HM missed lots of Caps happenings, including another sold-out Caps Convention, this weekend. Our boys made it to the tournament championship game but came away with second-place honors - I had a feeling we might be in trouble when I walked into the rink behind several opposing players who were speaking fluent Russian. But it was a great effort by our kids and even more exciting was our hockey club's Squirt team - who won the championship in a shoot-out! That game was even more fun to watch for the goal celebrations - as Squirt players don't exactly have an extensive repertoire of shoot out dekes yet!
After umpteen loads of laundry and disinfecting the contents of two rancid hockey bags, I did manage to catch last night's pre-season special of Caps Red Line on Comcast SportsNet last night. It was a great episode, which included a one-on-one interview with Bruce Boudreau. Gabby spoke candidly with Mike Vogel about the disappointing end to last season and how it will serve as even further motivation for the upcoming season (which officially starts in two sleeps - Friday night against the retooled Thrashers). In another segment, the players interviewed each other and Alex Ovechkin did a spot-on Justin Bieber impression, calling the teen hearthrob (who my boys despise) "that kid with the great hair." This will be third season of Capitals Red Line which will continue in the second half of the Capitals’ season on Comcast SportsNet. As in the past, each episode will be available on WashingtonCaps.com after its original air date and will be automatically updated in a special online widget that fans can place on their social networking sites.
In other news, the Caps sent several players down yesterday in order to get closer to the Opening Day roster of no more than 23. Andrew Gordon, Jay Beagle and Brian Fahey did not make the final cut, but the one that really tugs at my heart strings was the release of Mathieu Perreault. The speedy but small Perreault, who had a fantastic training camp, lost out to Marcus Johansson. The coaching staff feels that Johansson plays with more of a defensive edge than Perreault, which is discussed over at RMNB today. I have to remind myself that it's a very long season and we most likely have not seen the last of young Matty by any stretch. The rugged Matt Hendricks has also found himself a home, a nice addition of some pugilistic character - it certainly came in handy after Gregory Campbell took a run at Ovi last week, eh?
Finally, for what they're worth - it's prediction time. Sporting one of the most spectacular mullets known to man, Barry Melrose makes one of my favorite picks by choosing Vancouver in the West and Washington in the East. (stick tap to Kukla's Korner for the video) HM might have to just go out and purchase that man a Costco-sized jar of Dippity-Do! We're kinda liking where Michael Farber of SI is going with his picks too. Check out even more puck prognostication over at OFB.
Stay tuned tomorrow as we take a peek at our first foe - the Atlanta Thrashers....