I'm running about three days behind the rest of the world, so bear with me - there was a lot going on as the Caps finished out their season and I'm working to get all of it up here as soon as possible.
This year the Capitals went beyond the usual day of thanks and rolled out the first annual (as far as I can remember) Fan Appreciation Week. Wowza, a whole week just for the fans! I'm pretty sure we've earned it...
Anyways, Friday night I had the chance to go to the Caps' Alumni game featuring so many guys that just leapt right out of my childhood - players included Loooooouuuu Franceschetti, Bobby Gould, Pat Peake, my boy Sylvain Cote, and the Secretary of Defense himself, Rod Langway.
(Yes, I know it's shaky. I'm a horrible videographer)
The guys seemed to be having a lot of fun out there, although it's amazing how you can tell which ones still play hockey pretty frequently and which ones have spent the last 10 years on the couch watching hockey. Peake and Cote, neither of whom is too far removed from their playing days, still looked pretty good...while some of the older guys like Labre and Langway were huffing and puffing. They had Cote playing as a forward (strange to see him taking faceoffs, by the way) and we were joking that it was probably because he's one of the few who could make it up the ice with any sort of speed.
Some funny moments, mostly involving Franceschetti, who seemed to be having a ball. He and Gould were mixing it up along the boards and were "chatting" throughout the game, and Lou even mugged one of the poor filler players along the boards. Craig Laughlin had a penalty shot...and missed. Three of the black team players had a penalty shot at the same time late in the 3rd period...and all missed.
5-1 after 1 in favor of the White team
Cote's second goal of the night -
it happens quickly, blink and you miss it
A little closer after 2...8-4 White
Ouch. WHITE TEAM WINS!
Dainius Zubrus's brother, who works in the Caps' ticket sales office, was playing on the Black team and was getting heckled by the staff all night long (although they did put up a sign that said "We Love Zubrus"...). Pat Peake had an explosive offensive night with 4 goals and a few assists, Cote had 2 goals and an assist, Alan May had a few assists, and even Yvon Labre got a goal.
All fans in attendance got a signed poster with a handful of randomly selected signatures, which was a nice touch.
It was a great evening and a blast to see all these guys, albeit looking a little slower and with a little less hair. The fans were into it, the players were into it...just so much fun. Definitely something the Caps should do every year - and if you didn't make it out to this one, be sure to go next time, you won't regret it.
Lots of stuff going on here in the Cheap Seats this week, which is pretty amazing considering the fact that the Caps are no longer playing...minor detail, really. Anyways, be sure to check back - we've got lots more to talk about over the next week, including a couple of interviews you won't want to miss.
Offseason? What offseason?