Category Archives: Washington Capitals

What’s the Fuss About Brooks Laich?

For all five of you who are not aware, on July 1st, Brooks Laich is an unrestricted free agent, meaning his contract is up with the Capitals and in Meghan’s words, “He’s just floatin’ around”. Basically, Brooksy can sign with any team that offers him a contract and, rumor has it, there are several GM’s who are interested. The internet has been all a-twitter with people spazzing out about the possibility of Brooks Laich not returning as a Capital for the 2011-2012 season. Now, the real question is: is all this fuss necessary?

Don’t get me wrong, we here at The Hockey Chronicles love Brooks Laich just as much as the next fan. He’s a great, solid guy. What’s not to love about him? But after the announcement of the Capitals’ trade of their first round draft pick for Chicago’s Troy Brouwer, some realization hit. Why do I love Brooks Laich so much?

Meghan and I sat down and discussed things, like stats and styles of play. Honestly, we love Brooks for the heart and soul kind of guy he is; Brooks is committed to the team and brings a lot of passion and heart to the game. Statistically, though, he just isn’t that outstanding. In 475 NHL games, Brooks has totaled 100 goals, 137 assists, and 237 points. Nothing about that says ‘invaluable player’.

Troy Brouwer is a player who is very much along the same lines as Brooks Laich. He is a solid third-liner and brings a certain “umph” to the game. In 238 NHL games, Brouwer has totaled 49 goals, 54 assists, and 103 points. One thing Brouwer has that Brooks Laich doesn’t is grit. On a talented team like the Capitals, we’re lacking grit. Brouwer brings this in a form of aggressiveness that doesn’t penalize the team, either. At the end of the disappointing season, many fans realized we were lacking grit. So now, after GMGM got us something we’ve all been asking for, why are we freaking out?

If you guys don’t realize it, we haven’t won a Cup with Brooks Laich here, so would his departure drastically change anything? As fans, having a team that will win the Stanley Cup should be our biggest goal, not holding on to our favorite players. After all, we are Washington Capitals fans, not so-and-so fans. The team comes first and if we’re real fans, we should be willing to suffer through anything that happens to our lineup in order for our team to finally bring a Cup back to Washington.

Now, why am I bringing up all this mess? Honestly, I’m just saying that by acquiring Brouwer, I believe GMGM may be preparing for the possibility of Brooks Laich not returning. Personally, I think the likelihood of Brooks Laich turning down a contract with the Caps is unlikely, willing that a contract is offered, but only to a degree.

Brooks Laich is committed to the Washington Capitals, but we cannot forget that this is a career. The Capitals may simply not be able to give Laich the bump in pay that he wants or deserves. Brouwer received a little over a million while Brooks Laich’s last contract gave him a little over two million a year. It is through Brouwer that we can still have a solid player, but for cheaper.

I’m not trying to discredit Brooks Laich with this post; I’m just looking at the facts and reasoning with the decisions that have been and may be made. On my part, this has been a sort of a preparation for the possibility that we may not see Laich on the roster next season, but honestly, who knows? This is only the beginning of the crazy, hockey summer and with all the left-wing, out-of-nowhere trades and deals that have been happening, we honestly cannot predict much of anything.

When it all comes down to it, we just have to have faith in GMGM.

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Spotlight on a Hometown: Wawota, SK

So kids, today we are going to talk about the home land of Brooks Laich, everyones favorite Saskatchewan native- wait Boyd Gordon is from Saskatchewan too isn’t he? Everyone’s favorite Saskatchewan native who’s last name starts with “L”.

Why I recently learned a lot about Wawota is a long and boring tale that involved a prank that may have involved a made up person from Canada. And, know I will use this sudden depth of knowledge to bring you a lovely new type of post “Spotlight on a Hometown” in which we learn all about a Capitals player’s hometown or homeland. And, since I already know so much about it our first one will be all about Wawota, Saskatchewan.

That little “A” there is Wawota. (Did you know there was a Rugby, North Dakota? Neither did I but there it is.)

According to the Wawota official website http://www.wawota.com:

“Wawota is a picturesque community of 520 friendly people located on Highway #48, 16 miles northeast of Moose Mountain Provincial Park. It’s name is derived from an Indian word meaning “deep snow”.

The Town is situated on the edge of the Little Pipestone Valley, which is a natural recreation area, currently utilized for nature trails and hiking in the summer. In winter it is popular for tobogganing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. This area is also a natural amphitheater which has been used for concerts, as well as the R.C.M.P. Musical Ride.”

520 people? Holy cow! That is smaller than my high school. By a lot. And, whoa. What is the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride? That catches my eye. I googled it and it doesn’t sound nearly as fun as my mental picture but that is okay.

Wawota according to Wikipedia was established in 1905 and is apparently famous for “…its unusual collection of fire hydrants, painted to resemble various people and cartoon characters.” Wow! I’ll give them that. My grandma’s small town doesn’t even have fire hydrants. But that’s Ohio. Nobody cares if it burns down.

And interestingly “Wawota is also noteworthy as the ‘twin capital’, due to the large number of twin births recorded in the community, particularly throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s.” Too bad Brooks Laich didn’t have a twin. Can you even imagine.

There is a real estate page on the Wawota website  with a wonderful list of reasons to move to Wawota (and, an advert for a house that is for sale that is actually pretty sweet if your looking for a house and want to move to Canada check it out) here are my favorite reasons to the Wawota website gives you on why Wawota is a great place to live:

Sorry Wawota but having grown up in the big city if my water isn’t the same color as brewed coffee I don’t want it.

Once again, if my air ain’t the color of brewed coffee, I don’t want to breath it.

I have always wanted to develop a gambling habit.

And, considering there are 520 people there I imagine when Jimmy Bob steals an apple from the grocer we figure it out pretty fast.

So when I’m rolling like a gangsta in my 1992 Ford Tempo it will be one smooth ride.

Considering Canada has free health care and a lower drinking age  I’m not sure why you’d want to come the US a lot.

Brooks Laich gets his entire own page on the Wawota Website.

So there we are anything you might ever need to know about Wawota, Saskatchewan. Dazzle all your friends at your next dinner party with your intimate knowledge of Canadian small town life.

 

 

 

 

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The Return to the Blog

Hello dear readers.

Well this is rather awkward isn’t it? Anna said “Let’s start blogging now that we’re both down with college for the summer!” and I was very much for that idea responding with a “Fuck yes let us do that!” however the Caps were like “Just kidding guyz we’re going to get out of the playoffs.” leaving myself with nothing to talk about.

So yes, what to talk about? Um, how about this weather? Pretty cool for May, isn’t? And, hey! How about those other sports… you know? Those other sports… ?

Oh man you know what I’m just going to leave this here:

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You Like Us, You Really Like Us!

Or at least you miss us. So, I’m sitting in a ridiculous class right now and I decided to check the blog, which I still do sporadically, just out of curiosity and surprisingly, we still have a fair amount of traffic coming through the site, especially for having been inactive since this season started. I want to thank everyone who still looks at this blog, whether they stumble upon through their (weird and wacky) search terms or because they have been checking it, anxiously awaiting our return.

Either way, thank you so much for taking the time to look at The Hockey Chronicles. It’s encouraging to know that some people out there believe that two high school girls ramblings about their favorite hockey team is worthwhile, even if for a moment.

Anyways, Meghan and I are both heading home for the summer in a few weeks and, while I cannot promise anything (especially because Meghan doesn’t know I’m posting this), we may kick-start this thing back up. At least for the summer. Because honestly, we’re both part of campus organizations that take up a lot of our time and blogging about hockey (when we both barely have time to watch hockey) is not on the top of our list of things to do… BUT we are going to be stuck at home working for the summer, so we will have some spare time on our hands… Of course, this is only tentative. Who knows what’ll happen in a couple weeks.

Thanks for spending at least a second of your lifespan reading this! GO CAPS!

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Caps Convention 2010

The Capitals Convention of 2010 dawned on a chilly October morning. The Chronicles’ intrepid bloggers rolled in to the convention center and prepared for a crazy good time.

Well it ended up only being a pretty good time. Capitals Convention 2010 was certainly not as fun as the inaugural convention. I’d give it a solid “B” on a grading scale.

On a personal scale however it was a A million plus because I meet… my favorite Cap… my favorite goalie… and my second favorite NHL player ever…

I basically told Anna that if I didn’t get Olie’s autograph I would DIE and if I did get his autograph I would still DIE but of happy this time. It overlapped into our autograph slot and we were worried we would miss our wristband required one but I HAD HAD HAD to meet Olie and if anyone tried to stop me, I would throw myself upon the floor like a child and refuse to move.

Well it wasn’t that dramatic as Anna agreed to wait with me like the best friend/co-blogger anyone could ever have. I waited like a spaz and Anna commented that I was “fangirling out” and asked if I “was going to embarrassing myself” to which I replied “Please don’t let me say ‘I love you’.” to which she said “Oh god I want to see this. Go in front of me so I can watch.”

I did not say “I love you” you’ll be pleased (or disappointed if you enjoy my embarrassing myself) to hear. In fact I said nothing besides a mumbled “Thank you!” Then scurried away to freak out and run to our autograph session.

I was in the autograph line for

Chimera and Boyd Gordon. Chimera, as speedy in word as his is on foot, seemed to be peppering every fan with questions as he signed what ever they had, He asked me how I was doing as I handed him my item and when I said “Good, how are you?” he replied extremely enthusiastically “REALLY GOOD!” Boyd Gordon was unfortunately the victim of the fact that I had used all my word vomit control on Kolzig, I blurted out as I left “You’re my favorite! I’m really excited!” I apparently turn into a third grader once my word vomit control is all used up.

I only had one panel that was a must see and that was the kids ask the questions panel. It wasn’t quite as hilarious as last year with the dream team of Laich-Steckel-Bradley broken up but it was still pretty funny with Ovie-Bradley-Fehr.

When asked what their favorite TV shows were Bradley admitted that he was watching the “Jersey Shore” and said “They call me ‘the Situation’ you can figure out why.” Ovie while answering the question of what their favorite restaurants are couldn’t remember the name of one and when he did remember after a good minute of thinking cried out “JESUS CHRIST! *insert restaurant name as I didn’t hear as I was cracking up laughing*.” A little girl whose birthday it was asked if Brads and Fehr could sing Happy Birthday in English to them and Ovie to sing it in Russian and they obliged which was fantastic. Ovie also was asked by a little girl to say something in Russian and he did then he said it meant “You’re beautiful”. That received extreme “awww”s.

We also dropped in to see the Olie-Bondra panel but missed most since they moved it earlier than what the schedule said.

The convention this year was certainly fun. Some of it was much improved from last year (the sound system was incredibly improved.)  I meet Olie. That is going to be pretty tough to top next year.

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Two Contract Extensions. Two Vastly Different Reactions.

The Capitals signed two players to new contract extensions since yesterday. One makes me feel warm and fuzzy like I ate a kitten or something of equal fuzzy adorableness. The other makes me want to gargle with a shotgun. Of course I would never dare feel warm and fuzzy OR gargle with a shot gun because those are both highly dangerous things to do. (How is warm and fuzzy dangerous? Watch a tall person try to skip. It is a terrifying sight.)

The first of the two contracts was that Tom Poti signed a two year contract extension, $5,750,000 all together. As anyone knows watching Tom Poti stick his butt in the face of his own goalie on a nightly basis makes me want to punch nuns in anger. We all love Poti. He’s a swell guy and he tries so darn hard but wouldn’t he be better for the Caps on an opposing team? Like a double agent. Go forth agent double 003 and screen the other teams goalie to your hearts content. I will give you my undying love in such a case.

The seconds of the two is Michal Neuvirth for a two year, 1,150,000 per year contract extension. The time and money means there is very little to gripe about. We can see how he pans out in minimal cost and then consider how to go on from there. This contract is so good in fact I think I’ll go reenact this in public:

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The Hockey Chronicles’ Official Guide to the Washington Capitals Official Media Guide

Every year the media guide comes out for the Capitals. And, every year I nearly pee myself in excitement waiting for it to download off the internet and into my PDF reader’s loving arms. This year was no less promising then the last.

So to you I now present: The Hockey Chronicles’ Official Guide to the Washington Capitals Official Media Guide.

Nicklas Backstom’s first job was as a carpenter. Nicklas Backstrom has long untidy hair. Nicklas Backstrom makes miracle passes on a gamely basis. All shall refer to Nicklas Backstrom as “Hockey Jesus” from here-forth.

Francois Bouchard has a brother,Pierre-Marc Bouchard, who plays for the Minnesota Wild. Clearly Francois stole all the hair genes. However “FrancoisFace” is all relative. Keep up the good fight for constantly awkward-faced hockey players every where, Bouchard family.

Joe Finley lists one of his favorite hockey memories as the come back against Wisconsin to advance to the Final Four… Bastard. Just kidding… maybe.

Andrew Gordon’s personal section neglected to mention he spends his free time in a tree baking cookies. I demand this is rectified.

Here’s a challenge. Read the media guide from the last page up in the players section and guess the player from their personal section information. “…Favorite movie is “Gladiator”… BOYD GORDON!” He’s the only player I guessed from reading one sentence mostly because it appears he hasn’t watched a new movie since 2000.

Kyle Greentree’s favorite athlete is Mario Lemieux… I’ve got my eye on you, Greentree.

NeuvirthFace continues another glorious year. Now I’m not overly familiar with Czech culture but I think it might do well to explain to him that the camera will not steal his soul if he makes a normal face. Or perhaps I should say it might do well to NEVER EVER explain this to him so NeuvirthFace might continue on for years to come.

Matthieu Perreault would be a police officer if he wasn’t a hockey player. I have several reactions to this. 1.  picturing him and Francois Bouchard as a crime fighting duo the likes of Batman and Robin. 2. Remembrance of the episode of “Friends” with Danny DeVito as the stripper. That one is just mean on several different levels.

Now I preface this next bit with a hunch of mine. I’d like to think due to random evidence there is an unspoken competition going on between Varlamov and Neuvirth. And here is one reason why:

If Neuvy can make weird faces in his photo, Varlamov will take it up a level with the hair. In fact I think if Neuvirth’s facial expressions and Varlamov’s hair had a baby it would be this:

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