I stood on the 2nd level of Kettler Iceplex overlooking the ice behind the goal. There was a man in a Caps jersey next to me who was making very strange sounds. He was oohing, ahhing, and making whatever un-spellable noises one does when a player does something wrong. He was clearly very involved in the unofficial Caps practice that he was observing.
I started a conversation with the man, who was in town from northern Maryland to dispute a speeding ticket. He actually didn't even know that the Caps were practicing, he just was in the area, showed up, and "got lucky".
Now, when I first arrived at the rink something immediately jumped out and caught my eye. One of the goalies was a monstrous figure, and the one in the other net looked like a munchkin from the Wizard of Oz.
Luckily, another Caps fan tweeted me and let me know that one of the goalies was the team's video coach Brett Leonhardt aka "Stretch", (read about him here) who was filling in because the guys needed a 2nd goaltender. "Ahh...that explains it" I responded. Now I knew why the goalie was so small. It was some nerdy web guy.
So back on the 2nd level, in order to be a know-it-all (despite being the know-it-none just an hour before) I asked speeding ticket guy if the goalie on the other end of the ice, the smaller one, was the video coach.
"I don't know who that goalie is...but he is terrible"
I laughed and told him it wasn't an NHL player, but it was a guy that worked for the team. BAM! Hockey Expert. He was impressed with my knowledge!
I began to film all the saves that the goalie on my side (presumably Braden Holtby) was making for a video I was going to run after practice. And while I am a noob, something about his performance just wasn't right. It didn't seem like he was playing like an NHL goalie.
Then it hit me. That goalie isn't Holtby! Holtby was on the far end! The "monster" was the video coach. Turns out he is 6'7" Now "Stretch" makes sense!
He actually played pretty well. Check out this video of some of the saves this Video coach made.
Oh and Holtby wasn't terrible like the guy said by the way...so don't get scared...And when you see me at Kettler this season...please...come up to me...tell me who is who...and stop me from spreading false rumors. That is all...thank you.
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