Codey claims the White House for 303…

That’s right, Cellblock 303 now owns the White House.

Crowd Notes

Overall, Washington had a very friendly crowd, and by that, I mean we never heard “Preds suck!”  In fact, after the game, we had several people ask questions about Nashville, want to know about specific players, and even express surprise at how tough we played considering how our season had started.  Much better than the beer bath that nearly missed us in St. Louis.

Another thing that surprised me about Washington, is that this crowd is into the Capitals.  I expected to see a lot of political types, that were using the Capitals to schmooze for earmarks.  I was pleasantly surprised to see these fans showing serious passion for hockey.  Everything from mites hockey during intermission, to a Cellblock-ish section in the lower level that taunted the goalie and started chants.  Also, this crowd is LOUD.  While hearing “Let’s go Caps” got nauseating after a while, the crowd was loud while doing it.

It was nice seeing several Predators fans in the arena, including active PredFans poster, George “Stackiii” Scoville and others.  Reuniting with friends of years past is always an enjoyable time.

D.C. Area Notes:

A must-stop while you’re in the DC Area, is actually in Old Town Alexandria, VA.  A pizza place and sports bar called Bugsy’s.  Many of you saw my tweets over the weekend praising the place.  Here’s the story on the owner…

Bryan Watson had a long and colorful career in the National Hockey League that started when there were only 6 teams and 1 division in 1962, until his retirement in 1979 when there were 16 teams and 2 divisions.

A Canadian like 99% of all NHL’ers of his era, Bryan was born in Bancroft Ontario and was recruited by the great Montreal Canadians at the age of 13, to play in their renowned Junior system with the Peterboro Petes. When he made the Junior A team at the age of 16, Scotty Bowman was his coach and Bryan ended up team captain and won Most Valuable Player in his final year.

While coming up through the Montreal system was the best possible training for the young athlete, there was no permanent place for Watson on the big team for the next year. Bryan played the better part of the season with the Quebec Aces, where he had the true fortune to be the line mate of Doug Harvey, to this day still considered the greatest defenseman other than Bobby Orr to play the game.

Bryan got his big break when he was traded to the Detroit Red Wings. He quickly settled in with the team and fans alike. It was that playoff in the semi-final round against the Chicago Black Hawks, where he would have his in famous 4 game run in with Bobby Hull. While the Red Wings would lose the Stanley Cup to the unbeatable Canadians in the final round, Watson’s series against Hull put him in the history books of NHL and established him as a permanent favorite with Detroit fans. It was that playoff where the nickname Bugsy was started by Andy Bathgate and Gordie Howe.

1968 saw Watson do a brief stint with the Oakland Seals and from there he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1969, where he played for 5 1/2 seasons. Watson, along with players such as Syl Apps, Glen Sather, Rene Robert and Coach Red Kelly helped put the Penguins on the map at the same time Roberto Clemente and Willy Stargell were anchoring the great Pirates and the new look Steelers with Franco Harris, Terry Bradshaw and Roy Gerella were making their marks in baseball and football history.

From Pittsburgh, it was back to the Detroit Red Wings where he was warmly welcomed and Bryan was sure it was the last step in his long career.

A true shock to the player came when he was traded to the Washington Capitals for Greg Jolie. The older veteran for the 1st round pick who had failed to shine with the low ranking Washington. For the worst team in the league, Watson one more time gave his all but the team simply did not have the players.The Washington trade turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Bryan despite his initial disappointment. He and his wife Lindy quickly fell in love with the nation’s capital and decide to settle there permanently, where they happily reside today.

In 1983, after hockey,Bryan and Lindy began their enjoyable and successful career in the restaurant business in neighboring historic and beautiful Old Town Alexandria as owner’s of Bugsy’s Restaurant & Sports Bar.

And I’m so glad they did open that place.  Brooke and I stop by there every time we’re in the area.

Also, while in town, you have to visit the obvious attractions, Arlington National Cemetery, White House, National Mall, take enough time when you’re in the D.C. area to really soak in the nation’s capital.

If you have any questions about whether Washington D.C. is a great place to see a hockey game, I’ll answer for you with a resounding YES.  Well done Caps fans, I’ll be back soon enough.

3 Comments

  1. Garrett Bartley

    October 20, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    I went to a (non-Preds) game at the Verizon Center a few years ago. I honestly don’t remember who they were playing or what year it was. I could go find the ticket, but I’m lazy.

    The Verizon Center is NICE. I’ve always heard the Sommet Center was one of the nicer arenas in the league, but the Verizon Center was easily on-par with the Sommet. The facilities were clean, the pro shop was nice, and the concessions were good.

    I remember going on a weekday since I was on a business trip. The weekday crowd then was pretty sub-standard (by comparison to Preds weekday games). However, the fans were VERY nice. I wore my Preds jersey (better to have any jersey than none, right?). I had a lower bowl seat and was just about the only person in the section except for a few college guys (or young hill staff interns). We made small talk during breaks and in between periods. At one point, they even heckled the Caps (they were Caps fans) saying that Ovechkin should play more like Kariya. It was an off-night for Ovi (and we obviously still had Kariya in our roster). The Caps lost that night, but I still enjoyed my experience.

    After the game, I was pretty much on my own to figure out the subway back to Alexandria. Some of the fans noticed that I was a little out of place and offered help on which train and platform I should take. I have to give Caps fans credit. They definitely didn’t fit the typical Yankee profile. That’s probably because nobody is actually from DC, but they showed great hospitality to a total stranger.

  2. @stackiii

    October 20, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    You must’ve sat in the nice people section! Now I know I can be feisty both on and offline, but there were some guys sitting behind me and in front of @sbcvandy who actually yelled “SIT DOWN, PREDS!” and “SHUT UP!” when I stood up to clap for the two Preds goals! Oh man, I was peeved.

    All in all, though, yes, this was a remarkably better crowd at the Verizon Center than @pwnicholson and I saw during preseason and the ATL vs. WSH I saw last February before moving here (which, consequently, was also the night of the Preds’ 8-0 whitewashing of DET last year…yep, I missed that one for a conference…*le sigh*).

    Great to see you guys, if only for a few!

  3. Garrett Bartley

    October 20, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Following up..

    I went to the 2/7/06 game against the Panthers (we still had Voki) and took a few pictures.