30 Games In 30 Nights

Game #27: Washington Capitals (April 8, 2015)

April 8, 2015

Game #27 in Washington was the most enjoyable night of my trip! ¬†And it’s interesting how it came to be. ¬†About ten days ago, I heard from someone (Nestor Aparicio from WNST Baltimore) who caught my story on nhl.com, and he reached out to the Washington Capitals (a team he has close connections with), and a few days later, I heard from Peter Robinson with the Capitals who offered to show me around the rink.

I arrived at the Verizon Center about 2 1/2 hours before puck drop to meet up with Peter, Nestor, and his son Barry. ¬†(That’s me pictured with Nestor below, and I took a photo of Peter by the Washington Capitals recliner in one of their fan lounges.)IMG_9066IMG_9022

We started the tour in the concourse area, and I found it very interesting how the Capitals showcase hat-tricks for their fans.  After a player scores a hat-trick, they collect all the hats thrown on the ice, and they put them in a display bin for the fans to see all the details.

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We headed up to the press box area to check out the view from above, and later on, I had the opportunity to meet up with Ben Raby, host and producer for the Washington Capitals radio network, and play-by-play announcer John Walton.

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Thereafter, we descended about six floors to check out the action in the areas around the arena surface. ¬†I saw the Washington Capitals players warming up with a soccer ball, but no pictures this time. ¬†But I did get a photo of the “Red Rockers,” the Spirit Team for the Washington Capitals. ¬†I also climbed up an Olympia ice-cleaner (not Zamboni).

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We still had time to catch Mitch Korn (known as the “goalie whisperer”) talk to season tickets holders and invited guests about his prowess as a goalie coach.

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I had the opportunity to check out the team’s production studio, and afterwards, did an interview with Haley Milon.

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Before going to our seats, I had a chance to check out some of the special fan lounges and seating they have at the Verizon Center.  Very impressive!

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Later on in the night (in the second intermission) I was introduced to Capitals owner Ted Leonsis, along with one of the special guests in his suite ‚Äď former NFL commissioner.

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Finishing up the night, I attended a media press conference with Capitals Head Coach Barry Trotz taking the podium to answer a few post-game questions. ¬†Thereafter, I had the opportunity to meet Barry Trotz ‚Äď what a classy and friendly guy! ¬†(Not surprised that he grew up in Manitoba.)

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As I was ready to head home for the night, I ran into Capitals anthem singer Bob McDonald, and thereafter, in-arena host Erin Magee.

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And here’s my host and new friend from the Capitals, Peter Robinson, presenting me with a Winter Classic jersey to commemorate my visit. ¬†Thanks to Peter and the Washington Capitals for making my 27th stop so special! ¬†And thanks again to Nestor Aparicio for all your help in setting things up with the Capitals! ¬†Nestor is doing a 30 games in 30 days baseball tour this summer (and with a charity purpose), and he’s also planning a 30 game 30 night hockey trip next season. I will be one of his biggest supporters!

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I didn’t want to leave, so one of the last things I did was get a shot taken on the ice, with the Washington Capitals logo in the background.

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I had a lot of fun before and after the game, but in between, there was a very good hockey game. The Capitals already clinched a playoff spot earlier this week, but they wanted to secure home ice for the first round of the playoffs. ¬†And the Bruins are in a dogfight to make the playoffs, so there was a lot at stake in the game. ¬†The Caps came out on top, shutting out the Bruins 3-0, with Braden Holtby stopping all 27 shots on net. ¬†It was definitely a “Rock the Red” night at the Verizon Center. ¬†The Caps must have the most fans wearing team jerseys to their games in the entire NHL. ¬†Very cool experience, and great to see the Caps get a very important win!

 

 

 

 

One Response to “Game #27: Washington Capitals (April 8, 2015)”

  1. Michele Suggitt says:

    Sounds like you had a great time! That was very cool that they gave you a jersey like that!
    Did you end up doing an intermission contest?

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