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

Posted in Buffalo Sabres | Tagged , | Comments Off on Motivation

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

Posted in Washington Capitals | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

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

Posted in Washington Capitals | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Washington Capitals | Tagged | Leave a comment

Of Warriors, Writers, and Worthy Causes

Photo credit: Elisabeth Schettle

There are some things in life you don’t say “no” to:

“Want to borrow my Ferrari 458 Italia for the weekend?”

“Have you watched the Rafael Nadal Tommy Hilfiger underwear ad less than a hundred times?”

“Do you want to play in a USA Warriors versus DC media charity hockey game this weekend?” Continue reading

Posted in USA Warriors Hockey | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Rewind: Tour de France; Tour de Life


This past July, PuckBuddy Craig took a month off work to go chase a dream: working the Tour de France.

Craig’s been a cycling fan for some time, and each year, just as hockey tends to be winding down (we wanna see you go deep next year, Caps!), the cycling trifecta is gearing up. From May through September, PuckBuddys HQ is tuned to just about every bootleg Turkish TV signal we can find from Italy, France and Spain for the Triple Crown of cycling.

This year, he (somehow) talked the mucky-mucks at NBCSports to bring him along as part of the video production crew. From the edge of the North Sea at Zéland to peaks of Alp d’Huez, Craig took himself on an adventure. And thanks to this article, one of two published in the Sporting News he took the rest of us, too. It’s not about hockey, but it is about the triumph, the struggle, the humanity and the perseverance common to all athletic competition.

BORDEAUX, France — I got an email the other day letting me know that my JV football coach had passed away. The obit, sent by our QB, Jim Ryan, listed every team Vito Costanza coached, except ours, the Brighton Barons. A veteran of playing fields and WWII battlefields, Coach Costanza passed at 89 after battling lung cancer. Let that be a lesson to me.

Ryan sent the obit to about a dozen of us, former gridiron teammates and other jocks who played on a few of the Brighton teams during those halcyon days of the mid 1970s. We were the class and spirit of ’76; think “Dazed and Confused,” which to us, is a basically a documentary of our high school years. Emphasis on high. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Life’s Not Fehr: Why The Penguins Can Have Him


A rare photo of Eric Fehr playing hockey.

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced today that they had signed former Washington Capitals center and half-Rocky Dennis Eric Fehr to a three year contract worth $2 million per year. Continue reading

Posted in Chicago Blackhawks, Washington Capitals | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

The Game’s Chess, It Ain’t Checkers: Holtby’s Strategic Move Takes the Capitals to Arbitration

Pictured: Braden McDuck

Pictured: Braden McDuck

Did you hear the air raid sirens and emergency broadcast not-a-tests this morning?

Braden Holtby and the Caps are going to arbitration over the goaltender’s contract, and Holtby’s camp is reportedly demanding EIGHT MILLION DOLLARS per year.

As I previously stated here, Holtby is probably worth about $6 million per year, and everybody – you, me, your mama, your daddy, your auntie – knows it. So what happened? Continue reading

Posted in Washington Capitals | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

We Can Re-Sign Him: Braden Holtby, the Six Million Dollar Man


The Washington Capitals’ front office – and presumably their mid and rear offices as well, depending on how feng shuied Kettler is – and goaltender Braden Holtby are currently locked in contract negotiations that are reaching Kissingerian levels of tension.

After a standout 2014-2015 season in which Holtby set career and franchise records for games played, consecutive starts, wins, shutouts, save percentage, saves, and the Capitals still didn’t win shit, the handsome bearded beau of Washington fans is fixing to get paaaaaaaaaaaaid. Continue reading

Posted in Washington Capitals | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Summer in the City

islanders fansToday it’s a great pleasure to welcome a new writer – Scott Marcus. Scott will be covering the Isles for us over the upcoming season.  Good thing, too; if 2015 Isles are anything like 2014 Isles, we need to keep a close eye on them. We’ll do all the official introductions later, but you can follow him on the Twitter @ScottMarcus77 and on Instagram at Scott_Marcus.

Right now, Scott has compiled a lot of thoughts about the next version of the Islanders – what they need, and what they got so far this trade season. 

Take it away, Scott!

The New York Islanders are set to begin their first official summer as residents of NYC, all after an exciting season of renewed hope that the Isles may finally have located this mysterious and elusive “corner” where success apparently can be found hiding around the bend. Of course as fans, we’ve thought that perhaps they had located this mythical corner several times over the past 20 or so years, only to have our dreams shattered in a trash bin full of foul-smelling fish sticks, but this time there certainly does appear to be good reason for optimism.

What’s different than in years past?

1. The trifecta of the Islanders moving in to New York City, coupled with new ownership and the prospect that this team could legitimately win a cup within the next few years may have FINALLY gotten the Isles off of virtually every good players “Oh hell no” list (AKA: No trade list). I think that guys are going to WANT to come and play for the Isles now. The days of having to essentially bribe a player with an absurd contract to join this team are likely over, not that they ever spent that kind of money to begin with.

Continue reading

Posted in NY Islanders | Tagged , | Leave a comment