S 3 (Washington Capitals)


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S 3 (Washington Capitals)

  1. 1. Victory – Served Ice Cold Decorated Champions The Washington Capitals have quickly become one of the marquee teams in the National Hockey League. With coach of the year Bruce Boudreau and league MVP Alex Ovechkin guiding the team, there is no telling how much success this club can achieve. MVP of the Year, Alex Ovechkin with Hart Trophy, Lester B. Pearson Award, Art Ross Trophy, and the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy NHL Coach of the Year, Bruce Boudreau with the Jack Adams Award C oach Boudreau may be one of the most unassuming coaches in all of professional sports, but The day after he received the Hart Memorial Trophy as league MVP, he was given the key to the city by Washington mayor Adrian M. Fenty for being the first Washington MVP winner in a major sport since all he knows how to do is win. And win he did in his first year in D.C. Joe Theismann of the Washington Redskins in 1983, Ovechkin was the first overall selection in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Due to the 2004-05 NHL lockout, he began play in the 2005-06 NHL season, in which he won the Calder Memorial Trophy for Rookie of the Year. During the 2007-08 season, he led the NHL with 65 goals and 112 points to capture the Rocket Richard and Art Ross Trophies. That season he also won the Lester B. Pearson Award as the top player voted by the NHLPA and the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s MVP. He is the first player in NHL history to win all four awards. (image courtesy - Washington Capitals) On Thanksgiving Day 2007, he inherited the worst team in the NHL and then led his charges from a 6-14-1 record to a Southeast Division championship and the team’s first playoff berth since 2003. Pacing Boudreau’s exciting offense was 22-year-old Alex Ovechkin, a ‘goal-scoring machine’ with a penchant for eclectic clothes and variations of facial hair. The Russian-born power forward scored 65 goals in 2007-08 – the most in the NHL in 12 years – and became the first player in league history to win the Hart Trophy, Lester B. Pearson Award,Art Ross Trophy and the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy in one season.New to the D.C. scene in 2007-08 was Ovechkin’s running mate, rookie Nicklas Backstrom. The 20-year-old center from Sweden set a team rookie record with 55 assists and finished second in NHL rookie of the year balloting. As active as Boudreau, Ovechkin, Backstrom and the rest of the Capitals are in the rink, the team is equally involved out of it. Ovechkin sponsors his own section in Verizon Center called Ovi’s Crazy 8s. The perennial NHL All-Star purchases eight Capitals season tickets and donates them to Most Valuable Kids, who distribute the tickets to underserved children or soldiers so they can see the Capitals up close at Verizon Center. The Capitals piloted a reading program several years ago to encourage local elementary school students to complete a series of different reading challenges. The team recently expanded the program to include more subjects and renamed it ‘Caps @ School’, which is an initiative that will reach nearly 15,000 students. Caps @ School is an all-inclusive educational program that en- courages teachers to incorporate hockey and Capitals players into their daily lesson plans. Classes that complete the program are eligible to win a visit from a Capitals player or tickets to a Capitals home game. The club also partners with local schools in the D.C. area to bring Hockey School to many of area’s middle schools. Capitals players and coaches visit schools to discuss their hockey background, answer questions, sign autographs and interact in a floor hockey demonstration with the students. The Capitals launched the successful Courage Caps during the 2007-08 season in an effort to raise money for charity. Courage Caps were sold at Capitals home games, and the popular hats sold out in the first few games they were available. Courage Caps are returning for the upcoming season and 100% of the proceeds benefit the Fisher House Foundation. The team’s largest fundraiser is the annual Caps Care Classic, a golf tournament held at the beginning of the season. Now in its fifth year, the event, which includes a silent auction, has raised nearly $1million for charity. The Capitals visit the Children’s National Medical Center annually and have numerous game-day sales and auctions to raise money for charity. Since 2000, the Capitals have raised nearly $3 million for charity. www WashingtonCaps.com 245 Best of DC Best of DC 246