Caps Casino Night has got to be one of the most fun events for a journalist to cover, simply because you probably couldn’t get away asking these questions without feeling guilty on an average day at Kettler. Unsuspecting victims for the evening included Mike Green, Jay Beagle, Karl Alzner and Matt Hendricks (who was fresh off a guitar performance on Rock Band).
Oh, and apologizes in advance to Detroit Lions fans.
Q. What happens first: John Carlson grows (or decides to grow) a beard, or the Detroit Lions win a Super Bowl?
Jay Beagle (who was a good sport to continue with the interview, seeing as how this was the first question asked): John Carlson can grow a little bit of a beard, and it’s better than mine, so I don’t think I can say much about that. I’ve got no comment!
Mike Green: John Carlson grows a beard. He’s got it coming in. What is he, 22 now? I didn’t start growing it until I was about 22, 23.
Q. What happens first: Brooks Laich changes a tire, or the Detroit Lions win a Super Bowl?
Karl Alzner: Brooks is gonna change another tire, for sure. I’m sure he’s probably flattened somebody’s tire outside here so he can change it. I don’t know enough about football, but I think Brooks is probably going to change another tire.
Q. What happens first: Dale Hunter gets another new suit, or the Detroit Lions win a Super Bowl?
Matt Hendricks: Dale will get a new suit.
Just as interesting as the guys in their Sunday best were the fans who came to mingle with their favorite players.
Darrell and Laurie decided to come to the Casino Night after hearing about “all the fun [they] missed” last year from fellow season ticket holders. They’ve been season ticket holders for 16 years.
“I used to be able to put my arms across three seats and my legs across two,” Darrell recalled of the years when the Capitals were anything but the hottest ticket in town. And on the hottest ticket in town note, he said he hopes the struggles from this year will pay off in the playoffs.
He made sure to get a picture with “his fellow 39-year-old,” Mike Knuble.
There was another lady, Joni, present who was carrying around a puck from the Capitals’ January 24th game last year. The puck was from an Alex Ovechkin shot that flew into the stands and hit her in the shoulder, cheek, then the forehead, costing her a trip to the emergency room and eight stitches in her forehead. Her son had managed to preserve the puck for her from that night.
“I figured some day I would find him [Ovechkin] and I would get him to actually sign the puck,” she said.
Which goes to show that while hockey players may be some of the toughest athletes in the world, their fans are right there with them.
Below is a slideshow of photos from the evening.