Rich Graessle/NHLI via Getty Images
After a much-needed 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday, the Washington Capitals get set to take on the Philadelpphia Flyers tonight. Despite being on the road, Head Coach Peter Laviolette made his regular call-in to 106.7 TheFan’s Sports Junkies radio show.
Laviolette, whose Capitals are 11-12-4 on the season, not only talks the performance of his players (see Sonny Milano), but also takes his “Coach’s Hat” off to discuss other topics as well.
The Capitals are finishing up a season-long road trip, swinging back to the City of Brotherly Love before returning home to the District. Their game against Edmonton, which they fought back to win thanks to the play of Aliaksei Protas, was attended by Protas’ Junior billet family.
“I got a text from my wife after the game, I didn’t know that Pro’s billet family was at the game”, Laviolette admitted to the Junkies, “The first thing she says is ‘that was great, take the two points, and make sure you take Protas’ billet family with us too because he plays really well in front of them…trust me, plenty to say.”
Being on the road brings plenty of accommodation needs for the team. With stops in Nashville, Philadelphia, and New York (Islanders) in his 20 years as a NHL Head Coach, Laviolette has accumulated plenty of stories.
“Yep there are”, said Laviolette in response to whether there is a difference in accommodation quality (bed comfortability, services, and so on), “We’re in a good one now in Philly, I found out it’s the tallest hotel in the country [a Four Seasons]. You got to go up 60 floors to get to the lobby, and you have to go back down to get to your room.”
While such a climb on an elevator may seem daunting, the Caps bench boss revealed that he is not afraid of heights, but implied that a day on an amusement park or playing video games isn’t in the cards anytime soon.
“No, not necessarily heights. I don’t like stuff like rollercoasters and stuff like that”, he said, “I can’t even really play video games, my head gets like, vertigo-ish…but going up high doesn’t bother me.”
Prior to his time as a coach, Laviolette was a player, mostly in minor leagues while appearing in 12 NHL games as a member of the New York Rangers in 1988-89.
“When I did play, I did play 11 years in the minors. Especially early on, back when I started playing, you were traveling, you’d be traveling eight hours through the night and you’d pull up to one of those [motels] where there’s no lobby you just get your key and walk around and enter your room, then you’d be driving on the bus and you’d be going from one city in the Midwest to another, and you had to have your pregame meal and you’d drive into the truck stop, and you’d have meatloaf, that’s the special of the day…there was nothing back then, you’re talking thirty years ago, it was meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, that was the call of the day.”
“I grew up blue collar, and I came up in the minor leagues so it’s not like I had that. It’s my kids I worry about them sometimes”, he said, “My boys played youth hockey when they were like eight and ten years old, and they might come stay with family, and they might come and stay at the hotel and we’d get ’em a room and we’re at the Ritz, and then we go to their hockey tournament in the summer…and we pull into one of those motels. We’re pulling into one of those motels and I hear this chirp from the back, ‘whoa, whoa, whoa, we’re not staying at the Ritz?”
To listen to Laviolette’s full time with The Sports Junkies, listen HERE.
The Capitals take on the Flyers tonight at 7:00 PM ET.