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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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Capitals are sticking with Chandler Stephenson on the top line… for now


Capitals are sticking with Chandler Stephenson on the top line… for now

With Tom Wilson still serving a 20-game suspension, Washington Capitals head coach Todd Reirden has the difficult task of finding a wing to complement his top line of Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov. For the first four games of the season, that player was Brett Connolly.

On Saturday, however, he changed things up and went with Chandler Stephenson instead.

Just 18 seconds into the game, Stephenson made his head coach look very smart as he finished off a 2-on-1 with Kuznetsov to score his first goal of the season.

“Obviously, the start was great,” Reirden said after the game.

Stephenson is an incredibly fast skater and the extra speed seemed to add another dimension to that line that opponents had to contend with, and it led to both of the Caps’ goals on the night.

In addition to Stephenson’s goal, Ovechkin drew a tripping penalty in the second period, and Washington scored on the resulting power play.

“Those guys are a lot of fun to play with,” Stephenson said. “They just know where to be and can find each other. I've just got to get the puck to them and just go to the net with your stick on the ice, and they'll find you.”

The top line’s success was a matter of finding instant chemistry as Stephenson had very little time to adjust. The Caps were off on Friday following back-to-back games, and Reirden did not make the switch of putting Stephenson on the top until Saturday’s morning skate.

Putting a new top line together with little time to practice does not seem like an ideal scenario, but according to Kuznetsov, the level of familiarity between all the players made the adjustment quick and easy.

“It doesn't matter with who you play,” he said. “In this locker room, we can communicate with anybody. We don't have a first line, we don't have a fourth line. We try and roll all lines.”

Reirden seemed pleased with the new trio after the game saying, “They did a number of good things during the game as well, so they I thought accomplished a lot. I thought [Stephenson] brought the speed on the forecheck and was able to at least go after their defense a little bit and force some turnovers that Kuznetsov and [Ovechkin] were able to at least get some opportunities from. So I think that's important to have him in that situation.”

Reirden was happy enough with the top line’s performance to keep them together. The team is off Monday, but Stephenson remained on the top line during Sunday’s practice.

But so long as Wilson remains out, finding the right match for the top line will remain a work in progress.

Said Reirden, “We’ll continue to try to put together our four lines that give us the best chance.”


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NHL Power Rankings: Not every night is a big-time game for the Capitals

NHL Power Rankings: Not every night is a big-time game for the Capitals

There was a lot of excitement to start the season for the Caps. First, there was the home-opener and the banner raising against the Boston Bruins. Then there was a trip to Pittsburgh to take on the rival Penguins. After that, it was a Stanley Cup Final rematch against the Vegas Golden Knights.

And all of that was followed up with a trip to Newark.


With all due respect to New Jersey, given the slate the Caps faced to start the season, it was no real surprise to see the team struggle to get up for Thursday’s game against the Devils, a game in which the Caps were blown out 6-0. Of all the games Washington faced to start the season, the trip to New Jersey was definitely the least exciting.

But not every game is going to be a big rivalry matchup or a playoff rematch. With every team gunning for the Caps, they better make sure they can get themselves ready for the grind of an 82-game season that won’t always feature a big-time matchup.

A trip to Newark may not be flashy or exciting, but it still counts as two points.

The Caps dropped the game in New Jersey and lost a tight contest against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Where do they stand now after two straight losses?