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Which Cap had the best Halloween costume?


Which Cap had the best Halloween costume?

Off to their best start in four years with a 6-1-0 record, the topic of conversation in the Capitals’ locker room on Monday turned from hockey to Halloween when players debated who exhibited the best costume at a Saturday night party hosted by captain Alex Ovechkin.

Was it right wing T.J. Oshie, who arrived as a dalmation puppy on a leash held by his wife, Lauren, who was dressed as Cruella de Vil?

Was it right wing Chris Brown and his fiancé, dressed as a young Forrest Gump and his girlfriend, Jenny?

Was it Ovechkin and his fiancé, Nastya, who were dressed as Batman and Catwoman?

How about left wing Brooks Laich and right wing Andre Burakovsky, who showed up as Woody and Buzz Lightyear?

“I thought me and Latts were the best,” said Caps right wing Tom Wilson, who walked into Ovechkin’s house dressed as a giant volleyball (Wilson) and as Tom Hanks’ stranded, overgrown character in the movie Castaway.

“I think most of the guys have their wives do a lot of the work and Latts and I had to come up with it ourselves,” Wilson said. “He had no shirt, long beard, big wig, the castaway look.”

And how did Wilson pull off the volleyball look?

“I paper mache’d a giant exercise ball and put duct tape on it,” Wilson said with a smile.

(You can imagine how many times he heard teammates yell, “Wiilllll-son!”)

Capitals coach Barry Trotz, who gave his players two full days off after their perfect three-game road trip to Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton, says he knows his invitation didn’t get lost in the mail.

“That’s not for any coach to be at,” Trotz said with a chuckle. “They were really creative. I saw the (pictures); they’re all over the place.”

Defenseman Taylor Chorney, who voted Chris Brown’s Forrest Gump as his favorite costume, said there is nothing like having some good-natured fun to bring a team closer together at the start of a season.

“After a good road trip like that everybody’s spirits were pretty high,” Chorney said. “It was fun to get away from everything and get the wives and girlfriends there as well. We kind of let our guard down a little bit and had some fun.”

RELATED: Kuznetsov named NHL first star of the week

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Capitals are shaking up the coaching staff in Hershey

The Hershey Bears

Capitals are shaking up the coaching staff in Hershey

The contracts of Hershey Bears head coach Troy Mann and Bears assistant coach Ryan Murphy will not be renewed for next season, the Capitals announced Wednesday. Hershey finished in last place in the Atlantic Division and did not qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2014.

“Troy is a dedicated and hard-working coach and we appreciate all he has done for the Hershey Bears,” said Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan. “At this point, we feel a fresh approach and a change in leadership is needed in order for us to continue to develop our young players towards the next level and for success at the AHL level. We also want to thank Ryan for his contributions to the Hershey Bears and wish him all the best.”

Just two seasons ago, the Bears under Mann were playing the Calder Cup Finals where they lost in four games to the Lake Erie Monsters. Mann served as an assistant coach for Hershey from 2009-2013 and was hired as the head coach in 2014. He led the Bears to a record of 162-102-22-18 during his tenure, good for sixth all-time among Hershey coaches in wins.

Mann coached several current Capitals players in Hershey including Travis Boyd, Chandler Stephenson, Jakub Vrana, Madison Bowey, Christian Djoos and Philipp Grubauer, among others. Hershey also currently boasts several of the Caps' biggest prospects such as Lucas Johansen, Connor Hobbs, Riley Barber and Jonas Siegenthaler.

Murphy was with the Bears for all four years of Mann's tenure. He started in video development in Mann's first season and was promoted to assistant coach the following year.

“We’d like to thank Troy Mann and Ryan Murphy for their contributions to the Hershey Bears organization,” said Hershey vice president of hockey operations, Bryan Helmer. “While we are looking to move our hockey club forward, today is certainly an emotional day. I had the pleasure of working with both Troy and Ryan behind the bench for two seasons, and consider them to be great people. We wish both all the best in future endeavors.”

Coaching in the AHL is a tough job as coaches are expected to bring the team success while also developing their NHL club's prospects. There are times when the two goals do not necessarily line up which can make it a difficult balance.

Considering how important it is to develop talent from within, AHL coaches are very significant parts of an organization. Getting the right guy in charge of Hershey won't just boost the AHL team, but will help the Caps down the line with developed players.


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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: And so we meet again

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: And so we meet again

We all knew this was coming, right?

The Capitals will face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the playoffs for the third consecutive season and for the 11th time in franchise history. Washington has only beaten Pittsburgh once in their previous 10 series. This season gives them the opportunity to get over the second round and Pittsburgh hump once and for all.

Will this year be different? Will the Caps finally take down their arch nemesis? Will they finally advance to the conference final?

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir break down the Caps-Penguins matchup in the Capitals Faceoff Podcast.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page