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Best moments from Joe B. and Locker's Reddit AMA


Best moments from Joe B. and Locker's Reddit AMA

CSN Capitals announcers Joe Beninati and Craig "Locker" Laughlin participated in a Reddit AMA ("ask me anything") session this afternoon. 

They were asked a lot of Capitals questions, obviously, but got plenty of wild cards, too. And plenty of wardrobe queries for Beninati, obviously. 

Here are some of the best moments: 

biger93: Does Locker buy his own ties, or does Joe B just wear each tie once and then give them to Locker to wear?

Craig_Laughlin: I buy my own until there's a Joe B auction. When there is one, I always have first choice.

Joe_Beninati: It's about time for me to thin the herd.

_SCHULTZY_: Who's the most underrated player to have played for Washington in the last decade?

Joe_Beninati: I'll choose Joel Ward. His contributions, especially come playoff time, were extremely valuable and will be missed even by a team as strong as this one. He played the game so hard at that time of year when the game is the toughest to play.

EDIT: Also, to me, Nicklas Backstrom never gets enough credit but I have trouble calling him underrated.

Craig_Laughlin: From this year's team, Matt Niskanen. Flies under the radar and is very solid positionally.

In the past decade, probably Jeff Halpern who was a captain for many years.

LAKingsDave: Craig, what was the best fight you ever had as a player?

Craig_Laughlin: I was a lover, not a fighter...

But definitely when I took care of Lane Lambert in Detroit!

tigerbrightest: What has been the strangest and/or funniest thing to happen while you were broadcasting a game? (Or, if it's a better story, just while in an arena.)

Craig_Laughlin: We missed our train after a game in New York City and didn't realize they don't run on the hour after the game. The next train was at 3:30am so we said "what the heck" and had a night out in NYC prior to boarding the train.

Joe_Beninati: We were at Penn Station at the wrong hour, let's just say that.

That's just one of MANY funny/strange things that have happened over the years.

matty_c: When you got into broadcasting, did you anticipates 20+ year collaboration together? And during that time, how have you seen the culture in DC change in regards to hockey or has it? Thanks gents, always fun to hear your calls.

Joe_Beninati: In 1994, HTS, WB50, and the Caps tinkered with several combinations of announcing teams. By 1996, they realized the most successful lineup would be Craig, Al Koken and I. From there, we've grown very tight as an announce team and only hope to keep improving.

Craig_Laughlin: The culture has changed drastically with the arrival of Ovechkin, the rink moving downtown, and obviously winning more than losing.

I did envision a long relationship working with Joe!

You can catch Beninati and Laughlin on every CSN Capitals broadcast, including tonight's against the Vancouver Canucks (6:30 p.m., CSN). 

MORE CAPITALS: Could Ovechkin ever catch Gretzky?

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Braden Holtby puts loss to Tampa solely on his own shoulders


Braden Holtby puts loss to Tampa solely on his own shoulders

The mood in the Capitals locker room following a 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday was one of frustration. Forty minutes of strong play from Washington amounted to nothing because of a disastrous opening first period in which the Lightning jumped out to a 3-0 lead.

No one in the locker room was more frustrated than Braden Holtby.

"Obviously you don't want to go down three," he told reporters after the game. "That's on no one else but me. The third goal, especially the third, fourth goal, that's the difference in the game. I thought we played a really strong game against a really good team. We should have got a better result and that's on me why we didn't."

Tampa scored three goals in the first off of only eight shots. For the game, the Lightning managed to pierce Holtby four times off of only 19 shots.


Frustration seemed to boil over on the fourth goal when a normally stoic Holtby was visibly upset after allowing Nikita Kucherov to beat him on a breakaway in a play similar to what we saw in the All-Star Game.

See for yourself:

"The key to getting better is learning from your mistakes and obviously I didn't do that," Holtby said. "I was just trying to play it patient. I wasn't trying to cheat towards that move and he came at it a different way. That's on me for not recognizing it. That's not a goal I can give up in that situation after our team battled the way they did, especially in the third."

The frustration Holtby feels likely is not the result of one goal, but the culmination of a recent slump that continues to plague the Vezina winner.

Holtby has lost four straight starts and has given up at least four goals in each of those games.

While Holtby was quick to take the blame for Tuesday's loss, head coach Barry Trotz was quick to defend his netminder.

"No one takes the loss," he said. "We all take a loss. I take a loss, the group takes a loss and Braden's part of the group. ... He's had a little tough stretch. It's no different than, we've got guys that haven't scored in 15, 20 games. It's no different than a player."

The challenge now is overcoming that slump.

For a slumping skater, Trotz could try different line combinations or play someone in different situations over the course of the game. Getting a starting goalie out of a slump, however, is more difficult. Most of the work has to be done in practice with the hope that it will carry over into the next game.

"You analyze how the goals are going in, what you're doing differently," Holtby said. "There's always some stuff that you can't control and stuff that you can and it's focusing on those contrallables that you can make a difference at. Like the first goal in Chicago, the last two goals here, those are goals that I could and should stop. You get to practice the next day and you focus on that and work hard until you figure it out so you don't do it again."


Part of the problem in Washington is that team defense is the Caps' biggest weakness. For most of the season, and even in years past, Holtby has made up for much of the team's mistakes on the backend. Now that he is slumping those mistakes become much more glaring and costly.

"The goaltenders in this league are erasers," Trotz said.

Lately, Holtby has not been able to erase those mistakes.

But the team has already moved to address the defense. Brian MacLellan added a puck-moving defenseman in Michal Kempny to help the team get the puck out of the defensive zone more quickly. Waiving Taylor Chorney could also signify another move may be coming before Monday's trade deadline.

As for Trotz, even during the slump, he made clear his confidence in Holtby has not wavered.

"He has been a rock since the day I've been here the last four years and he's been an elite goaltender and I look at him that way."

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2018 Olympic Hockey Results: Czech Republic eliminate U.S. men in shootout winner

USA Today Sports

2018 Olympic Hockey Results: Czech Republic eliminate U.S. men in shootout winner

GANGNEUNG, South Korea -- Pavel Francouz stopped all five shooters and Petr Kouka scored the shootout winner as the Czech Republic eliminated the United States with a 3-2 victory in the quarterfinals Wednesday.

Jan Kovar and Tomas Kundratek scored in regulation for the Czech Republic, which was fresher after winning its group and getting a bye into the quarterfinals. The U.S. looked fatigued after facing Slovakia in the qualification round and was outshot 29-20.

Ryan Donato and Jim Slater scored for the U.S, which again was led by its youngest players, including speedster Troy Terry. U.S. goaltender Ryan Zapolski allowed three goals on 29 shots and one in the shotoout, while Francouz stopped 18 in regulation and overtime.

Koukal was the only player to score in overtime. Chris Bourque, Ryan Donato, Marc Arcobello, Terry and Bobby Butler couldn't beat Francouz.