ESPN vendor inspection: Caps' Verizon Center dirtiest in NHL

verizoncenter.jpgIt’s always an “out of sight, out of mind” experience when you go to get your favorite food at the concession stand in your favorite NHL arena. You don’t think about where the food and drinks come from, and you just want to enjoy your hot dog and beer or soda in peace without putting too much thought into just how it ended up in your hands in the first place. ESPN released a report on an inspection of vendors across all four major sports that was conducted back in 2009 to see how up to code, health-wise, each stadium and arena was doing.

For some NHL fans, and Washington Capitals fans in particular, you might want to grab that beer and food somewhere else before or after the game instead. Be prepared, some of these descriptions are pretty stomach-turning.

Verizon Center
Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals
Vendors with critical violations: 100%

Inspection report excerpt: Mice droppings, a critical violation in Washington, were found at at least 10 vendors.

Hang on a second while I vomit profusely.

To clarify what that 100% rating means, it means the number of vendors in violation of health requirements. While it doesn’t mean that all vendors at Verizon Center had mouse droppings (shudder) it does mean that each stand had something wrong going on there whether it was having vendors handling food with bare hands, having cleaning supplies too close to serving areas, or having food being served that was too cold.

Other arenas that didn’t fare well on the survey, here’s three terrifying examples.

St. Pete Times Forum
Tampa Bay Lightning
Vendors with critical violations: 88%

Inspection report excerpt: At one location with five critical violations, an inspector saw an employee handle dirty dishes and then put away clean dishes without washing his/her hands or changing gloves. The same location lacked soap at a hand sink.

Pepsi Center
Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche
Vendors with critical violations: 67%

Inspection report excerpt: At one bar, inspectors found phorid flies, sometimes called coffin flies, in a bottle of cognac.

Madison Square Garden
New York Knicks, New York Rangers
Vendors with critical violations: 61%

Inspection report excerpt: At one stand, inspectors found “53 mouse excreta” (38 on top of a metal box underneath the cash registers in the front food-prep/service area and 15 on top of a carbonated-beverage dispensing unit).

Not everything was doom and gloom on this report, there are some places that had exception scores. What may not be too surprising is that all arenas in Canada scored very well.  While this isn’t meant to be a completely damning report, you can certainly bet that Capitals and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis will certainly have the staff at Verizon Center buckling down. Bad PR like this doesn’t do anyone any favors and I know it would make me think really long and hard about whether or not I’d want to get anything in any of these arenas ever again.

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    Two late goals allows Ducks to beat ‘Canes in shootout

    Anaheim Ducks' Nick Ritchie, left, celebrates his goal as he skates past Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward, right, and Jay McClement during the third period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Anaheim, Calif. The Ducks won 6-5 in shootout. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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    ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Former Anaheim Ducks great Teemu Selanne had a philosophy about scoring goals. The Ducks are hoping his “ketchup bottle theory” applies to star winger Corey Perry.

    Perry and Nick Ritchie scored late in the third period to tie it and rookie Ondrej Kase got the deciding goal in a shootout, lifting the Ducks over the Carolina Hurricanes 6-5 on Wednesday night.

    After Ritchie deflected in Cam Fowler‘s shot with 3:59 left in the third, Perry got his fifth goal of the season with 2:28 remaining to tie it at 5.

    “It’s nice to see it hit the back of the net for once, and not the goalie,” Perry said.

    Perry, who scored 34 goals last year and won the Hart Trophy with 50 in 2010-11, hadn’t scored since Oct. 25, but said he’s hoping this goal leads to more.

    “There was a player that I coached before and his name was Teemu Selanne,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “He used to say that goal scoring was like pouring ketchup out of the ketchup bottle. Once it starts to flow, then it comes readily.”

    It was the first non-regulation win for the Ducks this season and it was aided by Anaheim’s young core. Kase slickly deked to his backhand before lifting his shootout attempt over Cam Ward. Stefan Noesen, recalled from San Diego of the American Hockey League earlier in the day, got his first NHL goal, and Andrew Cogliano and Ryan Kesler also scored for Anaheim. John Gibson made 29 saves.

    “The light went on and I threw my hands up,” Noesen said. “It was all of the emotions from two long years coming through at once.”

    Teuvo Teravainen scored twice for the Hurricanes, and Jay McClement, Sebastian Aho and Brett Pesce also had goals. Ward made 33 saves while Carolina matched a season high with five goals.

    “There were a couple breakdowns,” Carolina coach Bill Peters said. “At times, I thought we did a real good job at controlling the tempo of the game. We had the puck lots. But we need to do a better job defensively and have a better awareness away from the puck.”

    Pesce scored on a slap shot 4:46 into the third period to give the Hurricanes a 4-2 lead. Kesler scored about four minutes later to cut the deficit, but Teravainen’s second goal a minute later made it 5-3.

    Noesen scored at 13:52 in the second period to make it 3-2. Joseph Cramarossa and Kase, Noesen’s former San Diego Gulls teammates and roommate, were credited with the assists.

    “They’re both two of my pretty good friends,” Noesen said. “I think no matter what happens, it was special. Seeing Cram’ being the first one to come hug me and get the puck, that was awesome.”

         Read more: The Ducks have a youth movement of their own

    Less than two minutes after McClement broke a 1-1 tie with a backhand around Gibson at 10:10 in the second period, Aho broke away, faked a shot and backhanded it over Gibson to make it 3-1.

    With 38 seconds left in the first period, Teravainen tied it at 1 with a power-play goal. Jaccob Slavin couldn’t get a stick on a pass and instead used his skate to get it over to the right circle, where Teravainen found it and ripped a slap shot past Gibson.

    Cogliano put the Ducks on the board with just over three minutes left in the first, when he went five-hole on Ward with his own rebound, his seventh of the season.

     

    Erik Karlsson hit another impressive milestone

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    Erik Karlsson‘s had a terrific career in the NHL so far and he’s still just 26 years old.

    He already owns two Norris Trophies (2011-12, 2014-15) and his ability to move the puck and put up points from the blue line is second to none.

    Last year, Karlsson played in all 82 games and he finished with an incredible 82 points.

    He’s on pace to do exactly the same thing this year, as he’s scored 27 points in the first 27 games of the season. Only Connor McDavid, Nikita Kucherov and Evgeni Malkin have more points than the Sens defenseman in 2016-17.

    So with that in mind, it’s not surprising that Karlsson’s crushing some important franchise records so early in his career.

    In Wednesday’s game against San Jose, Karlsson became the team’s all-time leading scorer among defensemen with  412 points.

    Wade Redden, who held the record before Karlsson, picked up 410 points as a Senator, but he accomplished that in 332 more games. That’s equivalent to four more seasons.

    Predictably, he downplayed the accomplishment.

    “Right now, not much,” Karlsson said of his new record, per the Ottawa Sun. “It’s fun in a way, but it’s something that you reflect back on when your career is over. Hopefully mine isn’t for a long time.”

    Here’s something about Karlsson you might not have known: He currently leads the league in blocked shots with 78, which is eight more than Flames defenseman Mark Giordano, who’s second.

    PHT Morning Skate: NHL’s concussion spotters are off to a rough start

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    –The NHL now has concussion spotters watching every game from the league’s headquarters in New York. These spotters have the power to remove players from games if they think they’re concussed. In theory, it seems to be a good idea, but the spotters have had a tough time so far. (Associated Press)

    –Sean McIndoe takes a look at five players that have been confusing to follow this season. Some are confusing because they’ve overachieved and others are confusing because they’ve flopped so far in 2016-17. (The Hockey News)

    –The Penguins’ third pairing of Ian Cole and Justin Schultz have been solid this season because they’ve kept things simple. The duo wants more ice time, but they don’t want to stray away from what’s made them successful. “If we’re given more responsibility, we’re certainly very excited for that and are ready to run with that opportunity. I don’t think we should try to change anything,” said Cole. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

    –The Boston Bruins were down 3-0 to the Washington Capitals last night, but they managed to fight back and force overtime. Unfortunately for the Bruins, Caps center Nicklas Backstrom scored the game-winning goal in the extra frame. You can watch the highlights of the game by clicking the video at the top of the page.

    –Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews donated $1 million to a community center in his hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba. “From my earliest days playing hockey, Dakota Community Centre has always played a pivotal role in my upbringing and my career”, Toews said. (The Score)

    –Nashville Predators teammates Mike Ribeiro and P.K. Subban go head-to-head in a game of pickup basketball. The matchup was pretty one-sided. Let’s just say they should both stick to hockey.

    –Last Week, the ‘Hawks were forced to sign an emergency goalie after Corey Crawford was unable to play. They settled on Eric Semborski, who is an employee at the Flyers’ practice facility. Now, Topps decided to create a hockey card of Semborski.

    Condon keeps standing on his head for Sens, this time sinking Sharks

    SAN JOSE, CA - DECEMBER 07:  Mike Condon #1 of the Ottawa Senators makes a save on a shot taken by Mikkel Boedker #89 of the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on December 7, 2016 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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    SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Chris Kelly scored with 1:06 remaining and Jean-Gabriel Pageau added an empty-net goal, giving the Ottawa Senators a 4-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night.

    Mark Stone and Erik Karlsson also scored for the Senators, who beat the Sharks for a fifth straight time. They’ve won three straight in San Jose for the first time ever.

    Logan Couture and Brent Burns scored for the Sharks, who had a three-game winning streak snapped.

    Mike Condon stopped 35 of 37 shots for the Sens. The Sharks outshot Ottawa 18-4 in the third period, and Martin Jones allowed three goals on 16 shots overall.

    The Senators struck quickly, recording a power-play goal less than four minutes into the contest. Mike Hoffman tossed the puck toward the net and it bounced off Burns’ skate. Burns lost sight of it and Stone picked it up, firing past everybody into the net.

    Hoffman has a point in six straight games and in eight of nine since missing a pair of contests with an injury.

    Karlsson made it 2-0 with a goal about four minutes later. Sharks defender Brendan Dillon tried clearing it from in front of the net, but Karlsson was right there to fire it to the high glove side.

    Couture got the Sharks on the board with a power-play goal midway through the second period. The Senators cleared the puck two straight possessions before Joe Pavelski rushed to the net and then slipped the puck to an open Couture, who has six goals in his past eight games, about 10 feet away for the score.

    Burns tied the score 6:30 into the third period, methodically working the puck to set up a shot that squeezed past Condon to the glove side.

    NOTES: Senators D Marc Methot missed his fourth straight contest with a lower body injury. … Stone has eight points in his last six games. … Karlsson has nine points in his last five games. … The Sharks recalled F Kevin LeBlanc and D Mirco Mueller. Mueller was a healthy scratch. … Sharks D Paul Martin recorded his 300th NHL point with an assist on Burns’ goal.

    UP NEXT:

    Senators: Continue a four-game trip at the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

    Sharks: Travel to Anaheim for a game Friday night and then return home to face Carolina on Saturday night.