The weekend begins Friday night in Atlanta, where Washington kicks off the 2008-09 season with a 7:30 p.m. start against the Thrashers that can be seen on Comcast SportsNet. Capitals fans are invited to a Caps on Tap viewing party at Hard Times Café and Cue in Springfield, Va., beginning at 7 p.m. WJFK 106.7 FM will broadcast live from the viewing party.
Festivities on Saturday begin with the Power of Red Contest, in which an enormous block of ice will be placed near Clyde’s between Gallery Place and Verizon Center at 11 a.m. Fans can attempt to pull hockey sticks from the block of ice, and any successful fan will win a prize. Prizes include an executive suite for an upcoming Caps game, a team-signed jersey and a stick signed by reigning NHL most valuable player Alex Ovechkin
Doors open for Saturday night’s game at 5:30 p.m., a half-hour ahead of the usual schedule. Fans will have a chance to see five trophies from the Hockey Hall of Fame: the Hart Trophy, Lester B. Pearson Award, Art Ross Trophy and Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy that Ovechkin won last season and the Jack Adams Award that Bruce Boudreau won as the league’s coach of the year. In addition, Capitals alumni including retired number honorees Rod Langway and Yvon Labre will be signing autographs on the concourse before the game, while ESPN 980 will be broadcasting live outside the arena.
Capitals fans traveling on the Metro’s Blue or Orange lines to Saturday’s game should allow extra time due to scheduled track maintenance. Visit wmata.com for more information.
Monday’s Columbus Day game against the Vancouver Canucks is a special night for the Student Rush presented by Chipotle, in which college students with a valid ID get upper-level seats for $15 or lower-level seats for $35, plus a coupon for a free Chipotle burrito. Papa John’s Family Packs are also available for Monday night, an offer that features four tickets, four New Era hats and a coupon for a free large one-topping pizza for $140. Monday is also Canadian Heritage Night at Verizon Center, and one lucky fan at the game will win two roundtrip tickets anywhere in Canada and a three-night hotel stay.
The first two games on opening weekend will be broadcast by Comcast SportsNet, WFED 1500 AM and WWFD 820 AM. Fans can tune in at 6 p.m. on Saturday on WFED 1500 AM and WFFD 820 AM to hear the weekly hour-long Saturday Night Caps show hosted by Jonathan Warner. Monday’s game can be seen on VERSUS and heard on WFED 1500 AM and WWFD 820 AM.