What's Up with the Washington Capitals?
Brooks Orpik (below), Andre Burakovsky (above)
1. With the end of the 2019 season, the Capitals lost a lot of their key players. Two of the team’s biggest losses were alternate captain Brooks Orpik and Andre Burakovsky. Orpik retired after 16 seasons in the NHL at age 38. Burakovsky was traded to the Colorado Avalanche. Burakovsky worked on the third line and brought the Caps 12 goals, 13 assists, and 29 points. DC will miss you!!
(Holtby and Backstrom making a save)
2. The 2020 season marks the end of some very important Capitals’ contracts. Both the starting goalie Braden Holtby and the alternate captain Nicklas Backstrom have contracts that end at the end of the season. Sports teams only have a certain amount of money to pay their players, so the Capitals might not have enough money to extend both contracts.
3. Even though Braden Holtby might not extend his contract, he still got a new, DC themed mask! According to Capital’s blog “Russian Machine Never Breaks,” both of Holtby’s mask designs were created by Swedish artist Dave Gunnarson. According to the blog, the large eagle on the side is actually called the “weagle.” The weagle is the official logo and has an eagle with the shape of the Capitol building beneath its head. We hope to see many more saves from HOLTBEAST in the upcoming season!
4. The newest addition to the Capitals’ family is actually not a human but a puppy! The Capitals partnered with America’s VetDogs, an organization that works to bring service dogs to veterans with disabilities. The yellow labrador Captain was named the Capital’s dog until he is fully trained to be a service dog. After his debut with Capitals’ captain Alex Ovechikin at the beginning of the season, he quickly gained many fans and is already verified on Instagram with 41.1 k followers! Just look at that face! How could you not love him?
5. The last but very important change in the 2020 season is star defenseman John Carlson’s new point streak. For all of you new hockey fans, a point is a goal or an assist (helping score a goal). This season, John Carlson reached 20 points in just 11 games and is the second fastest defenseman to reach this milestone. Paul Coffey reached 20 points in just 10 games in the 1988-1989 season. Carlson also leads the NHL in goals during the month of October. Keep up the good work, Carlson!