I am a fashion obsessed hockey fan. You'll find everything from fashion DOs && DON'Ts, outfit ideas for games for men & women... to hockey posts & player stats all they way down to the basics of Ice Hockey. I am no ace when it comes to ice hockey, which I readily admit. But, I am willing to ask the questions & I will gladly take yours, which I'll do my best to answer. On my own...or with some help. Hey, the only stupid questions...are mine. :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Guest Post: Hockney N Heels Recap

So it happened...I finally convinced Ariane to write a guest post...and she did it! Yay! Do a little dance, or a big dance! I don't care just read :D

Here I present to you: Ariane's Hockey N Heels Recap

On Wednesday, November 9, 2011, my mom, Gina, and I went to Hockey N Heels at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.  Hockey N Heels is run by the Scarlet Caps, which is a club for women to better understand the ins and outs of hockey and to meet other female Caps fans. Hockey 'n Heels includes on-ice demonstrations with Caps players and alumni, a session led by Strength and Conditioning Coach Mark Nemish, Hockey Q & A with Alan May and a film session with Head Coach Bruce Boudreau. The players scheduled to appear included Nicklas Backstrom, Troy Brouwer, Mathieu Perreault and Dennis Wideman, but Karl Alzner ended up replacing Wideman. So I’m sure you all want to know how it was!!!!

My mom and I left the house around 4:45 to head over to Kettler for the 5:30 check-in time.  When we got to Kettler there were already a ton of people in line. My mom and I checked-in, got our wristbands for our designated group, our tickets for the November 21 game against the Coyotes, and since we had time to spare, we checked out the team store.  As we walked around the store, half of which I already own, my mom finally decided on a red, navy blue women’s sweatshirt with the Caps logo on it and a Caps ear warmer headband.  I got a Mike Green and an Alex Semin picture to get autographed at the next practice I go to.  After we left the team store we walked into the ice rink and sat in the bleachers according to our colored wristbands. Ours were blue.  A little bit before 6:00, Chilli Amar, from Mix 107.3, gave us a run down of how the evening was going to go.  After that two of the four groups went on the Capitals Ice, which is where the Caps practice, the other two groups went over to the Arlington Ice, which is the public skating rink while the Caps are practicing.

Once we got on the ice and tried not to fall, we were told to get our picture taken the Nicklas Backstrom, other wise known as Nicky B from here on out.  We were getting our picture taken where the media stands while practice is going on and where Bruce and players do interviews.  So my mom and I get in line, and this woman told us we were going to get to wear his gloves when we got our picture taken with him.  Kinda cool right?  Well it was!! The gloves look so big and heavy, when actually, they are really light weight.  As I walked up to Nicky B, he said “Hi, how are you?” and I said “I’m good, how are you?” Totally star stuck, not gonna lie!!! Once I got my picture taken with Nicky B, it was my moms turn, to which I found out afterwards that she asked him if she could punch him in the face with the gloves, and he said that he wasn’t prepared for that.  Way to go mom! 

After we got out pictures taken we got back on the ice and gently walked/glided over to Karl Alzner to learn how to pass.  We stood in line depending on if you were left or right handed.  When it was my turn to pass with Karl, I started to freak out because I knew I was going to be terrible and was afraid he’d laugh at me.  He didn’t!!  I actually did fairly well.  I didn’t hit anyone and managed to hit the same puck back and forth with Karl several times.  I think he was impressed!!  Then it was my moms turn to pass with Karl. Not sure what kind of conversation they had, as I was taking pictures!! But she claims he told her she was good, but who knows with my mom.  

Passing with Karl Alzer

Next on the agenda was shooting with Troy Brouwer and Alan May.  My mom and I first got in Alan May’s line because she was a fan of him when he played for the Caps back in the day.  I was more interested in Troy Brouwer, but luckily we had time for both.  The first two pucks I shot I completely missed the net. It’s a lot harder then it looks like it would be.  The next two shots made it in the net. Would have been the five-hole had Neuvy or Vokoun been in net!!  Or at least I like to think that!  I then stood in line for Troy Brouwer, mainly to give him crap for wearing an Arizona Diamondbacks baseball hat!!  So when I get up there, he could tell I was left handed, holding a right handed stick.  I told him it didn’t matter, and that I’d shoot right handed. Then I said to him “ What’s up with the Diamondbacks hat? You should be wearing a Nats hat.”  He then explained that every summer him and his buddies go somewhere and see a baseball game, and this year they went to Arizona. Doesn’t mean it’s ok, but I told him I’d let it slide and that I’d bring him a Nats hat the next time I was at Kettler for practice. He laughed and said ok.  We’ll see if he remembers.  I won’t hold my breath!!

Alan May

Harassing Troy Brouwer

After passing with Karl Alzner and shooting with Alan May and Troy Brouwer, the two groups on the Caps ice switched with the two groups on the Arlington Ice.  Next we worked on slap shots with Mathieu Perreault, now known as Matty P.  I then realized that he was wearing a Boston Red Sox baseball hat. What is it with these Canadians not supporting their fellow DC athlete’s teams???  Geez!!!! Needless to say, I gave him grief too about his hat choice!  Back to the hockey part!!  When it was my turn to shoot slap shots, I told him I was left-handed and he handed me the stick he was holding.  Once he handed it to me, I asked him if it was his stick.  He got a big smile on his face and said that yes it was, and that it was his “magic stick.” So I took a couple slap shots and it was a lot like hitting a golf ball. The final on-ice session was taking face-offs, with face-offs coach, Bob Woods. Not only did you take the face off, but Bob also told you where certain players would be on the ice to try to get you to get the puck to whoever might be there. For example, Bob told me that Ovi would be behind me so I should try to get the puck either behind me or through his legs. I won two out of three face-offs against my mom.

Magic Stick Matty P

Face-Offs with Bob Woods

Once all the on-ice sessions were over everyone went upstairs and enjoyed some snacks and drinks.  There was pasta salad, chips, turkey wraps, ham wraps, chicken wraps, cookies for dessert, and beer, wine and soda to drink.  After we were done eating, my group went to the film session with Coach Bruce Boudreau.  He went over film from the previous days loss to the Dallas Stars, as well as film from the Stars playing other teams to illustrate how they prepare for games and how he “scouts” teams before the Caps play them.  The first clips we watched were about face-offs.  Bruce explained how Dallas plays when they win a face-off and how they play when they lose a face-off, so the Caps players know who to cover and how to go about trying to get the puck out of their zone and down into their offensive zone.  Next Bruce showed us the “battles” that several Caps players lost during Tuesday’s game.  I never understood what that meant until Bruce showed up film and explained it.  When you’re watching a game and there are several players from both teams against the boards fighting to get the puck out, that is the “battle” that Bruce was talking about. We then watched a couple more “battle” clips and then Bruce opened it up for questions.  The first question asked was at what point does he (Bruce) decide to pull the starting goalie and put the back-up goalie in.  Bruce said that it’s not that the starting goalie is playing bad, it might be that the goalie allowed goals that he could normally stop.  Bruce said that he will wait until a period is over before pulling a goalie so he has a chance to explain to the team as well as the goalie why he is making the switch.  The next question asked was probably the worst question you could possibly ask the head coach of the Washington Capitals. Let me first start off by saying she prefaced the question by saying this: “I know you’ve probably been asked this question a lot by the media.”  So my first reaction is she is going to ask about “Ovechgate,” when Bruce “benched” Ovi during the last second of regulation during the Ducks game.  But that’s not where she went.  So then she says “What’s up with Schultz?” To which Bruce said, what about Schultz? And this woman then proceeded to go on a tangent about why he’s still on the team, and that he’s a rock and it basically worthless to the team.  Bruce looked at her and said he’d never talk negatively about any of his players, and then said next question please.  I couldn’t believe that lady had the audacity to ask Bruce a question like that. Come on lady, have some class!!  The next question was in refer to concussion protocol, but Bruce said he left that up to the trainers, then went into the long process Jay Beagle has been going through after his fight with Arron Asham during the Pittsburgh game in October.  Beagle had to go three days without a headache before he could do any sort of working out. Once he went three days without a headache, he rode the stationary bike for three minutes, then had to wait another three days headache free before he could ride the bike for 10 min. If he skates on Monday, he has to take Tuesday off. So there is a lot that goes into treating a concussion that most people might not be aware of.  Finally, my mom asked Bruce when he decides to switch shifts during a game, and Bruce said it all depends on how many lines the other team has, weather it be 3 lines or 4, and how many minutes each of the other teams lines are on the ice. If the other team has their top line out on the ice for a long period of time, he’s not going to keep his top line out there because the other team is trying to tire them out.  

Bruce Boudreau

After the film session with Bruce, we went to Strength and Conditioning with the strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish.  He talked about the workout plans that that guys have during the session, then had us do some of the exercises that the guys do during a typical work out.  Don’t ask me the names of the exercises because I don’t remember!!! It was four stations of different exercises and stretches. That’s all I got!! We then learned that the team works out at Verizon Center for roughly 20 minutes after EVERY home game.  Depending on how long they played, their work out might be more or less intense. They share the weight room at Verizon Center with the Wizards, which we all know are currently in a lockout. So the Caps get the weight room to themselves for the time being.  Mark Nemish also told us that the players get tested for body fat once a month and that during the season Mark tries to maintain the body weight the guys already have.  He doesn’t want them losing or gaining any weight.  Interesting right? I thought so too!!

Mark Nemish

Finally, we ended the evening with Alan May and John Walton, the new Caps radio broadcaster. We learned what goes into preparing for the pre-game and post game shows on Comcast as well as on the radio.  We’ll start with Alan May and the TV side of things.  He meets with his entire team the day before a game and they script everything. From what player they are going to show on the ice warming up, to who they want to talk to in between periods.  Alan said that he’ll talk to Caps PR about who they want to interview between periods and they will usually get who he wants, but if for some reason that person can’t do the interview, they will throw in a rookie. So if you ever see Cody Eakin getting interviewed between periods, it’s probably because who they really wanted to interview had something else going on, like equipment issue or maybe even a bathroom break! As Alan May said, when in doubt, throw in a rookie!

Alan May

There you have it ladies and gents! If any of you are interested in Hockey N Heels, you must be a member of Scarlet Caps, (and the minute the tickets go on sale BUY THEM...obviously only a little bitter). There is a another Hockey N Heels event coming up in the winter, where you can bet Ariane, Gina and I will be. Lets just hope no more requests to punch Caps players in the face...

Follow Ariane @LaichCaps21
& convince her to write more :)


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thoughts and Prayers to Entire Ramos Family.

Please keep Wilson Ramos, (catcher for the Washington Nationals) and his family in your thoughts (& prayers).

Wilson Ramos

Ramos, 24, was kidnaped by 4 armed men from his family's home in Venezuela.
 No contact has been made from the kidnappers.

Click for Further Details.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ramo and his family." Tyler Clippard reliever for the Washington Nationals stated. "This is awful, I don't know what to think." Full article from Washington Times


Thank God The Caps Aren't a Cave

Twitter is all a tizzy this morning anticipating the Caps morning skate. Having gone to a few myself, last Monday, there was a lot of fooling around, some good hard skating for maybe 30 minutes. However, very shortly after players were leaving the ice, Ovi was playing slip and slide on the ice, and Carlson was trying to shoot puck in the net from the opposite side of the ice. I understand they had a game the next day, but I will say I as a fan feel that "comfort" with their skating. That "comfort"Boudreau says, ends today. I understand we are in the second month of hockey however, this is becoming the norm for the Caps and what we usually expect. The Caps do really well, 7-0 and feel "pressure" and they crack. Maybe Teddy, GMGM and Bruce should have a little sit down and think about bringing in a Psychiatrist, they do it on that show...I can't remember....it's on USA. If that doesn't work, I'm for hire as well. I've taken .5 of a psychology class and I would be more than happy to listen to all of their problems to alleviate their stresses so they can get on the ice and play a clean game.  Mike Knuble was quoted saying they "played like clowns" and "losers." Someone had to say it, I agree with what Knuble said, its good to hear a player as frustrated as the fans get. However the media can take that and RUN with it, as they do with a lot of things. Two players were joking around with a friend and I at   practice and told us they were married, I looked and said, "You are lucky we aren't media." This player...then looked at me with horror and said, "You're right!"
 The game got to a point where they were talking unnecessary penalties, missing passes, missing shots and overall looking like they were playing as a pee wee team.  We've seen the Caps play beautiful hockey, and know they are capable. Lets let the kinks and clowns out now. Good luck at practice boys....you're going to need it.

on a side note @MikeKnuble22 easily went home and did this:

"I don't like clowns."


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Caps Get Naked

So the tweets tonight got a little intense...however they brought me to two LOVELY new followers :@ieroguson & @hiccupingduck
Well that girl. Ms. Hiccuping duck sent me something that could only be considered gold it goes something  like this please enjoy:

Caps Get Naked


Friday, November 4, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Grinch Who Stole Fashion

First and foremost I would like to make a formal apology to the Florida Panthers, and Patrick McLaughlin. This is something I don't think I have ever done in my life: I am sorry Florida Panthers. Don't get used to it, and don't forget it. :)
Today, Ted Starkey, Washington Capitals author, and staffer for the Washington Post, dropped a bomb in the form of a Twit Pic. Ladies and Gentleman, meet the most vile thing to meet the ice.
      I present to you the New York Islanders 3rd Alternate Jersey


No that is not a FUBU shirt jersey from 2001, nor is it an Abercrombie & Fitch Hoodie from 2005. That gem is the New York Islanders 3rd Alternate jersey. It is terrible.  Worse that the Thundercats of the Florida Panthers, this takes the place of the worst jersey in the NHL. I don't know if its the fact that it looks like a wannabe LA Kings jersey, or the fact that the way "Islanders" is sprawled across the chest it could have possibly made at the Jersey Shore T shirt store but the jersey is terrible. I blame Snooki. I would much rather see a traditional logo, more orange, and less gray. Quite frankly NYI, lets get rid of the gray all together. I think the practice jerseys would make a better 3rd Alternate, even though they look very similar to something the Edmonton Oilers would wear...I say go for it! 


I mean look how cute my favorite Trouty Mouth looks, Islanders its possible to get out of this rut, DITCH THOSE JERSEYS.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hockey for the Fashion Conscious

Caps Basketball had a post earlier today about black jerseys and the teams that wear them, and he asked my my opinion on the black from a fashion standpoint. However, he then decided to eliminate that from his post ;( But, it got me thinking, about jerseys in general.
            First things first what teams have an all black jersey:
·      Boston Bruins (Home & 3rd Jersey)
·      Carolina Hurricanes (3rd Jersey)
·      Anaheim Ducks  (Home & 3rd Jersey)
·      Dallas Stars (Home)
·      LA Kings (Home & 3rd Jersey)
·      Pittsburgh Penguins (Home)
·      Phoenix Coyotes (3rd Jersey)
·      San Jose Sharks (3rd Jersey)
·      Chicago Blackhawks (3rd Jersey)
·      Ottowa Senators (2 3rd Jerseys)
·      Tampa Bay Lightning (I believe it was an alternate home jersey)
·      Philadelphia Flyers (Alternate Jersey at one point)
nhl.com, Coyote or Cute Little Fox?

So here’s the question what is the deal with the black jerseys?  Caps Basketball's theory: cheating, he stated that in the MLB the pitcher cannot have a white glove because it would be hard for the hitters to see when the ball leaves the glove. Which, I never knewI am not sure how this really incorporates the jerseys themselves, causing some puck confusion for the goalies; however, the black tape on the blade may cause some confusion. Also watching the Oilers/Caps game a white stick with white tape against the ice also, almost completely hides the puck, when the blade is over the puck. Could be a reason behind why you don’t see hot pink tape out on the ice.
      Reebok now has Black Ice Premier jerseys for each of the teams. These aren’t for the players but for the fans.  My brother likes the jerseys because he says, “They bring out the accent colors.” I am against these jerseys being worn to games. As a Caps fan, I know to rock the red. As a fan I go, expecting almost 85% of the Verizon Center to be in red. The players…”my team” wear red. I want to wear red; it is my way of showing support, doing my part as far as a fan goes. I feel the same way about the black jerseys as I do with the Fair Isle Women’s Reebok jerseys and the pink jerseys.  As a female, don’t buy it, you are buying it as a fashion statement not as “team pride” or wearing your colors. Remember when Jessica Simpson was going around in a pink football jersey, and how RIDICULUOUS she looked, that’s how you look. I don’t usually wear hockey jerseys, but when I do, you bet your ass it’s a red Reebok Capitals home jersey. I have a Winter Class jersey as well, however I wouldn’t wear it to a game, its white and we don’t rock the white, we rock the red. Just like I wouldn’t show up to a Devils game in angel wings. Quite frankly I would like to get it autographed and then get it framed. (So…John Carlson, what do you say?)
 Reebok Black Ice Premier Jersey
Reebok Fair Isle Women's Jersey

            It can’t be denied that when sports teams try to be more “modern” they look to one thing, black. I mean just look at the UMD uniforms, the total blackout was awesome, but that is coming from a girl who also really liked their Maryland court jester uniforms… However, with Ice Hockey, I am completely against the black trend.  Why black jerseys, do you think it will make your team more intimidating, do you want hipster/emo fans, do you think you’re sexy, or is it because they are stain resistant!? That’s it isn’t it? Here’s the thing guys the only thing that is going to stain your jersey is blood.  So I still don’t get why the black is being pushed, and is the emerging trend in the 3rd jerseys. I mean that Phoenix Coyotes 3rd jersey is just terrible. It looks more like a baby fox; I want to say “awwww” as opposed to “ahh!”
UMD Football Jersey, or Court Jester, you decide.

            There is also another trend in the 3rd jerseys, and this one, I am completely behind: the vintage revival. These jerseys are like a piece of the past; it’s like antiquing for sports fans! The best things about the vintage jerseys are that their logos are simplified and they take up less space, with more of a centralized design. Which, from a fashion perspective is much more aesthetically pleasing. Hockey is a sport that is rich in tradition, so from a fashion perspective, bringing back the jerseys of the past is always a crowd pleaser, to fans and to players alike. 
            Minimalism is also another plus to the vintage jerseys. Some teams that don’t have a “vintage” jersey yet, are designing jerseys with minimalistic detailing, one of the mail qualities of the throwback jersyeys. Some of my favorite jerseys are very simple, with traditional logos; Montreal Canadians, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, and the road jersey for Tampa Bay Lightning. Less is more, and these teams have it down pat.  With the good comes the ugly; and with this I have one team, Florida Panthers. Nothing against the team, but the jerseys are awful, the color palate and everything.  More of a blood red vs the orange red would make a world of difference for them, the angry kitty doesn’t do much either…demon thundercats don’t belong on the ice…The team is going through a major rebuild I think a jersey change could do a lot for the aesthetic, new team, new look. A close contender for the worst jersey in the NHL would have to be the Columbus Blue Jackets, because they either look like soccer jerseys, or a sweater bought at a civil war reenactment battlefield.

Thundercats, or the Florida Panther

After asking around, the general consensus is usually the same, jerseys with a more simple design, or a vintage revival are crowd pleasers.  I mean how many of us wish that the Anaheim Ducks still had the duckbill hockey mask logos? Their logo now looks more like a horseshoe stingray. Patrick McLaughlin, Staff Writer for The Rat Trick,  when asked about his favorite jersey said he liked the Atlanta Flames, the Canucks 3rd Jersey, and the Winter Classic jersey for the Caps, his favorite however is the Blackhawks. (I should also say he likes the new home red jerseys for the Florida Panthers, but I still stand by what I said.) This proves however what I stated previously some of the most aesthetically pleasing jerseys (not based on anything but looks) are the jerseys with more of a minimalistic logo. This has stood true for men and women, actually roughly  8 women I asked stated that the Montreal Canadians had their favorite jerseys, be it home (@make_lemons) or away. The Kings were high ranking amongst a lot of the men I asked, and my best friend as well! (@LaichCaps21, who also stated Colorado Avalanche as another contender.)
My all time favorite jersey is The Hockey Writers number 2, the Quebec Nordiques. Let me also point out the Asian dragon that, at one point was the logo for the Calgary Flames…my apologies Panthers, it could be worse. 
Quebec Nordiques

Calgary Flames...

Minimalist NHL Team Designs  Check out the link for some interesting takes on the team designs.