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The Washington Capitals are a professional hockey team in the National Hockey League (the NHL). The Washington Capitals play in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference with four other teams: the Carolina Panthers, the Florida Panthers, the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Atlanta Thrashers. Capitals tickets will be a hot item during the 2014-2015 NHL hockey schedule.
Washington Capitals 2014-2015 Outlook
As always, any talk of the Capitals’ chances has to start with Alexander Ovechkin. The Russian superstar is coming off his fourth Rocket Richard trophy as the league’s leading goal scorer. But he struggled defensively (more on that in a second) and will be under a microscope all year, especially with yet another new coach onboard.8 Trotz has never really coached a superstar forward in his prime before, and it will be interesting to see how much he can squeeze out of his franchise player.
Beyond Ovechkin, there’s plenty of talent here. Nicklas Backstrom puts up big numbers despite often being overlooked, and while Mike Green will never challenge the 30-goal mark again, he’s shown signs of once more being an offensive force. Then there’s goalie Braden Holtby, who was perceived as having a tough year last season even though his numbers were decent. He’s played parts of four NHL season, and his save percentage and goals against average have gotten worse each year. The Caps will need him to reverse that trend if they’re going to make it back to the postseason.
The Washington Capitals franchise was originally founded in 1974 and was originally owned by Abe Pollin. Pollin also owned the Washington Bullets of the NBA and he built the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC, to host the games for the Capitals and Bullets. The Washington Capitals did not record a winning record, nor qualify for NHL post-season play during the first 8 seasons in the NHL. From 1983 through 1996, the Washington Capitals advanced to playoffs each season, but made it to the Eastern Conference Finals once in 1990 where they were swept by the Boston Bruins in 4 games. The Washington Capitals advanced to their only Stanley Cup appearance in 1998. The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Washington Capitals 4 games to zero shattering the Washington Capitals’ dreams of a first Stanley Cup title for the franchise. The Washington Capitals have not won a playoff series since that Stanley Cup appearance and they have not qualified for post-season play since the 2002-2003 season.
The Washington Capitals have retired the following players’ numbers: Yvon Labre’s #7 (retired in 1980); Rod Langway’s #5 (retired in 1997); Dale Hunter’s #32 (retired in 2000); and Wayne Gretzky’s #99 (retired league-wide by the NHL on February 6, 2000).
Washington Capitals TV/Radio
All Washington Capitals hockey games can be seen on Comcast SportsNet Washington. ESPN also has television rights to Washington Capitals games based on the popularity of the game. Tune into WWWT 1500/820 on your AM dial or WJFK 106.7 on your FM dial to catch each Washington Capitals hockey game on the radio.
The Washington Capitals play their home games in the Verizon Center. The Verizon Center opened in 1997 as the MCI Center and Verizon purchased the naming rights to the venue in 2006 The Verizon Center is located in downtown Washington, DC and is known as the “Phone Booth” because of its ties to the telecommunications companies. In addition to hosting all Washington Capitals NHL Hockey games, the Verizon Center also hosts all of the professional basketball games for the Washington Wizards of the National Basketball Association, all of the professional basketball games for the Washington Mystic of the Women’s National Basketball Association, and all of the home collegiate basketball games for the Georgetown Hoyas of the Big East Conference. The Verizon Center holds a capacity of 18,277 devoted die-hard Washington Capitals fans. The Verizon Center has played host to numerous memorable and historic NBA basketball games, NHL hockey games, concerts and boxing events, including the 1998 Stanley Cup Finals, the 1st and 2nd rounds of the Men’s NCAA College Basketball Tournament in 1998, 2002 and 2008, the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Men’s College Basketball Tournament in 2005, the 2001 NBA All-Star Game, the WNBA All-Star Game in 2002 and 2007, and the WWE’s SummerSlam 2005 and CyberSunday 2007. Celine Dion will perform at the Verizon Center in September 2008 and the Verizon Center will host the NCAA’s Men’s Frozen Four Hockey Championship for the first time in 2009.
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