Behind the Scenes with CSN’s Caps Pregame Live

There’s a problem in the control room, and Alan May is involved.

“He’s definitely gone over,” producer Ryan Billie tells the crew over headset. “We’re over by :30.”

TV control rooms do not like surprises. They are dark places, populated by glowing lights and tense voices yelling out questions, requests, orders or expletives…or some combination thereof. It all lends an air of modest confusion and panic – two things that are not good in live TV.

Control room

But this one, Control Room A at CSN Mid-Atlantic headquarters in a downtown Bethesda office building, is relatively calm. Relatively. Throughout the last half hour, line-ups were juggled, graphics adjusted, plans changed and changed again. And now, Alan May has gone long at the telestrator and something needs to be done.

“What are we dropping?” asks the director. “I don’t know yet,” says Billie. He has about :20 seconds to make up his mind before the commercial ends and it’s back to live studio. Everyone’s waiting, but something will work out. It has to.

All in all, just another evening at CSN Capitals Pregame Live. Continue reading

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Night Out, Stars Out

There’s an LGBT social networking site operating in DC that’s not a hookup outfit like Grindr, Scruff or whatever the online flavor of the month is, but one that gets people together to do cool things when they’re vertical – LIKE GO TO CAPS GAMES!

Squeak and Ovi  Dallas+Stars+v+Washington+Capitals


The Welcoming Committee is already in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle. This Thursday, for Caps v. Stars, they’re organizing a night out to the game. The cost is $50 (info on added discount and iherb coupon code below) and that comes with a free t-shirt. From Molly at their HQ:

While we are well known for our Guerilla Queer Bar (GQB) night in which we takeover typically straight bars and clubs with hundreds of our members, we have expanded our offerings as we discussed to include sporting, cultural, nightlife, and travel experiences. In DC this summer we attempted our first concert takeover in which we brought 44 of our members to the Verizon Center for the Ariana Grande concert on July 25th. We also hosted a U-street bar crawl  in August selling about 140 tickets and a very successful Pride GQB pre-party.

The basics (details are here):

  • Thursday, November 19th at 7pm. Seats are in section 407 rows L-Q.
  • Tickets are $50 + a free t-shirt (a 20% discount)
  • Use discount code: puckbuddys for $5 off!!
  • Purchase tickets here.
  • Pregaming at City Tap House (901 9th Street) starts at 6pm.
  • This is their first stab at the NHL but they’ve successfully hosted base ball and hoops games in several other cities.

For more information on The Welcoming Committee, how they got started, and where they’re headed, check out this Forbes article. They have 4,000 DC members and nearly 40,000 nationwide. CYA Thursday!!!

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How the Washington Capitals Won Over a Girl from New Jersey


Love goes both ways.

(Ed. note: Joining us today is Molly Hahn, a personal friend and friend of PuckBuddys, L.L.C. (Cayman Islands). Molly moved to D.C. from New Jersey and is a lifelong hockey fan, around rinks her whole life, whether mites or the New Jersey Devils. Since moving to D.C., the Washington Capitals have made her feel some type of way, and she shares with us her thoughts on how her loyalty was won.) Continue reading

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Today we’re introducing our newest writer – Paul Kaseman, covering the Sabres. He’s just the latest of what we expect will be the hockey scribes of the future, and today offers thoughts both season-related…and more expansive. 

An editor’s note: Paul sees the beautiful game not just as team on team, or stats-analysis, but as classic struggle. Much as those who came many generations before us, sport – in this case hockey – doesn’t end at the book of who won or lost. Hockey…from country frozen ponds to corporate profit sheets…speaks to something deep, and essential, in us all. His reflections, and thoughts about the Sabres 2015-16 season, follow.

The Buffalo Sabres have begun a new season…and perhaps, a new era.  Now, as they look to the future, they must let go of two dismal seasons. And so must the fans.

The team has undergone a paradigm shift. With players such as Evander Kane, Ryan O’Reilly, and Jack Eichel entering the fray, the Sabres aren’t the same team during the past two years of blight.  This year the team is motivated.  Kane and O’Reilly were exhumed from the West, sought specifically, now galvanized to prove not just to their organization but to themselves they can thrive beautifully on the ice.  Eichel is excited at his Oracle of Delphi-like prediction to not just make the team but to fulfill the hype that has shadowed him all off-season.

Every player on the r Continue reading

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Rockets RED Glare

Bob McDonald 1You know who Bob McDonald is, even if you don’t recognize his name. At the very least, you know what he sounds like.

For more than 20 years, Bob has been one of the NHL’s top go-to guys to perform the National Anthem before play, and like many of the crew that make up the Capitals family, we’ve been lucky to have him here in DC.

I say “perform”, but “present” might be the better verb. Some singers have become well known nationally for their stamp they leave on the song: witness Jim Cornelison’s enthusiastic kapowza ass-kicking, or Boston’s Rene Rancourt, whose style we’ll just call flamboyant and leave it there…although personally we think Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion did it better.

While Bob’s voice is certainly strong, his anthem is uniquely clean and clear, like a crystal glass allowing us to see the complex wine it holds inside. When McDonald reaches for those notes, it’s like he’s saying the music is what matters, not him. Continue reading

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My Lunch With TJ Oshie


Media? YOU-dia.

On Tuesday, the Washington Capitals organization hosted the annual Media Day luncheon at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, wherein distinguished members of the media, your stalwart scribblers and on-point on-air personalities, are invited to come have lunch and mingle amongst Capitals players and one another. Continue reading

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3 Caps Youngsters: What to Expect, Sums or Bums?


With less than a fortnight separating we, the general plebeian populous, from the annual descent of the gods from Mt. Olympus that we deign to call the return of the NHL season, a fan’s fancy turns to thoughts of vulcanized rubber and stats. Mmm, can you smell it? Continue reading

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