By Chris Gordon
Photo: Patrick Smith
On Thursday night, the Capitals registered an important pair of points against the streaking Winnipeg Jets. The game wasn’t the only big event. Eight Olympians from the Jets and Caps were honored in a pre-game ceremony. It was capped off with U.S. Secretary of State dropping the puck between Team USA’s Blake Wheeler and John Carlson. With the Olympics already underway, Carlson talked about the experience and his thoughts on Sochi after the game.
Starting it off, you met Secretary Kerry. How was that?
Yeah, it was pretty cool. It’s always cool to see those people you see on TV all the time. The ceremony in general was pretty cool to recognize both sides.
Have you ever met him before? He’s from your home state?
You also got a nice ovation from the fans when you came out.
Yeah, it’s really cool. I heard from a bunch of people just through Twitter and everything. They all seem to be rallying. It’s great to see. It’s an honor for me, so it’s cool to see that fan base behind me. They let it be known.
You still have one game left, but do you start to feel it?
Every day you heard more about it. We’re in contact more about. It’s a cool feeling. I’m excited, but this is crucial for us right now. Everyone in this room is here to win that game.
What’s the most important part about representing your country?
I think just go over there and do what we do. Try our hardest. We’re a great team. We’ve got a great skating team. I think we’ve got great guys with good work ethic, and I think that shows a lot about our country. I think that will be the key to our success.
It is weird knowing you could meet three of your teammates in the Games?
That’ll be weird. Different dynamic than we deal with on a day-to-day basis here. I think it makes it more fun in the end.
Did you talk to Blake Wheeler at all?
No, not really. Just ‘I’ll see you in a few days!’
What’s more important: Olympic gold or the Stanley Cup?
Well, when I’m over there, Olympics. It’s easy. Once the tournament finished we come back here. This is my job. This is what I do. It’s been a dream of mine to win the Stanley Cup too. So it’s a no answer.
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