Wednesday around 6:30 PM, Andrew Logan made his way over to Pennsylvania Avenue to try something new. The 30-year-old audio engineer was intrigued by hockey after watching the Washington Capitals become Stanley Cup champions in June. On this night, Andrew would try the sport and play a serious game of pickup hockey for the very first time.
“I’ve been a rollerblader since childhood, but have never really played,” Andrew said in an interview.
His timing was impeccable.
For much of the night, Andrew, who referred to himself as a “newb,” played goaltender due to his lack of seniority among the other players. But now he’ll have one heck of a story he can tell his friends. Andrew was scored on by former Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer – one of the guys he watched and rooted for on TV during the spring.
It was Grubi’s only goal of the night.
“For real,” Andrew said laughing.
— Andrew Logan (@lgnsnd) August 22, 2018
Just to the side of the pebble top on Pennsylvania Avenue, about a dozen people gathered in front of the White House to work up a sweat. For 23 years, a group that calls themselves White House Hockey has played pickup beside the “The People’s House” on weekends and some weeknights.
Occurring the day after two former members of President Trump’s inner circle were convicted of crimes, the players had no added urgency despite an NHL regular showing up.
“It was remarkably chill,” Andrew said.
Meanwhile a German TV producer recorded the action.
Grubauer, wearing a backwards hat and gym shorts, did not play in goal and looked like just another one of the guys. The only evidence that suggested Grubi was an NHL regular was his navy blue Capitals shirt and his red, white, and blue Bauer gloves.
“At one point it looked like he might play goalie, which is funny because that’s a spot that is usually reserved for newbies,” Andrew said. “But as soon as the play transitioned, he took off and someone else slid into the net.”
Andrew noticed that Grubauer played unselfishly, focusing more on a setup role. “He was trying to set people up most of the time, not a ton of defense ironically.”
Video: David Churchill
“I almost bumped him at one point and that made me pretty nervous,” Andrew said. “He was very nice and courteous.”
Grubauer is back in town despite being traded in June. After winning their first Cup, the Capitals dealt the talented backup netminder to the Colorado Avalanche for a second-round pick and salary cap relief. Grubauer returned to DC in August to begin training for next season. The German, who most recently made headlines by wearing lederhosen on his Cup day, was noticed by fans on Monday night at MedStar Capitals Iceplex, scrimmaging with former teammates.
Andrew didn’t ask for a photo with the goalie despite a friend’s urging in text. “Personally I never want to make a scene and I think everyone was like me,” he said.
But Andrew did snap a photo and post it to Twitter. He’ll be happy he did.
In early June, Andrew deejayed a Caps-themed wedding/watch party for Game Three of the Stanley Cup Final. The bride was a Caps fan and the groom loved the Penguins. Andrew has also done audio engineering work for Monumental Sports.
— Andrew Logan (@lgnsnd) June 3, 2018
All this exposure to hockey has led, perhaps, to Andrew finding a new passion in his life.
“My fiancee said she’s glad I may have a new hobby that isn’t video games or beer,” Logan quipped.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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