Hello from Verizon Center. This is Tim Lemke and I’ll be doing some blogging here throughout the game, while Corey Masisak and Ryan O’Halloran take care of most of the game coverage itself.
It’s a little more than an hour before the start of tonight’s Capitals home opener here at Verizon Center. There is a palpable buzz in and around the arena, with nary a soul wearing anything but red. It seems the fans have truly embraced this “Rock the Red” concept. It’s easy to forget that it was just over a year ago when the Caps switched to the all-red look, and it was only very late in the season—the third-to-last games against Carolina, we think—when the team actively encouraged fans to wear all red.
Caps owner Ted Leonsis said that the team’s efforts to have fans wear all red nearly flopped, because the team forgot to give away free red t-shirts.
“We were doing a promotion where I called all the season ticket holders and they gave me a script,” he said. “It was ‘come out, support the team’. And I threw in ‘and let’s make it a red out. Wear red.’ So we had a email blast, I put it on my blog and there were the phones. But then I went ‘oh, my gosh, we should have given them red t-shirts.’ That’s what any other team would have done. And then I came to the arena the next night and it was a sea of red. And I was like ‘really? We didn’t give them anything.’ They did it on their own.”
As for the the game itself, Caps head coach Bruce Boudreau said there will be no lineup changes tonight against the Blackhawks, even after the team’s 7-4 loss to Atlanta last evening. Jose Theodore will remain in goal.
“It’s the most goals we’ve given up,” Boudreau said. “There were some bad goals by the goalie, but they weren’t all goalie mistakes. It was an embarassing loss. We put the onus back on the same group of guys who played to come back and see if they can’t do better.”