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Caps fan from Scotland gets to live out dream by seeing team in person

Caps fan from Scotland gets to live out dream by seeing team in person

Billy Lang waited a long time before seeing his first Capitals live in person, but the wait appears to have been worth it.

Lang, a Scotland native, has been in Washington this month for the chance to watch his favorite NHL team play live in person for the first time.

On Tuesday night during the Caps’ 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild, he joined the CSN broadcast periodically throughout the game to talk about the experience.

“A dream come true,” Lang told CSN’s Jill Sorenson.

“For anybody from Scotland to be able to come over here and see the team, I can’t even find the words to put out. It’s amazing.”

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Lang, a Caps fan for the past 22 years, said he became a fan at age 7 when he was given a Dale Hunter jersey and a Peter Bondra stick. “From there on, I just knew this was my team,” he said.

Sorenson spoke with Lang before the game, as well as during the first, second and third periods.

Early in the second period with the Caps leading 1-0, he called Alex Ovechkin’s goal, which ended his 10-game goal drought. During the third period with the Caps clinging to a 3-2 lead, Jay Beagle scored the insurance goal he said he was hoping for in the win.

Between the second and third periods, Lang also happened to run into Bondra.

“I was shocked,” Lang said. “I couldn’t believe my eyes after all the years I grew up watching him as a kid. I finally got to see him and I laughed. Out of all places.”

For Lang, Tuesday night was his fourth Capitals game after attending the team’s three previous home games earlier this month against the Devils (March 2), Flyers (March 4) and Stars (March 6). To date, the Caps have gone 3-1 in those games.

Lang has been staying with Robin Unzicker, a Caps fan herself, during his visit.

MORE CAPITALS: Alex Ovechkin has a vintage performance on a night when the Caps needed one

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Capitals beard guy unleashes epic beard at Avalanche game

Capitals beard guy unleashes epic beard at Avalanche game

By now, you’ve probably seen the phenomenal “8” beard of the Capitals beard guy. His name is Eric Brooks and his beard is multi-talented.

Brooks moved to Denver from Rockville, Md. and now graces Caps-Avalanche games with the presence of his beard as he first did in 2013 when he unveiled the 8. He unveiled a new design for Wednesday’s game and stole the show.

Check it out in the video above.

Molded to perfection Brooks managed to style his beard into a white “CAPS” leaving people like me with barely a five o’clock shadow with some serious beard envy.

Never stop being you, Brooks.

RELATED: 3 current Caps named top free agents

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3 current Caps named 2017's top unrestricted free agents

3 current Caps named 2017's top unrestricted free agents

By now, you've probably heard a lot of talk about how the Capitals need to win the Stanley Cup this year because the team is going to look very different in 2017-18. The reason why is because Washington has several expiring contracts this year and some of those players will be hard to keep.

How hard? 

Luke Fox of SportsNet ranked the 17 top unrestricted free agents of 2017 and three of them made the top five. Deadline acquisition Kevin Shattenkirk is ranked No. 1 with T.J. Oshie coming in just behind him at No. 2.

"NHL teams salivate over puck-moving defencemen under the age of 30, so expect Shattenkirk to knock his next contract out of the park," writes Fox. "Think Keith Yandle's seven-year, $44.45-million pact signed with the Panthers last year."

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Shattenkirk is just 28 and is still very much in his prime. He was the biggest target at the trade deadline and will clearly cost top dollar to keep around. His expiring contract was an issue for St. Louis all season leading to his eventual trade. If the Caps hope to keep him in Washington, it may mean moving a significant piece of the roster to fit his cap hit.

As good as Shattenkirk is and as well as he may fit the modern NHL, many may still be surprised to see him ahead of Oshie. Oshie has scored a career-high 32 goals this season and clearly has developed chemistry with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, a forward pair that sometimes struggles to find a compliment.

What likely pulls Oshie to No. 2 is his age. This is the first 30-goal season of Oshie's career and it came at the age of 30. This is not a level of production you can expect from him for many more years.

The third Cap to make the list is Karl Alzner who ranks No. 5. Writes Fox, "is there room to keep the defensively responsible Alzner and the younger Dmitry Orlov (RFA again)? Oh, yeah. Now Shattenkirk is here too. ...  Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos reported in the winter that Alzner is asking for $5.5 to $6 million per season from Washington in light of the hefty Brent Burns deal."

Alzner is the best defensive player on the team, but his style does not fit the modern NHL the way Shattenkirk's does. He is not a puck-mover and, for a Caps team with a lot of other players to sign, it may be difficult to find enough money to pay Alzner his reported asking price. Whether he is worth that much to Washington going forward is a question the team will need to ask.

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