Germany – Eastcoast – Westcoast – Eastcoast – Germany. That’s the tour of German Capitals fan Bjoern Esperling. We wrote about his trip before when he visited a Capitals win at Madison Square Garden.
After leaving NYC, Bjoern made his way to the west coast. Las Vegas, Grand Canyon and Phoenix were some of the highlights he visited. In Phoenix, Arizona, Bjoern watched a Coyotes-Hurricanes game. ‘It was fun. Before the game started I met a hockey fan from Munich, Germany who had seen my jersey, and later I got a puck during warmup from German forward Tobias Rieder’.
Besides the game in the desert, the Grand Canyon was impressive to Bjoern. ‘I walked the South Rim two days. Nature has created amazing places and the Grand Canyon is one of the most spectacular in the world. Go there if you haven’t yet’. Another highlight was a visit at Joshua Tree National park in Arizona.
When he made his way to Los Angeles, he had another goal. Seeing Caps winning at Staples Center. ‘I was happy to see Philipp Grubauer in net for D.C..Two years ago I saw him in Hershey and last season, for the first time, in the NHL.
And it was amazing to see how many Capitals fans attended. There were at least 500 Caps fans I guess. It was a high intense game and Washington had a good start. At the end L.A. was a little bit more lucky and got the points including an emptynetter two seconds before the game end. They were really fighting for a playoff spot’.
On next day the Anaheim Ducks faced the Caps. ‘That was a bad game. In the second period, Anaheim scored three times in a few minutes and Washington seemed tired’ Bjoern reports. Despite the loss he was happy to see a game in Orange County. ‘Honda Center was the ninth NHL arena in which I’ve seen at least a game. Now I’m trying to get all 30 arenas – or 31 with Vegas – completed in the next years.
On Monday Bjoern came from L.A. to D.C. – what a difference. Something like from 90 °F to 30 °F. The one day you’re swimming in the Pacific and on next day it’s icy and a snowstorm. Crazy experience. After that trip I’ve got a lot of respect for coaches and players for travelling that much in all those different areas’.
After visiting Capitals practice at KCI in Arlington on tuesday, it was time for Bjoern’s first Capitals home game this season against the Minnesota Wild. ‘Was great to be back in D.C. with all those fans rocking the red. First period started a bit slowly but when Nate Schmidt scored the first goal it became more fun. My highlight was the Ovechkin goal. He’s my alltime favorite player and he deserved to get this goal. After the game I had the chance to meet Wes Johnson and to take a photo with him. Pretty cool ending of a fantastic evening’ Bjoern reports happily.
On thursday against the Predators he’ll see his last game of this season and last game of his 6-game-trip. ‘Now I’ve seen two wins and two losses of the Caps. Hope tomorrow there will be the third win. It would be a great ending of my personal season.
At the end I’d like to send greetings to my hockey friends all over the world, especially at home in Adendorf (fourth german league). Hope to see you all again soon. As well as I hope to have the chance of seeing many more games of the Capitals and more of the amazing places in the U.S. and in Canada in the next years.’
By Jon Sorensen