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Caps First Collectible: 1977-78 Washington Capitals Photo Set

By Rodger M. Wood

Craig Patrick.jpgDave Forbes.jpgBryan Watson.jpg

The earliest Capitals collectible I can recall was a set of fifteen 5×7 black and white photos. They were sold either at the old Capital Centre or sent/given by the Capitals players at team festivities and in response to mail requests during the 1977-1978 season.The “hot” photos in the set were of 36 – goal scorer Guy Charron, #1 draft pick defenseman Robert Picard, and all star defenseman, Ivan Labre.

Guy Charron.jpgGord Lane.jpgRobert Picard.jpg

Since the team finished fifth in the Norris Division that season well behind Montreal, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh with a 17W-49L-14T record, and put an average of 8,000 fans in the stands each home game there was not a large demand for the photo set. Very few photos are seen today at trade shows or advertised for sale on the internet.

Bob Girard.jpgMichel Bergeron.jpgJack Lynch.jpg

The following players were in the 1977-78 Washington Capitals 5×7 black and white photo set:Bob Girard LWBob Sirois RWBryan “Bugsy” Watson DCraig Patrick RWDave Forbes LWGarnet “Ace” Bailey LWGerry Meehan CGordie Lane DGordie Smith DGuy Charron CJack Lynch DMichel Bergeron RWRick Green DRobert Picard DTom Rowe RW

Flashback Friday: Former Cap Kelly Miller Calls Olympic Hero, Ryan Miller, “Cuz.”

By Rodger M. Wood

kelly miller 1991 Topps 008.jpg

Former Caps forward, Kelly Miller, can call 2010 Olympic hero, and USA goalie Ryan Miller “cuz” and get away with it, even if he never had the chance to score a goal against him in the NHL.Kelly and Ryan are two of ten Millers, who played hockey at Michigan State, including Kelly’s brothers and former Caps, Kevin and Kip, and Ryan’s brother Drew, who is currently playing for the Anaheim Ducks.Kelly came over to the Capitals from the New York Rangers in a blockbuster trade on January 1, 1987, which sent a Caps #1 draft pick and 50 – goal scorer Bobby Carpenter to the Big Apple.A strong, two way forward and always a plus/minus leader in 13 seasons for the Capitals from 1986 to 1999, Miller was a key man on face-offs, penalty kill, a clutch scorer and set up man.He scored 24 goals and assisted on 26 for the Caps 1990 Wales Conference Finalist, but injured much of the season, scored only 2 goals and 5 assists on the Caps 1998 Stanley Cup Finalists.He was an iron man most of his Caps career, playing in 1,057 regular season and playoff games, while scoring a total 162 goals and 246 assists.Kelly Miller closed out his NHL career as an assistant coach for the 2001 -02, and 2002 -03 NY Islanders.Brother Kevin played 10 games for the Capitals the 1998-1999 season and Kip 138 games the 2002 – 03 and 2003-04 seasons.

Big Picture: Former Capital Brian Pothier

Brian Pothier-Canes

Former Capital and fan favorite Brian Pothier on his return to Verizon Center. Tonight the Caps will meet him on the Carolina Hurricanes home ice.Bookmark and Share

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All Things Presidential

The Capstronaut

By ThomWith Southeast Division officially wrapped up, the Capitals are track for their best season ever. For some fans this is as expected and a great achievement, but there is one achievement that many of us may not have considered. With the bulk of the season behind us and a team that simply refuses to throw in the towel, one possible distinction has been lurking in the back of my mind… The President’s Trophy.Yes, I said it and it likely prompted you to fall from your feet screaming “jiiiiiinx,” but it is a real possibility and one many fans may clamor to see. I can imagine fans having the opportunity to chant for the President’s Trophy and MVP in the final days of the regular season. I can even imagine myself in a sea of red at the final regular season game chanting with a fervor… or can I?Ultimately, the Stanley Cup is a team’s goal, but why wouldn’t anyone cheer for an honor such as the President’s Trophy? It is awarded to the team with the most regular season points and has been around for just over two decades. It is one of the leagues highest distinctions and has been claimed 23 times by 13 different teams. One might venture to guess that it should be a sure path to Lord Stanley’s Cup, but the statistics present a whole different story.Might I say, the Curse of the President’s Trophy? Much like the Sports Illustrated Jinx or the Madden Curse from the cover of the EA Sports video games, this trophy presents it’s own conundrum. Take for instance the modern Detroit Red Wings. Six time owners of the trophy in the last fifteen seasons and just two Stanley Cups during that run. Not bad, but not six.  Of the twenty-three winners since the trophy was created in 1985, only seven of those trophy winners won the Stanley Cup, with only two others moving to the finals. The rest of the teams were doomed to a summer on the links.It’s possible that the trophy winners spend too much effort in the regular season or the pressure of playoff expectations weight too much on them. It really could be any number of variables, but superstitions aside, I suspect that Capitals’ fans would be first in line to see it handed to the Caps after one of the most exciting and accomplished seasons to date. Ok, preferably with a drink from the cup too. Do you believe in curses?Oh, and lest I forget, the trophy comes with home ice advantage for the entire playoffs. Do you care about curses?On Another presidential Note: As our catch phrase states on The Capital Power Play, “the best power play in town is on ice, so join us in supporting the and sign the petition to get our Nations President to come to a Caps game.Bookmark and Share

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Ovi Suspended Two Games: O Captain! My Captain!

Alex Ovechkin 3-10-2010

By ThomO CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done:The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:But O heart! heart! heart!O the bleeding drops of red,Where on the deck my Captain lies…Ok, so that is a bit dramatic, but the most recent decision by the NHL powers to suspend the Capitals captain leaves many fans and maybe some officials in a state of dismay. Not for the call, because we do understand the call. It was boarding. Whether intentional or not, it was boarding. I think not intentional, but that is me. It is unfortunate that it resulted in an injury. I think most fans wouldn’t wish that upon any player, most bitter rivals or not.What is disconcerting is that the league appears to be inconsistent in the officiating and suspension of a player as a result of these so-called “reckless” plays. I have watched the replay over and over and I do believe that it was as the league calls it “reckless.” I do believe that a penalty should have been called and if the rule states that it will be a 5 minute major due to the injury, then it is what it is. I won’t quibble with that, but if the league wants bigger, stronger and faster players to play at full intensity, they need rules to protect every player and those rules need to be consistent for everyone. The Cookes, Downies and Adams of the league should be no exception.To conclude my rant, I leave you with a very relevant post by CapsBlog: Does This Look Familiar?Oh and the poem, Walt Whitman 1865: Oh Captain! My Captain!Bookmark and ShareCreative Commons images by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.