Nic Dowd

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Remembering the highlights of each of the Capitals' American players

Remembering the highlights of each of the Capitals' American players

The Capitals have a superstar Russian, an incredible Swedish center, a Canadian netminder, but the team also boasts several American players as well. On the 4th of July when American celebrate the birth of our nation, lets put down the barbecue, apple pie and fireworks for a few minutes to remember some of the top highlights from each of the team's Americans.

Travis Boyd: 4 goals for Hayden

In Feb. 2018, Boyd turned hardship into an inspirational moment. While with the Hershey Bears, Boyd's daughter, Hayden, developed a serious infection and had to go to the hospital. Boyd went with her on a Sunday and did not leave until Friday morning to prepare for that night's game, a game in which he would score four goals.

John Carlson: The golden goal

Carlson has numerous highlights from his career with the Caps, but on Indepence Day it seems only fitting to look back at his biggest goal for his country. Carlson represented Team USA in the 2010 World Junior Championships which was hosted by Canada that year. USA made it all the way to the final where the played the host nation. Tied at 5 through regulation, Carlson scored the golden goal off a 2-on-1 as he caught the goalie leaning anticipating the pass.

Nic Dowd: Historic penalty shot

In Game 5 of the Caps' series against the Carolina Hurricanes in 2019, Nic Dowd was slashed by defenseman Dougie Hamilton while he was in alone on goalie Petr Mrazek. Dowd was awarded the first penalty shot of his career and he delivered, dekeing right to open up Mrazek's pads and tucking the puck through the 5-hole. In addition to being his first penalty shot goal, the goal was also Dowd's first-career playoff point.

The goal also had some historic significance for the team as it was Washington's first ever playoff penalty shot goal.


Garnet Hathaway: Shows his toughness against the Rangers

On Oct. 18, the Caps hosted the New York Rangers and it proved to be an pretty epic night for Hathaway. He was knocked out of the game in the second period with a broken nose after a big hit from Jacob Trouba, came back in the third, drew a cross-check, fought Brendan Smith (again, with a broken nose), the Caps scored on the resulting power play and Hathaway returned to score the empty-netter.

That’s a pretty unbelievable game.

Nick Jensen: Assisting on goal No. 700

Jensen has been with the Capitals for about a year and a half, but he will forever be linked to the team's greatest franchise player thanks to one assist.

Against the New Jersey Devils on Feb. 22, Jensen grabbed a loose puck behind the offensive goal line and sent it back behind the net to keep the offensive cycle going. That allowed Evgeny Kuznetsov to find Alex Ovechkin who scored career goal No. 700.

T.J. Oshie: T.J. Sochi

Who could forget about Oshie's incredible performance at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi?

Playing against Team Russia, USA leaned heavily on Oshie in the shootout. He would score four times on goalie Sergei Bobrovsky as USA walked away victorious.

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Nic Dowd tells the most relatable story for anyone who has a kid

Nic Dowd tells the most relatable story for anyone who has a kid

I remember it vividly. Our twin girls were still newborns. Any parent knows how much stuff you need just to leave the house with a newborn baby.

Now, imagine having two babies. It took 30 minutes to organize and another 15 minutes to execute any plan to leave for any stretch of time. But we needed a new couch and we had to get to Macy’s somehow. So, with four bags, a double stroller & a small collection of baby bottles — off we went.

Everything was fine. Until, it wasn’t.

One of the girls didn’t just poop. It was explosive poop. It shot up out of her diaper onto her back. Almost up to her neck. And, with gravity working as it does, it also then dripped down her legs onto her feet. Is that enough of a mental picture for you? Well, here’s where it gets interesting. Because nowhere in our collection of things in our multiple bags … was a change of clothes! After cleaning this baby from a massive diarrhea in a department store bathroom, we had nothing to put her in to walk back out among people. My wife called me on her cell phone from the bathroom as I was choosing a sofa, in a total frenzy, near tears, pleading for help.

So I had to run out to the car, grab the baby blanket that was in the car seat to keep her warm on the ride home, and wrap her up in that to walk swiftly out to the car. I just kind of handed my credit card to the clerk and said, “We’ll take that one!”

The joys of parenthood!

Every parent knows what I’m talking about. And, for those that don’t have kids, you’re welcome!

Caps center Nic Dowd learned these lessons like the rest of us. In an inopportune time when your patience is at its limit. I spoke with Dowd recently as he prepared for his first Father’s Day.


It’s a pretty amazing day for a new dad. Just hearing that word makes any dad get a little emotional. Dowd credits his own dad for giving him the ultimate lesson on parenthood: Love & support. Everything else is just everything else. The best thing you can do is love your child & support their decisions. Dowd said his dad never complained about money. He just sent Dowd to a boarding school so he could play hockey and chase his dream. That selflessness is not lost on Dowd now as he continues chasing his ultimate dream of winning a Stanley Cup in DC. That’s what Dowd told me he wants to do for his son, Louie. He wants to support him no matter what he wants to do in life.

So why did I lead this whole thing off with a disgusting poop story? Because that was the part of the conversation that got Dowd the most excited. It’s 3 a.m. He’s exhausted. But it’s his turn to change the diaper. Dowd's wife, Paige, is asleep in their room. As Dowd lifts his son’s legs, that’s when it happens. The thing that’s not in any book and no one warns you about.

Explosive poop.

Louie shot it across the room onto a wall. Nic said there was so much force, it would’ve gone another 10-15 feet if the wall hadn’t stopped it. He laughed & said he thought it could go in the Guinness Book of World Records. Again, it’s 3 am. Paige yells, asking what happened. He said, “You wouldn’t believe it.” So much poop on the wall. But Dowd made an executive decision. He had to clean it either way. It just wasn’t going to be right at that moment. Not at 3 am. So, he put Louis in his crib & went back to bed. The poop would have to wait until morning. He left it on the wall.

That’s parenting!

That’s being a dad!

Happy Father’s Day, Nic. Welcome to the club.

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Holtby, Dowd, Hathaway share crazy stories of their first NHL games

Holtby, Dowd, Hathaway share crazy stories of their first NHL games

Most NHL players will never forget their first game. That is especially true for a handful of Capitals players who all had crazy experiences in their first taste of NHL action. Braden Holtby joined Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway in the latest edition of the Between Two Blue Lines Podcast episode that released on Tuesday and the three began telling the story of each of their first NHL games. As it turns out, those games proved to be memorable in more ways than one.

Holtby, for example, was terrified his skate was going to fall off during his debut in 2010.

"Back then, I was having trouble with my ankles, my bursas in my ankles," Holtby said. "They were really big and they went over my skates so we were up 3-0 going into the third period so I was like, ah, this is killing me. I'm going to untie my skate for the third period. It was barely hanging on and they scored three goals in the first like minute and a half or something."

You can see where this is going.

"Bruce was the coach at that time, Bruce Boudreau, and he looks down at me and he says, Holts, go in. And I was just panicking. I went in there, knees were shaking, I could barely even skate because my skate was so loose."

Holtby was legitimately concerned his skate was going to fall off mid-play and during the next TV timeout, he skated to the bench, took off his pad and tied his skate. Taking off a goalie pad and putting it back on is not a quick process, but desperate times call for desperate measures. The skate did not fall off and Holtby stopped all four shots he faced to earn his first professional win.

This prompted Dowd to tell the story of his first game which...actually didn't happen.

Dowd was recalled by the Los Angeles Kings and told his family, rented a car, and then, "They call me after the game, after they just played, they were playing a back-to-back on the first half, and they go OK, we don't need you anymore so we're not going to call you up."

Dowd then had to sheepishly tell his family that he actually wasn't getting called up. This story, however, has a happy ending as you could probably guess from the fact that he is still an NHL payer.

"I come back and then two days later, they call me back up," he said, "But my first game ends up being in Minnesota which was pretty special because basically I went to school there, I've got a lot of buddies there and then Paige's whole family was from there so I have like 40 people at the game, Paige got to fly out and see it."

Not to be outdone, Hathaway then shared his story of waiting inside an empty arena for over an hour for his first NHL game.

When Hathaway was first recalled by the Calgary Flames, he had to meet the team in Philadelphia.

"They said hey go to the rink and just wait in the stands until the team gets there," Hathaway said. "I sat in the stands in the rink for probably an hour and a half."

Hathaway was eventually spotted by an equipment manager and was soon informed by head coach Bob Hartley that because of a trade the Flames had 12 forwards...including him and that he would be playing that night.

"I'd been sitting in the stands an hour and a half just sitting there, staring at the rafters being like, where am I?" Hathaway said.

And how did Hathaway even get into the building to sit in the stands? By asking Claude Giroux, whom he saw drive into the parking lot. Not knowing where to go, Hathaway asked the Flyer forward where the visiting team entrance was.

"I'm surprised he didn't send you to a different building," Holtby said.

As they say, you never forget your first.


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