WASHINGTON--The Colorado Avalanche arrived in Washington early Tuesday morning after defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in overtime on Monday night in Pennsylvania.
As is customary, the team packed up shop immediately following the win in Pittsburgh, drove to the airport, boarded the plane and flew to its next destination. It will be the same this evening, with the Avs shipping off to Tampa, Florida, after facing the Washington Capitals.
Due to the quick turnaround that is inherent in back-to-back game situations, Colorado opted not to have a morning skate at Verizon Center. Instead, the players went through a series of stretches and minor workouts in a hotel conference room before carrying out a team meeting.
After that, it was time for lunch and pregame naps.
Without a full day off in the city, it's hard for anyone to get out and see the sights in the United States' capital district. Most of the players can only glimpse at the North Lawn of the White House from the bus on the way in, but if they're here with time on their hands than they can get out and about.
Defenseman Erik Johnson is one guy that has experienced D.C. in depth. His uncle is a congressman, so Johnson has been on tours of most of the local attractions. He said the experience has always been cool.
The entire area obviously has a storied history, and as one progresses into the middle of the metropolis, the oft photographed monuments and old-school architecture appear like fanciful relics from a bygone era amidst the glass and steel structures of a modern city.
There are tourists everywhere. They bustle about from the White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., and the nearby Smithsonian to the Washington Monument and accompanying World War II and Lincoln Memorials.
One such person venturing through the sunny, 75-degree weather was Taylor, an Avs fan who happened to be making a trip to the city at the same time as the team. Upon learning of this coincidence, he immediately set out to acquire tickets to see Colorado's third game of the 2016-17 season.
After resting, the players were off to the rink to begin their usual pregame ritual prior to taking the ice for warmup.
Verizon Center is one of a few facilities that has a unique display available to fans that attend the games. There is a case that shows off all of the hats received during each Capitals hat trick recorded in the building. It even has some of the pucks!
Speaking of hat tricks, ColoradoAvalanche.com compiled data on the lids collected when Joe Colborne scored his three markers in the 6-5 season-opening victory over the Dallas Stars on Saturday. A total of 199 items of head fashion rained down on the ice, topping the collection from when Nathan MacKinnon brought down the hats (184) on Feb. 22, 2015.
Here's a handy infographic for you to see how Colborne's stacked up: