot out goal for a final 4 - 3 victory!

So another edge of the sofa contest but congrats to the guys for coming together. Jose seems to be more comfortable in his new role; there's no arguing he was shaky in his first few outings. October is shaping up to be a fine month for the Caps as we look forward to taking on the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday. In the meantime, congrats again to Alex Semin on his scoring streak, love and prayers for Ovie and keep spreading the puck love!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ovechkin to Miss Preds Game

As you've probably heard, Alex Ovechkin will not be in the line up tomorrow against the men from Music City, also known as the Nashville Predators. Ovechkin is en route to Russia to visit his grandfather who is very ill. Hockey Mom along with all of the Caps faithful send our thoughts and prayers to Ovie and his family. As much as we all love the game of hockey, when it comes to your health and your family, it is after all just a game and we wish the Ovechkins the best.

Unfortunately, tomorrow night's game won't be televised. I am totally confused as to why the Versus Network owns the rights to this game (which features 2 playoff teams from last year in the Caps and Preds) is choosing to televise the Flyers/Thrashers game instead. Be careful, Bill Clement, you might be the next victim of a stink or smoke bomb thrown by a nasty Flyers fan. Those Flyers fans are so creative aren't they? In this day and age of post 9/11, how brilliant you must be to sneak in any type of flaming or smoking object; you must have earned a Ph.D. to actually be brave enough to throw it on the ice. Sorry, I digress. Honestly, the blatant disregard that some sports fans show for both their teams and fellow fans sometimes just amazes me.

Back to the Capitals/Predators preview. Despite hailing from the land of Elvis Presley, this team is not one to be taken lightly. I watched a few games of the Preds against the Red Wings last season and they played the Wings pretty tight. Interesting note: apparently the team was named after some bones of a prehistoric predator that were uncovered near their arena site. Or so I was told by a friend who lives in Nashville - don't quote me on that one! Ones to watch on the Predators include: Goalie Dan Ellis, defensemen Ville Koistinen and Shea Weber and forwards Jason Arnott, Martin Erat, Jordin Tootoo and J-P Dumont.

While we will absolutely miss the Great 8, let's hope that Alex Semin continues to light it up in scoring. We'll know more on the starting line up tomorrow.

In the meantime, HM had a chance to see a Pee Wee team from the Czech Republic take on our local Pee Wee AA team last night. Wow, what a game! The Czech kids were phenomenal and I'm sure we'll see some of them in the NHL (though since I couldn't read some of their names, I won't recognize them when they get there)! And several of the kids were sporting Jaromir Jagr mullets, which was fabulous. Our local kids played a heck of a game though and actually finished with a tie by scoring with 14 seconds left in the final period. The Czechs were quite a raucous bunch and yelled and sang the entire game. Seems like it would be a blast to watch a game over there, kinda like the European soccer crowd. It was a lot of fun to watch and kudos to all the players for a hard-fought contest.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hockey Mom is Back and Seeing Stars...

Hockey Mom is back on the beat after a 5-day business trip to Las Vegas and getting my Caps fix as they take on the Dallas Stars. I missed watching my men in red this week as they battled the Calgary Flames and the Phoenix Coyotes. HM is not a betting gal, but the sports book in the conference hotel was a beautiful thing as you could watch about 4 NHL games at a time - yet despite the number of televised games, I still couldn't catch my Caps!

So far, tonight's contest has been a high-scoring affair. With the score 4 - 4 at the start of the third (2 goals from Sergei Fedorov and 2 from Tomas Fleischmann), Tyler Sloan netted his first NHL goal to take the Caps ahead. Speaking of Tomas Fleishmann (A.K.A. "Flash"), we had the chance to see some kids from his native country of Czechoslovakia play a local travel team at our home rink today. Boy, were those kids great (kudos to our local boys for playing them tough)! There were definitely some future NHLers in that bunch...

Hockey Mom knows that much has been said of Jose Theodore's less than stellar play in recent weeks but he gets an HM gold star for some of the spectacular saves he's made so far in this third period. Does anyone else think that the Star's goalie Marty Turco resembles a younger, thinner and better-looking version of Tony Soprano? Just checking...either way, Turco just made a magnificent split save on a fab goal attempt by the Cap's Alex Semin.

Late into this game, the obnoxious fashionista we all love to hate (no ladies, I'm not talking about Paris Hilton but the Dallas Star's Sean Avery) has been kept in check by the Capitals. I was kinda hoping that Donald Brashear would have the opportunity to give Avery a different kind of "makeover."

With less than 58 seconds left in the final period, the Star's Mike Modano scored to tie this game up 5 - 5. So now we go into another sudden death overtime.

And the Cap's shining star Alexander Semin wrapped it up in OT with a super sweet goal against Turco to claim the victory. Maybe I should refer to Semin as a meteor - the guy has been on fire so far this season!

So congrats to the Caps for a high-scoring victory and a renergized effort from goalie Jose Theodore. I am glad to be home!!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Game On - Caps Take on the Devils

First off, a huge Hockey Mom fist bump to all the Comcast SportsNet reporting crew including Lisa Hillary, Joe Beninati and Craig Laughlin for sporting the Hockey Fights Cancer neckties and lady's scarf - you all looked fabulous! The Cap's coaching staff also looked quite dapper in the stylish lavender ties that the league is promoting to raise money for a most worthy cause. And a big Hockey Mom hug to the Capital's Matt Bradley and Shaone Morrison who lost their hockey moms to this dreaded disease.

The Caps started the night out with a bang with a nice goal from Alex Semin courtesy of a Sergei Fedorov pass. The Devils then answered with a goal to tie the game 1-1 at the end of the first period. Speaking of the Devils, I have to smile whenever they mention Devil's player, David Oduya's name: Oh-du-ya, that's just a heck of a hockey name!

HM was thrilled to see a short Q&A with NHL Hall of Famer Ray Bourque, father of Chris Bourque. I am really rooting for this kid to move up to the big dance very soon - he is an incredibly hard-working player and understands from an insider's view the hard work and perseverance it takes to earn a permanent spot at the top! Meanwhile, Brent Johnson has looked pretty confident in the crease stopping 21 shots by the middle of the second period.

Middle of the second period, Mike Green scored against a sprawling Martin Brodeur to pull ahead 2-1. Brodeur has had some spectacular saves so far but with 9:30 left in the third, Caps were still ahead.

Moments later Devil's Zach Parise scored against Johnson to tie it up. A few seconds later as Johnny was screened, the Devils scored again to take the lead 3-2 (with an assist by former Capital Danius Zubrus. Now it's time to start the nail-biting but we all know it's never a picnic against Brodeur. Until Alexander Semin netted his second (a fab five-hole yet) of the evening to tie it up yet again!

The Caps were unable to score on a late third period power play and the Devils buzzed the net for a few nerve-wracking seconds and then the game went into sudden death overtime. I swear these close games are bad for a lady's nerves!

Brent Johnson saved the first shot of the overtime which went right into his chest. Oh-du-ya took a slapshot shortly after which Johnson glove-saved. Brooks Laich took a nice shot which Brodeur saved with almost 30 seconds left and we go into the nerve-wracking shoot out. Hockey Mom is not a fan of the shoot out as I'm not really sure that it's a true indicator of the best team in the contest. Michael Nylander's first attempt got stuffed. The Devil's Zach Parise followed up with a sick top shelf goal. Alex Semin missed his shot at a hat trick and was stopped by Marty. OV's deke attempt fell short and the Devils won the game by the one shoot out goal.

So overall, a fabulous effort by the Caps, especially Brent Johnson. Next up, the Calgary Flames. They have some thugalicious players including Jerome Iginla, Dion Phaneuf and the thug of all thugs Todd Bertuzzi. The "Donald" better be ready to go with that cast of characters!

So HM is off to Vegas in the early a.m. - until we meet again, keep rocking the red and spreading the puck love gals and guys!

NJ Devils Visit the Phone Booth

It's October and that means Halloween and all the spooky, scary creatures that come out at night. So tonight, be on the lookout for those pesky devils - the ones that come from New Jersey. Of course the Capitals at 3 - 1, won't be a-scared of these Devils, despite the fact that they have one of the best goalies in the league, Martin Brodeur. But hey, look what the men in red did to Vancouver's Roberto Luongo on Monday - ran the poor guy out of the net.

Hershey Bear's Chris Bourque will be filling in tonight for Donald Brashear, who still has an injured hand. Tom Poti is still out along with the Cap with the best dimples, Viktor Kozlov. The team will start Brent Johnson as goalie as Jose Theodore watches the action from the bench. It's no secret that Theodore has gotten off to a shaky start with the Capitals. Hockey Mom was discussing this topic at the rink this morning with a fellow hockey family, who are also Caps season ticket holders. We decided that maybe his problem is a simple case of the nerves and my fellow hockey mom thinks that he might benefit from a dose of Ritalin before taking the ice. In all seriousness, time will tell how things work out in goal for the team - but it is definitely the biggest area of concern at the moment.

So we'll keep you posted on the action later tonight. I'm writing this from the rink (where else?) so looking forward to getting out of here and watching tonight's game.

Programming Note:

As much as I love hockey, it doesn't pay the bills, so Hockey Mom has to pause for station identification and head out to Las Vegas for a work event (yes, work event) tomorrow. And you know "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas", so I will be unable to fill you in on anything that occurs in my absence :P
Please stop by the fabulous blogs on my blog roll and I'll be back in action next weekend!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Caps Recap

This is a nice recap on of last night's comeback victory by the Caps over the Penguins. Yes, Hockey Mom is still beaming over the win and trying to think of some really snazzy yet obnoxious comebacks for my relatives in Pittsburgh. Yep, it's payback time for when you called me and screamed in my ear after poor Nick Backstrom scored one for the Pens last year!

Penguin's Geno Malkin posed this question of Alex Ovechkin's uber-physical play against him last night: "Ovechkin is a great player, but every time he hits me — I don't know why." Hockey Mom has a few theories to answer your question Geno:

  • Duh, maybe because you had the puck?

  • Maybe you remind him too much of Frankenstein and he had bad childhood dreams involving Frankenstein (anyone see the resemblance here? Malkin is a phenomenal player but you have to admit there's a resemblance!)

  • And finally, maybe he just doesn't like you.

The great thing about hockey is that you don't have to play nice with everybody. You have to play within the rulebook, but nobody said you have to play nice!

Ovechkin's response to Malkin's question: "It's just a hockey game. I hit hard with everybody." Classic...that's why hockey fans world-wide are so enamored with Alex the Great, he just plays with all out abandon every game, every shift.

So another Hockey Mom fist bump to the entire team for such an exciting win. I hope to see Tom Poti, Viktor Kozlov and of course The Donald back on the ice soon! Next up, one of the hottest goalies in the NHL, Martin Brodeur and his New Jersey Devils take on the Caps at Verizon Center tomorrow night. Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Capitals Come Back Over the Pens 4 - 3

With only 7:22 left in the third period, the Caps cut a 3-0 lead by the Penguins to a 3-3 tie. The tempo definitely picked up in an action-packed third period. The Caps again played the role of "comeback kid" with some nice goals by Tomas Fleischmann (you go Flash!), Alex Semin (who is on a major roll) and Michael Nylander (glad to have ya back)!

Boyd Gordon also earned a goal in the third period that went to review to put the Caps up 4-3. In Donald Brashear's absence, Matt Bradley suffered a split lip or busted nose (there was a lot of blood - couldn't tell which facial feature was damaged) in a second period scrum but got all stitched up and came back to make some great defensive plays in the third. Hockey Mom is always amazed at the grit and pain tolerance of hockey players.

Ovechkin laid a few sick hits on his not-so-favorite player and fellow countryman Evgeni Malkin. Penguins poster boy Sidney Crosby was pretty much held under wraps this go-round.

HM hopes to hear more about the status of Tom Poti, who missed a large portion of the game for "undisclosed" reasons. Meaning in layman's terms, he suffered an injury which no one will get full details on so that the next time that player hits the ice, the opposing players don't put a "bulls-eye" on that player's recovering injury.

So in addition to witnessing a fabulous comeback and a hard-fought win by the Capitals, Hockey Mom gets to call the Pittsburgh relatives and gloat for a change! Life is good....

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Caps Meet Crosby's Retooled Posse Tomorrow

In what is always a very spirited contest, the Capitals take on their arch rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins, tomorrow night at the Igloo. Hockey Mom watched part of last night's Penguins/Flyers game last night and one thing you'll notice is that Sid the Kid is accompanied by a new posse. Pittsburgh has lost some key players to either injury or trade, and it remains to be seen whether they're the same team that went to the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals. Gone or out: Ryan Malone, Gary Roberts, Jarko Ruutu, Marian Hossa, Georges LaRaque, Ryan Whitney and Sergei Gonchar. Some of the talent that the Pens added to their roster in the off-season include Ruslan Fedotenko, Miroslav Satan, Michael Zigomanis and former Caps short-timer Matt Cooke. They still have Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin so we'll see if they have the same fiery chemistry from last year. One thing's for sure, the Caps will come out swinging.

The Caps line up will look a bit different with Viktor Kozlov out with an injury. We'll find out more who's starting tomorrow but this is always one of my favorite contests (HM has relatives in the Burgh and I love to call up and harass them after a Caps win)!

On a totally unrelated note - Ryan Hollweg, you are a complete thug and I can't believe the league only gave you a 3-game suspension. Hockey Mom wanted to give a shout out to The Hockey News' Ken Campbell when he expressed his views that the NHL should have made an example out of Ryan Hollweg for his most recent and heinous hit from behind. This guy is a "repeat offender" and shows absolutely no regard for the safety of his fellow players. We all know there is a lot of hitting in hockey and to say it's a "physical" game is the understatement of the century. But there are reasons that you don't charge or check an opposing player from behind - this irresponsible type of action can cause extreme injury or possibly worse (besides showing a complete lack of respect for your fellow players). HM would have given this guy the Chris Simon smack down - no less than 20 games and keep it up, you're suspended for the season. Remember, young players emulate the pros' actions on the ice whether you like it or not.

So that's it for the Hockey Mom soap box portion of this post. Can't wait to see the men in red take on Sid and his refurbished flock of birds tomorrow night - puck drops at 7:30 p.m.!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sedins Stifled...Caps Over Canucks 5 - 1

We're well into the second period and so far it's been all about the boys in red (and unfortunately for the Canucks, we're not talking about the Sedins' hair). The Caps have been impressively aggressive on defense, holding the Canucks to only 3 shots on goal in the second period (only 9 shots on goal total for the whole night).

Ovechkin has played in typical OV fashion throwing his body around with some highlight reel hits. Alexander Semin had a wicked back hand shot that contributed to his 2 goals. The Caps also saw goals from Mike Green, Milan "Juice" Jurcina, along with a penalty shot goal from Michael Nylander that was scored after Canucks bad boy Willie Mitchell decided that he wanted to throw sticks.

Opening the third period, the superstar Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo had been pulled from the crease and was warming the bench - something you don't see too often.

When they interviewed one of the Sedins (I think it was Daniel), one of my fellow hockey mom friends called me and asked "What the hell did he just say?". There is a phenomenon among twins that they speak "twin talk" - I think the Sedins speak "twin talk" with a super wicked Swedish accent. So to answer the question - I have no idea what in the hell he said...something about defense, me thinks. Hockey Mom still loves you Sedin boys, I just love my Capitals more. So cheers to another big Caps victory - I think Alexander Semin gets to wear the red Bob the Builder construction hat for a job well done!

Hockey Mom Calendar Note:

For all of you Caps fans that work in D.C., majority owner Ted Leonsis will be the special guest this Thursday, October 16 at the Q & A Cafe with Carol Joynt.

Sad News from Russia

As I was searching the blogs for tidbits on a wicked fight that took place during today's Islanders/Sabres game, I came across this incredibly sad news from Russia's KHL league. The New York Ranger's top prospect Alexei Cherepanov passed away today after suffering an apparent heart attack during a game.

This talented youngster was only 19 years old. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, his Avangard Omsk team mates and the Rangers organization.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bring on the Twins, Eh?

Tomorrow night the Caps celebrate the nation of Canada with Canadian Heritage Night as the boys in red take on the Vancouver Canucks. Hockey Mom will definitely be raising her glass to our friends up north who introduced us to the greatest game on earth! And to my Canucks-loving sister in female fandom and author of the hilarious Hockey & High Heels, Lisa Ovens. Best of luck Lisa, you're gonna need it :P

Though HM is a die-hard Caps fan, as a mom of twin hockey boys, I have a soft spot for Vancouver's Sedin twins. My boys also play on the same line - just like the Sedins, Daniel and Henrik, and lip off to anyone taking liberties with their twin bro. Other Canucks the Caps will have to watch out for include the Sedin's fellow linemate Steve Bernier, Mattias Ohlund, Pavol Dimitra and of course, the Canuck's recently appointed captain, Roberto Luongo. An interesting tidbit for all of you new fans out there in hockeyland - as a goalie, Roberto Luongo is not able to wear the captain's "C" on his jersey. He's also not allowed to leave the net to address any "situations" with the officials, so the assistant captains will have to step in.

So while I'll be rocking the red in front of my t.v., I'll be watching those shifty Sedin twins, and of course taking lots of notes to pass on my own twin players. Here is one of the best commercials the NHL created last season featuring the "Swedish twins" - enjoy!

Blackhawks Fly the Coop...Caps Beat Chicago

Hockey Mom got a late start this morning (hey, it's the one day of the week I get to sleep in) so I'm sure all of you puckheads out there know the outcome of last night's contest against a young Chicago Blackhawks team with such talents as Rookie of the Year Patrick Kane, youngster Jonathan Toews and gritty defenseman Brian Campbell. We were in the Phone Booth amongst the sea of red and the noise level was just as loud as it was during last year's playoffs.

Jose Theodore once again got off to a wobbly start, which silenced the buzz after the Hawks scored seconds after the opening face off. He made a nice recovery and fab goals by Matt Bradley, Brooks Laich and 2 from the Alex the Great sealed the deal for the Caps. The last goal by Brooks Laich went to Toronto for review but was ruled as good (it was definitely good from my vantage point). So nice job Caps - way to stay the course! Some fans started losing the faith after that first errant Blackhawk goal - apparently
Ted Leonsis started getting nasty grams in his inbox 45 seconds into the game! Of course these are probably the same people that ask him for a free jersey because they were out of mustard at the concession stand - nice. HM is officially adopting his response as my new life mantra "Life is too short to drink bad wine" - cheap beer but not bad wine :P

By the way, I need to give a big shout out to the ticket folks at Verizon after I had a bit of a ticket snafu last night and almost didn't make it in. They were really terrific in researching what happened with my tickets and I know they don't have an easy job, especially on a sell-out night. So thank you again for going above and beyond!

The other big story was the nation's most recognized hockey mom dropping the first puck at last night's opening game between the Flyers and New York Rangers.

She didn't heed my advice about wearing dry clean only apparel for the occasion and actually wore white! She did get a nice welcome from Alaska native and New York Ranger star Scott Gomez but a not-so-nice reception (as expected) by the thugnoxious Flyers faithful. But hey, she let her young daughter walk out the door in a Flyers jersey! Yuck...

Check it out:

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Puck Finally Drops!

Well it was a bit of a shaky start for the Capitals as they opened their season in "Blueland" against the Atlanta Thrashers. Goalie Jose Theodore was pulled in the second period and replaced by backup Brent Johnson, which was probably not the coming out party that Jose had in mind.

With goals from Alexander Semin,David Steckel and two sweet ones from Mike Green, the Caps evened the score 4 - 4 in the third period. Atlanta goalie Kari Lehtonen woke up from last season's slumber to block an Alexander Ovehckin penalty shot. With about seven minutes left in the third, key players for the Caps have been Viktor Kozlov, Alex Semin and Mike Green. Thrashers just scored two in less than a minute to make the score 6 - 4. Nice goal Colby Armstrong, but you still remind me of a Smurf!

A no-look pass from Thrasher sniper Ilya Kovalchuk sealed the blue men's victory at 7 - 4. Gabby is not going to happy losing to his best pal, Thrasher's coach John Anderson. But hey folks, the great thing about hockey is that it's a looong season - no need to push the panic button yet. Unless you're Thrashers 18-year old rookie Zach Bogosian taking the gloves off against Donald Brashear. Boy, are you CRAZY?

So the Caps will regroup and will return home to Verizon Center to raise the Southeast Division Championship banner tomorrow night. Bring your A-game boys and protect your house!

Ladies, Help the Capitals Rock the Pink!

A Hockey Mom fist bump to the Washington Capitals who are helping in the fight against cancer with some special initiatives during the month of October (National Breast Cancer Awareness Month).

During home games on Oct. 11, 13 and 18, the Caps will host a player-worn practice jersey auction. The jerseys will feature the player’ names and numbers screened in pink in addition to a pink ribbon. Several jerseys will be auctioned off each night, and all money raised will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. There will also be an informational Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure table at each of the games. At the home opener on Saturday, Oct. 11, when the Capitals announce the attendance, they will ask fans to donate $1 upon exit, with all money raised going toward Hockey Fights Cancer.

Hockey Fights Cancer Night highlights the schedule. On Oct. 18, Caps fans that have battled, beaten, helped treat or been personally touched by breast cancer will be honored in an on-ice ceremony prior to that night’s game against the New Jersey Devils. The participants will wear pink t-shirts with the Caps logo on the front and the Hockey Fights Cancer logo on the back. Players Matt Bradley and Shaone Morrisonn, who both lost their mothers to cancer, will take part in the ceremony.

So Caps fans, let's do our part in helping hockey fight cancer - make a donation and bid for the rocking pink jerseys!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ovie loves his Hockey Mom...

Photo: Getty Images

Check out this great article on NHL hockey moms including the Cap's own Alex Ovechkin's. Besides being the ultimate player and role model - he is a model son. Hey Alex, maybe you can teach my kids some lessons in eternal gratefulness for all that hockey parents (make that ALL parents) do for their kids! Just kidding - my twins are good boys. I think you never fully realize how much your parents sacrifice until you are nearer to adulthood. Despite my maddening juggling act, this hockey mom wouldn't want it any other way (though sometimes I threaten to put them in a bowling league on those mornings I just can't get out of bed for the rink at 5 a.m.)!

And leave it to Mike Milbury to diss his mom in the media - nice, real nice....

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Palin to Drop the Puck in Philly...

As I sit watching the Caps/Flyers Playoff Game 1 from last season (wait, Mike Green just scored - ooops, I was at this game), I just read that VP candidate and former fellow hockey mom, Sarah Palin, will be dropping the puck at the Philadelphia Flyers' home opener on Friday. Say it ain't so Sarah - not the thugmongering Flyers! Here's a tip from one hockey mom to another - don't wear a suit that can't be drycleaned. Those Flyers fans have been known to throw beer, soda, popcorn and even small children! But if you take the gloves off and throw down with Riley Cote or Steve Downie - you automatically get my vote!

I forgot to mention that several of the Caps players were sporting the dapper Hockey Fights Cancer tie at yesterday's media luncheon. The NHL has unveiled some great new merchandise to raise funds for the fight against cancer, including this stylish lavender tie, baseball caps for both men and women and the book 2008 Reflections of a Hockey Season - all available on And since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Hockey Mom wants to remind all of you hockey goddesses to get your checkups - and encourage all of your sisters in female fandom to do the same.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Capital's Media Luncheon

So Hockey Mom was present and accounted for at today's Media Luncheon hosted by the Washington Capitals. As it was my first official foray into the media arena, I have to admit that at first, this "pitbull with lipstick's" knees were shaking like a rookie's. I met several of the other Caps bloggers, including Garrett of Puckhead's Thoughts, along with some other mainstream sports writers.

The day started with a team photo. And go figure, HM had some amazing photos of players and key personnel but my boys used up all of the memory in my camera taking pictures of the CAT! They heard an earful from me when I got home about leaving my things alone without asking to use them...but that's pretty much how my life goes!

We then watched pratice - Ovechkin left practice early but Coach Bruce assured the media that he will playing against the Thrashers on Friday. I am writing this post as I sit at my boys practice (it's all hockey all the time on this channel) and funny that I was just watching the same drills at Verizon several hours ago, only the big guns did them at three times the speed! I did have a chance to speak to Coach Boudreau.He is such a down-to-earth and chatty guy and is excited to be the bench boss starting at the beginning of a full season.

I also got the chance to speak to veteran enforcer Donald Brashear, who seems very mild-mannered in contrast to his on the ice persona. When asked what teams he thinks will be the toughest of the Cap's opponents this year, he noted that because of the way the CBA has worked, all of the teams will tough and folks have high expectations for the Capitals this year. HM also asked "the Donald" his advice to young players. First and foremost, he says to "have fun." (That goes for you too parents - remember it's just a game)! Another interesting thing he talked about was that young players should be encouraged to learn from figure skaters to master edge control. So all of you future NHLers - figure skating lessons are not for sissys (or I dare you to tell Donald Brashear that they are)!

All in all, today was a great learning experience and the entire Capitals organization, from majority owner Ted Leonsis to the players were very open. Hockey Mom will be in the stands as a fan during the home opener on Saturday night and I can't wait!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Official Hockey Mom Month

Three cheers to Peerless for declaring October "National Hockey Mom Month." Here's a fun article on hockey moms from today's Washington Post.

On a another note, the Capitals sent Karl Alzner, Chris Bourque and the ultimate shot blocker, Quintin Lang, down to Hershey. We have certainly not seen the last of these guys at the VC and hope to see them all up here again soon!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Home Again...

We are finally home again and the Caps were home at Verizon Center today in a thrilling contest against the Boston Bruins resulting in a 5 - 4 shootout loss for the men in red. The Capitals had regulation goals from Chris Clark, Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green and Chris Bourque. Goalie Jose Theodore stopped 40 of 44 shots on goal forcing the game into OT - things were obviously a bit off to be facing such a high number of shots. Shoot out goals from Phil Kessel and Patrice Bergeron (who's made a heck of a comeback from a season-ending concussion he suffered last year) wrapped up the victory for the Bruins.

My boys' team made it to the semi-final game of this weekend's tournament but lost in an early morning game to a tough team from New York. After enjoying several cocktails with the other parents last night and then having to get up at 5 a.m. this morning, I swore my kids were going to back to soccer - no 5 a.m. wakeup calls in soccer! I have to conduct a little sidebar here on sportsmanship. In Saturday's game one of my boys got nailed by a cheap and late hit from a player (who was supposed to be serving a 10-minute major penalty but was released after 4 minutes). The kid got a charging call from the ref but it is very scary to see your kid unable to get up from the ice. He did get up and we had to watch him the rest of the day to make sure he didn't have a concussion (which he didn't, thank goodness). But the sidebar is that sportsmanship starts with the parents and coaches, who should never encourage illegal actions. This is still a kid's game for the love of Pete!

This week is an exciting one for HM with the Capital's Media Luncheon on Tuesday and the official start of the season for the team on Friday. I will be rocking the red as the Southeast Division Champions banner is raised to the roof of the Phone Booth on Saturday night. I'll be curious to see what kind of reception Christobal Huet gets in his first visit back to VC with the Chicago Blackhawks. Still won't be as weird as seeing Olie Kolzig in a Lightning jersey!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Pre-Season Caps/Flyers...Round 2

So before Hockey Mom leaves for her little jaunt to the cheese steak capital of the U.S., I thought I'd check the Flyer's Web site to see if tonight's game would be televised. And of course, a big fat NO. But I did find this fun contest the team is sponsoring to find the Ultimate Hockey Mom (I think Sarah Palin is too busy right now to enter so she's not in the running for this contest at least). Of course I am a bit biased, but what a fabulous idea...can't wait to see the winner. I'll probably seeing some of those enthusiastic contest applicants during this weekend's tournament!

In addition to the extracurricular activity that normally takes place when these 2 teams meet, tonight's match up will be even more exciting with Sergei Fedorov moving to defense. Watch out for former Cap Steve Eminger as he has miraculously managed to "step it up a notch" since joining the thugnoxious Flyers. Feds will be joined tonight by forwards Ovechkin, Backstrom, Bourque (go Bourque!), Fleischmann, Nylander, Clark, Laich, Steckel, Fehr, Brashear, Beagle (in from Hershey) and Gordon and defensemen Morrisonn, Green, Schultz, Alzner and Poti. So at least the Flyers have taken the "Vengeance" theme off their Web site and moved to "Hungry for More" which is a tad less annoying.

So good luck to the Caps and to the boys' team in their respective battles this evening...I'm off!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Off to the Land of the Flyers...

As the Capitals get ready to face the Flyers for a second time this week, Hockey Mom will be headed to Philadelphia for the boys' first major hockey tournament. Unfortunately the Caps lost their first matchup against the thugnasty Flyers but here's hoping that won't be the case as the men in orange visit Verizon Center tomorrow night. Of course last night's game was physical - Flyer's bad boys Riley Cote and Steve Downie both dropped the gloves (I know - shocker!).

The Caps have had a fabulous showing in the pre-season thus far. The puck drops "for real" next Friday against the Atlanta Thrashers and Coach Boudreau's team will go head-to-head with one of the coach's oldest pals, fellow former AHL bench boss John Anderson. Meanwhile, the Capital's roster got a little slimmer today with Sami Lepisto, Grant McNeill, Tyler Sloan and Simeon Varlamov being sent to Hershey. Chris Bourque and Karl Alzner are still in the mix fighting for a permanent spot.

Speaking of fighting, we got a pre-tournament e-mail from the team's coach. There were some post-game sidebars taking place involving some smack talk and shoving after last week's game and the coach wanted to make sure the kids are all on the same page with the rules. HM loved how he phrased this: "Represent yourselves, your parents, your team, and your club well . . . speak softly, but carry a big stick"! How great is that? So we have our big sticks packed and are ready to road trip. Thankfully we have a team mom who booked our team in a hotel that hosts a free happy hour every night - we'll need it!