Thursday, September 30, 2010

Caps Earn Back-to-Back Wins over Boston

The Capitals took home a 4-1 victory over the Boston Bruins last night as Matt Hendricks served up a whupping on Gregory Campbell for his run on Ovi in their last meeting. The visitors were much sharper on offense last night with Nick Backstrom walking away with two tallies. Andrew Gordon also netted a goal while our beloved Matt Bradley finished off the scoring in the third period. The fleet-footed Jason Chimera had two assists on the evening. Goaltending duties were split between Dany Sabourin and Braden Holtby. Holtby was called up from Hershey yesterday but is now on his way back to Chocolate Town, along with Lawrence Nycholat. The talented young Cody Eakin was also reassigned to Swift Current today, but rest assured we haven't seen the last of the ginger-haired lad in these parts.

And if you can't get enough news about Alex Ovechkin, here's a fun piece about how simply using the Great Eight's head (complete with trademark gap-toothed smile of course) is going to help CCM move boatloads of skates. If you already have tickets, you can see the infamous smile along with all of his pals
at the Capitals Convention this weekend. To date, the convention is sold out - to be expected as it was a first-class event last year and this year will see the return of one the most popular players to ever wear a Capitals sweater - the one and only Olie Kolzig. HM is sad to miss all the excitement, we'll be in the City of Brotherly Love for our annual trek to the Silver Sticks tournament. The good news is, that once we return, there'll be less than six days left til the Caps season home opener. Finally, October has arrived!

Have a happy hockey weekend all -

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Caps Beat Bruins in Pre-Season Bout at Verizon Center

Well it wasn't an 8-3 shellacking like the L.A. Kings put on the Ducks; this week but the Washington Capitals captured a 3-2 win on home ice against the visiting Boston Bruins. Caps faithful got their first glimpse of Alex Ovechkin, appearing in his first pre-season action, along with what new team mate D.J. King brings to the table. The first period was in its infancy when King handed a dance card to Bruins' heavyweight Shawn Thornton and the refs let them go for a good round. On Frozen Blog has captured some nice memories of the hulking King displaying his fighting finesse.

The Bruins were of course without the offensive talents of Marc Savard, who is still feeling the after effects of the concussion he suffered courtesy of Penguins' villain Matt Cooke last season. This year's highly-touted draft pick, Tyler Seguin, did not don a sweater for the B's either. Boston saw scoring from Jeremy Reich and Brad Marchand, while it was the Capital's youngsters and last night's assistant captain that lit the lamp for the home team. Fan fave Mathieu Perreault made yet another case for a permanent spot with his first-period goal, with some help from AO and Mike Knuble. Alex Semin netted the second tally in the second period and Cody Eakin put the final touches on the night  for the Caps with a wrister at the 5:27 mark in the final stanza. Michal Neuvirth stopped 20 of the 22 shots he faced. HM was streaming the game on the laptop as kids' commitments did not allow me to be at the Phone Booth last night, but Storming the Crease was in the house and has a more thorough recap.

A very scary moment occurred in the final minutes of the game when the NHL's czar of discipline's son, Gregory Campbell, checked Alex Ovechkin head first into the boards (RMNB has spot on photographic evidence). Thankfully, our fearless leader was okay but was none too pleased with the hostile act and proceeded to express his displeasure with a swat o' the stick into Campbell's side. Both players took a seat in the box for their actions - last night's animosity may make tonight's game at the Gahden a bit more interesting, eh?

Puck drops between these two teams tonight at TD Bank Garden at 7 p.m.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Matt Hendricks Signs One-Year Contract with the Capitals

Former Av Matt Hendricks shares a moment with Kings' winger Rich Clune.

Rugged forward Matt Hendricks made quite an impression during his pre-season tryout with the Capitals, as the team just announced his signing to a one-year contract. You'll remember he netted a hat-trick in his first appearance in a Capital's sweater in a pre-season game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Here's more information on Hendricks from the press release:

29 year-old Matt Hendricks, a 6’0’’, 215-pound native of Blaine, Minn., registered nine goals, seven assists and 74 penalty minutes in 56 games for the Colorado Avalanche during the 2009-10 NHL season. He was invited to the Washington Capitals’ training camp on a tryout basis and has wasted little time acclimating himself to Washington, leading the Capitals to their first preseason win with a hat trick in a 6-2 victory at Columbus.

Hendricks played for Capitals’ head coach Bruce Boudreau as a member of the Capitals’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Hershey Bears in 2006-07. He recorded 18 goals and 26 assists for a total of 44 points in 65 regular season games that year. He also appeared in 19 AHL playoff matches that season, scoring eight goals and registering four assists.

And in other puck-related ponderings, the cry of "lights, cameras, action" is already reverberating around the rinks of Kettler Capitals Iceplex. HBO is already hard at work, getting quips from the players and coaches and feeling their way around the locker room for the upcoming 24/7 series (HM is going to go ahead and dub it a mini-drama slash sitcom - I mean we will be hearing from Matt Bradley after all). Puck the Media has some thoughts on how this program can  either help or hinder the NHL.

And you probably know by now that the Vancouver Canucks are my second team. Former Capital Brendan Morrison is apparently having a nice tryout himself out west and is rumored to be close to signing a contract with the team. Morrison has a soft spot for Vancouver, where he spent a large part of his career.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Saturday Game Day: Caps Meet Predators

The Capitals pay a visit to Music City tomorrow for a pre-season bout with the Nashville Predators, who will be coming off back-to-back contests against the Carolina Hurricanes. Despite losing to the Canes 3-1 last night, Preds netminder Pekke Rinne was credited for a sharp performance, saving 17 of the 18 shots he faced. The Predators gave many of their prospects ice time in Thursday's game, including 22-year old Blake Geoffrion who was paired with bad boy Jordin Tootoo. J.P. Dumont netted the lone goal for Nashville in Thursday's game - the two teams meet again tonight.

Saturday's game can be heard starting at 8 p.m. on WFED 1500 AM and on

And in other puck-related news:
  • Not the sweet stuff atop a signature Georgetown Cupcake. Nope, Blonde Girl's Guide breaks down the real meaning of 'icing'.
  • More reaction to the announcement of HBO's 24/7 all access series following the Caps and those guys from the Dark Side on the road to the New Year's Day showdown in Steeltown from the Bog and OFB.
  • Somebody get King Karl some groceries - or at least a big fat birthday cake. (stick tap to my boy Homer)
Happy hockey weekend everyone!

Heavy Hearts in the D.C. Hockey Community

Hockey Mom wants to send her thoughts and prayers to the Washington Little Capitals, youth hockey players and staff at Kettler Capitals IcePlex and the friends and family of Brian St. Louis, who passed away suddenly yesterday.  As a member of the close-knit hockey community in the Washington area, St. Louis impacted the lives of the many players, coaches and parents he was involved with and all will remember him with heavy hearts.

Funeral arrangements are pending. The Kettler Iceplex is creating a tribute webpage in St. Louis's honor. Messages can be sent to

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Caps/Penguins Rivalry Will be Taken to New Dramatic Heights on HBO

If you thought the Capitals/Penguins rivalry was already drama-filled, HBO and the NHL are teaming up  to document the excitement (and any accompanying extracurricular trash talk - pointing at you, Matt Cooke and Max Talbot) leading up to the 2011 Winter Classic.

Here's more info from the NHL's official release:


NEW YORK, Sept. 23, 2010 – HBO Sports’ groundbreaking “24/7” reality franchise, which has captured 12 Sports Emmy® Awards, will join forces with the National Hockey League to take viewers inside one of the NHL’s great rivalries, between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals, for 24/7 PENGUINS/CAPITALS: ROAD TO THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC, an innovative four-episode, all-access reality series, it was announced today by Ross Greenburg, president, HBO Sports and John Collins, chief operating officer for the NHL.

The HBO Sports presentation debuts in prime time WEDNESDAY, DEC. 15 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), with an immediate encore at 11:00 p.m., and follows the two clubs simultaneously, chronicling their highs and lows each week. The teams will meet in a Dec. 23 regular-season matchup on the Capitals’ home ice, leading into episode three of 24/7 PENGUINS/CAPITALS, as the build-up intensifies for the Jan. 1 showdown at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

Noted Greenburg, “Taking our reality series ‘24/7’ into the world of the National Hockey League is a perfect fit. The ‘24/7’ franchise is fashioned on larger-than-life personalities, engaging storylines, and unrestricted access. With Sidney Crosby leading the Penguins and Alex Ovechkin leading the Capitals, we have all the ingredients for a dynamic show that will take viewers deep inside professional hockey and set the stage for the Winter Classic.”

Said Collins, “Teaming up with the 12-time Emmy Award®-winning and much acclaimed HBO ‘24/7’ series gives us an incredible opportunity to bring our fans even deeper inside two model hockey organizations during the regular season as we lead into the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. In just three short years, the Winter Classic has become so well established on the national sports calendar it’s truly a New Year’s Day tradition. Uniting HBO’s amazing reality series with one of sport’s greatest rivalries in an outdoor setting in front of 65,000 raucous fans will make this Winter Classic the most anticipated one yet.”

Ensuing episodes of 24/7 PENGUINS/CAPITALS: ROAD TO THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC debut on subsequent Wednesdays – Dec. 22 and 29 and Jan. 5 – at 10:00 p.m., with an immediate encore play at 11:00 p.m. The Jan. 5 series finale debuts four days after the Classic, with cameras tracking all the drama and excitement surrounding the Capitals and Penguins on game day. All four episodes will have multiple replay dates on HBO, and the series will also be available on HBO On Demand.

The series will provide exclusive behind-the-scenes access, along with in-depth interviews of coaches, players and front-office personnel, as the Caps and Penguins battle through their December schedules, meeting twice in one week, including the first-ever NHL game at Heinz Field.

24/7 PENGUINS/CAPITALS: ROAD TO THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC is HBO Sports’ first reality foray into pro hockey. The acclaimed “24/7” franchise began in 2007 with “De La Hoya/Mayweather 24/7,” followed by seven additional boxing installments. Last January, HBO Sports extended the “24/7” franchise with “24/7 Jimmie Johnson: Race to Daytona,” which chronicled the NASCAR champion’s preparations for the 2010 Daytona 500. has observed, “HBO’s ‘24/7’ series is the best sports program on television. Bar none.”

The St. Petersburg Times noted, “The best sports reality show on television is HBO’s ‘24/7’.”

Newsday wrote that “the Winter Classic is the best idea the NHL has had in years.”

With 12 Sports Emmy® Awards, “24/7” is the most honored sports series of the past three years. At the 2010 Sports Emmy® Awards, the franchise took home five trophies for production excellence, including awards for Outstanding Edited Sports Special, Outstanding Camera Work and Outstanding Writing.

The executive producers of 24/7 PENGUINS/CAPITALS: ROAD TO THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC are Ross Greenburg and Rick Bernstein; senior producer, Dave Harmon; coordinating producers, Scott Boggins and Bentley Weiner; Aaron Cohen is the writer; Liev Schreiber narrates. Production assistance will be supplied by the National Hockey League.

Knowing these two teams, the buildup for this programming and monumental outdoor meetup may be better than a sitdown between Tony Soprano and Johnny Sack - (my tribute to one of the best HBO drama series known to man)!

Caps Open Pre-Season with 6-2 Win Over Blue Jackets

The Capitals opened the pre-season with a bang (and no, that was not the sound of the Columbus Blue Jackets' signature cannon going off) last night at Nationwide Arena. The boys tallied six goals without the Great Eight in the lineup and Semyon Varlamov stopped all 20 shots that came his way. Columbus captain Rick Nash and Nikita Filatov were the only players from the home team hitting the back of the net; meanwhile the scoring was all courtesy of the visitors.

Free agent Matt Hendricks, formerly with the Colorado Avalanche organization, made quite a case for a roster spot with a hat trick for the evening. Meanwhile, Tomas Fleischmann netted two goals and Cody Eakin lit the lamp with a wrister of his own. Alex Semin helped out with three assists but also went to the box twice, once for slashing and for a delay of game call. Ah Sasha, some things never change...

Meanwhile, baby-faced goaltender Michal Neuvirth signed the dotted line on a two-year contract extension yesterday. The 22-year was 9-4-0, posting a 2.75 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage in 17 games with the Capitals last season. Neuvirth was was 14-4 with a shutout, a 2.07 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage in 18 Calder Cup playoff games en route to his second Calder Cup championship. He is the first No. 1 goalie to win back-to-back Calder Cups since former Capital Pete Peeters did so with the Maine Mariners in 1978 and ’79. With all the talk surrounding the decision to go with the youngsters in goal for the Capitals, let's hope his success with the Bears in the post-season translates seamlessly to his spot with the big club.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Defenseman Tom Poti Inks Two-Year Extension with Capitals

Veteran d-man Tom Poti will be sticking around the nation's capital for a few more years, hoping to erase the memories of last year's playoff debacle (in which he suffered a horrific eye injury and has since made the smart decision to wear a visor) and join his mates in another run for the Cup. The 33-year old, who started his NHL career in with Edmonton, inked a 2-year, $5.75 million dollar extension.

He recorded 24 points (four goals, 20 assists) and 42 penalty minutes in 70 games for the Capitals last season. In addition, he registered four assists and five penalty minutes in six playoff games. The 6’ 3”, 198-pound native of Worcester, Mass., ranked fifth among NHL defensemen and third among team defensemen with a career-high +26 rating during the 2009-10 campaign. He ranked second on the team with 121 blocked shots while averaging 21:24 of ice time.

Poti is also part of a group of professional players who honed their skills in the NCAA prior to making the jump to the big show. As a member of the Boston University hockey team, he earned spots on the NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team (1997), Hockey East First All-Star Team (1998)  and NCAA East First All-American Team (1998).

He is one of the elders on the current Capitals defense corps, which will include youngsters John Carlson and Karl Alzner (dubbed "Carlzner" by the funny folks over at

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Group C Cruises on Day Two of Training Camp

HM unfortunately did not get to join the masses of hockey-hungry fans who welcomed the boys back to Kettler yesterday for the first official day of Capitals' 2010 Training Camp. No, I was in a rink far, far away as my own boys' season is in full swing.

But I did manage to get there today, two teen Bantam boys in tow, just in time to catch Group C put on a show in their 5-0 victory over Group B in pursuit of camp's annual Duchesne Cup. Group C spotlighted the speed and skill of several of its forwards against Group B's  mostly young corps of defense men (with the exception of vets Tom Poti and John Erskine). Of particular note was the speed and chemistry of the Jason Chimera-Mathieu Perreault-Eric Fehr line. Each of the aforementioned players tallied a goal and the speedy Chimera looked like he'd been on the ice all summer vacation. Coach Boudreau seemed happy with that line's efforts and noted in the post-scrimmage conference that Chimera already appears to be in "mid-season" form. Fan favorite Mathieu Perreault continues to make a case for a permanent spot as second or third line center - he had a terrific scrimmage and has added some weight over the summer. Another highlight of today's contest came when a surly Trevor Bruess upended Tomas Fleischmann over the players' bench, drawing a big reaction from the standing room only crowd.

Other observations - Brooks Laich seems to be taking the "playing angry" attitude very literally with a perma-scowl across his usually jovial face. Don't worry ladies, it's a good look for him! In any case, it was great to finally see all the guys back in town for a new start and a new season...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Alex Ovechkin!

And a very happy 25th birthday to oh captain, our captain - Alex Ovechkin! The Great Eight dishes on the 2014 Sochi Olympics along with last season's abrupt and disappointing ending and his anticipation of the upcoming season in an article penned by The Globe and Mail's Eric Duhatschek.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Belanger Brouhaha; Bradley and Varly Back to School

You've probably heard some of the rumblings coming from former Capitals' forward Eric Belanger (AKA The Dentist) concerning his "deal" with the team that never came to fruition. Despite widespread rumors that he had a done deal with the Caps pending a trade, he signed a one-year $750,000 contract with the Phoenix Coyotes this week and his agent has gone on the warpath against the Capitals, claiming they backed out of a "verbal" agreement. As of this morning, his agent Joe Tacopina has even threatened legal action against the team. As HM tells her boys when a subject has been broached to the point of exhaustion, "drop it already - you don't have a leg to stand on." Mike Vogel over at Dump'n'Chase has more on the Belanger brouhaha as does Ted Leonsis. It is unfortunate that this situation came to this point and I can understand how frustrating it must be for Belanger to have to uproot his family once again, but hey, this is professional hockey. My advice would be to get a new agent straightaway...

On a more upbeat subject, Matt Bradley and Semyon Varlamov had a blast with the kids yesterday at Kenmoor Elementary School. The kids showed their team spirit by donning red and had a blast learning how to shoot and stop pucks during the Capitals Hockey School session. Looks like some of the kids could have given Slapshot a goalie lesson or two - check it out:

On another note, many thanks to Storming the Crease for including Hockey Mom among the many other great writers in the Inside the Blogosphere series.

Finally, your wait for on-ice action ends today as the Capitals rookies take on those mcnasty youngsters from Philadelpia at 3 p.m. If you can't get down to Kettler Capitals Iceplex for all the fun, the game will be streamed live at HM has no doubt that we'll see several dust ups between these two young clubs as there is never any love lost when these teams meet. Go Caps!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday Tidbits

Under one week and counting until the boys return for Capitals Training Camp, puckheads! In the meantime, here are some random Tuesday tidbits for your reading pleasure:

  • Just in case you don't already have the Rookie/Training Camp schedule programmed in your handy dandy mobile device - here it is.
  • Get ready for Training Camp with this awesome what to watch for primer from Becca over at Japer's Rink. Don't leave home without it....
  • Professor Bradley (Matt Bradley, that is) and Semyon Varlamov will be teaching the physics of a slap shot when they join Slapshot for Caps Hockey School at Kenmoore Elementary in Landover, Md. tomorrow.
  • A must-read series, Inside the Press Box, over at Storming the Crease.
  • The Kovalchuk saga lives on....and on...yada yada yada already
  • One of my favorite hockey bloggers waxes poetic on why trash talk in hockey exceeds that of any other professional sport. Be forewarned, Bourne's Blog sometime uses some of that "locker room" language. Nonetheless, always a fun and fabulous read!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Mike Knuble and Tyler Sloan Featured on "The Hockey Diaries" Tonight on Sirius XM

Capitals Mike Knuble and Tyler Sloan will share their personal experiences from last season ranging from the countless successes during their President's Trophy-winning regular season to the heartfelt disappointment after the shocking first round playoff exit tonight on the broadcast premiere of "The Hockey Diaries: The Almost Season." Hockey Mom will be tuning in to her trusty XM Sirius car radio to listen in as my boys see their first tournament action tonight and we'll be on the Beltway.

Sirius XM will air the event live from 7-9 p.m. ET – the documentary for the first hour followed by the studio Q & A that will be hosted by Sirius XM’S Glenn Younes – on NHL Home Ice XM 204 and SIRIUS 208.

Be sure to tune in tonight to hear the unique perspectives of both players regarding the highs and lows of the "Almost Season" that was 2009-2010.

Here's more info from the official press release:

NEW YORK (September 10, 2010) – Having chronicled their personal journeys through the eventful 2009-10 NHL season by recording their thoughts and observations, Washington Capitals Mike Knuble and Tyler Sloan will give fans a first-hand account of life in the NHL tonight with the premiere of “Hockey Diaries: The Almost Season,” presented by NHL Radio and broadcast on Sirius XM Radio and streamed on .

Knuble will appear in person and in front of a live audience at Sirius XM’s Performance 1 Studio radio theater in Washington, D.C. Sloan will join via telephone as both players take questions from those in attendance and those calling in. Sirius XM will air the event live from 7-9 p.m. ET – the documentary for the first hour followed by the studio Q & A that will be hosted by Sirius XM’S Glenn Younes – on NHL Home Ice XM 204 and SIRIUS 208.

The show encourages NHL fans to call in with questions during the live special. The number to submit questions is 1-877-645-6696.

NHL Radio’s “The Almost Season” tells the story of the triumph and disappointment of the Caps’ 2009-10 season through the thoughtful audio diary entries of veteran forward Knuble and aspiring young defenseman Sloan supplemented by personal interviews and rich field recordings. “The Almost Season" captures the intensity of the game, the mood of the team and the psyche of the players as they chase down their four goals: win the division, win the Eastern Conference, win the Presidents' Trophy, win the Stanley Cup.

“The Almost Season” was produced in association with Gemma Hooley and Chris Nelson of Media Chameleon. The executive producer is Gregg Baldinger, director of NHL Radio.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Capitals Promote Youth Hockey with Dedicated Web Pages

A big stick tap to Capitals Senior Writer, Mike Vogel, who brought a new Caps' youth hockey initiative to HM's multi-tasking attention! As the youth season starts to get into full swing (my kids play their first tournament this weekend), the Caps have unveiled a new  section on their Web site dedicated to the booming youth hockey movement in the D.C. area. HM can attest that learn-to-play enrollment has skyrocketed at our rink - greatly influenced by the success and popularity of our beloved Capitals. The squirt and mite house programs have grown at record pace and it's a joy to see these little guys on skates sporting their favorite Capitals' sweater (I can hardly remember when mine were that small - feigns long sigh).

The new Youth Hockey page has loads of helpful information for parents and kids of all ages who want to pursue their passion for puck. There's information on everything from what equipment you'll need to area rinks to local travel clubs. The equipment section goes into great detail about what to buy and how everything should fit. My own personal tip: buy mouthguards by the truckful! The minute they step on the ice for a tournament, you can rest assure that the 15 mouthguards you thought were floating around the bottom of the hockey bag are nowhere to be found. And the refs don't play that....
As for the awful smell of aforementioned equipment, I can't help so much with that. Febreze and washing what can go into the machine can make it a bit less nauseating but as the season goes on, you get used to it. Even the sticks smell - just sayin'.

The Caps have also added a Capitals Academy feature, which delves into the rules of the game and also spotlights some very cool instructional videos that youth coaches can incorporate into their own practice agendas.

Speaking of local youth hockey guys made good, former Capital Jeff Halpern has found a new home with those pesky Montreal Canadiens.

Avalon Elementary Students Welcome Flash, Steckel, Coach Woods and Slapshot

David Steckel teaches stick handling to students.

Avalon Elementary fourth-sixth grade students in Temple Hills, Md., looked forward to recess a little more than usual yesterday as players David Steckel and Tomas Fleischmann were joined by assistant coach Bob Woods and Slapshot to participate in Capitals Hockey School, presented by Capital One Bank. Woods, Flash and Steckel began the session fielding questions from students in the elementary school’s multi-purpose room/cafeteria before directing a floor hockey clinic with the 145 excited fourth-sixth grade students.

Led by Woods, Fleischmann and Steckel instructed the students about puck-handling, passing and shooting, before hosting a skills competition. Following the competition, the students scrimmaged with the pair of players. The hour-long program concluded with a shootout - students versus teachers - on Slapshot. Hockey Mom is thinking that Slapshot may have had his work cut out for him trying to guard the crease against this new crop of "young guns"!

“The kids were really loud and excited about learning hockey,” Fleischmann said. “It was fun playing with the kids – teaching them how to shoot a slapshot,” Steckel said. All students who participated in the session received autographed player cards from Fleischmann and Steckel along with Caps Hockey 101 booklets and squishy pucks.

This was the first Capitals Hockey School visit this season. The Capitals do two Capitals Hockey School visits a month reaching more than 250 students through the clinics as well as donating the hockey equipment to the school so the kids can have a chance to practice what they learn.

And to think, the second day of school and my two were already kvetching about recess - hope their P.E. teachers get with the program and sign up for Caps Hockey School.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Back to School with the Caps

Tomorrow all D.C. area kids are finally are back in school after a very long and very hot summer. But the youngsters won’t be the only ones filing through the hall of the many schools throughout the District, Maryland and Virginia. And for thousands of lucky students, Physical Education may just be a little more fun this year. The Washington Capitals kick off their fourth year of Caps at School on Tuesday, September 7, as forwards David Steckel and Tomas Fleischmann will join Slapshot at Avalon Elementary School in Temple Hills, Md.
Flash and Steckel will participate in a question-and-answer session with the students and lead a skills demonstration, showing the students their sick stick skills. They’ll guide the students through several drills focusing on stick handling, passing and shooting. Some of the students will get a chance to show off what they’ve learned as the players will call on eager volunteers in the audience to demonstrate. The clinic will conclude with several students participating in a brief scrimmage along with Fleischmann on one team and Steckel on the other. Following the clinic a set of street hockey equipment will be donated by the Capitals to the school.

Caps at School, presented by Capital One Bank, is free program that teaches D.C. area kids some of the finer points of this great game we all know and love and hopefully incites a love of the game that will have them rocking the red for years to come. Last season, the team conducted more than 30 clinics and instructed more than 5,000 area students in the ABC’s of ice hockey. At the end of each Caps at School session during the 2009-10 season, students received autographed players’ cards as “diplomas” signifying that they’d mastered the skills and knowledge required to “graduate” from Hockey School.

This season Capitals coaches, players, alumni, and of course everybody’s favorite teacher Slapshot, will conduct Hockey School from September to May for groups of fifth to eighth graders. Instead of those boring old gold stars, Caps at School participants will leave this special learning experience with an autographed player card signed by a Caps player, a hockey 101 booklet that outlines the rules of street hockey and ice hockey, a Hockey School squishy puck. They’ll also have a chance to show off what they’ve learned on real ice as participants will also get a coupon for a free open skate session at a local participating rink and a coupon for a free learn to skate or learn to play introductory class at a local rink. Caps at School may just develop some future stars who may not otherwise be exposed to the game. Safe to say, the program is sure to inspire a whole new generation of hockey fans. All of you Caps fans who teach fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth grades can sign up for a chance to have 100-150 of your pupils attend Caps Hockey School.

Recess may never be the same after Caps at School!