Bruce Boudreau Book Signing

Book cover art courtesy Potomac Books, Inc.

Book cover art courtesy Potomac Books

Look I might be an intellectual, but I’m not much of a reader. Hence why when I go over to Redskins Insider for my daily visit, I generally get bored after the 6th straight paragraph about how much Carlos Rogers sucks. I just can’t help it, you know? I guess it’s ADD.

But there are some things that I will force myself to sit down and read. And one of them is the new book written by both Tim Leone and Capitals Head Coach Bruce Boudreau called “Gabby: Confessions of a Hockey Lifer.”

Over the summer, our friends at Japers Rink pretty much sold us on the book after the first teaser. But then JP shared with us 4 more (Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5) , and we pretty much wanted to drive to the nearest Barnes and Noble and rip through all the bookshelves until we found it. But alas, the book wasn’t going to be released until the upcoming October, so I decided to play the waiting game and just get it then.

Well months passed by, and I tried to keep the book in the back of my mind, but I kinda just forgot about it. Well, that is until our other friends at On Frozen Blog mentioned that Bruce Boudreau was having a book signing on December 21st after practice at Kettler.

Oh, if I didn’t work in Columbia, I could just drop on by during lunch!! But taking a 3.5 hr lunch break wasn’t going to fly especially with having to have 6 websites done by the end of the year. Sigh.

Well, a few days ago, I posed a question to my Twitter Followers. I asked them “What’s the Best Thing About Caps Fans?” And here are some of the responses:

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Kaitlyn’s Capital Drawings

Beautiful Nicklas Backstrom Color Pencil Drawing By Kaitlyn

Beautiful Nicklas Backstrom Color Pencil Drawing By Kaitlyn

Other than Nicklas Backstrom’s terrible attempt at a water-color painting, we here at Russian Machine Never Breaks LOVE, LOVE, LOVE artwork. And so that’s why we love high schooler and avid hockey player Kaitlyn(Please follow her on Twitter).

After seeing one of her beautiful color-penciled masterpieces of the aforementioned Backstrom (shown to the right), the Russian Machine put in a special request for an Alex Ovechking drawing. And Kaitlyn sweetly obliged…

But the project was not without its own setbacks – as all artists can attest to. She even managed to put us through a whole gamut of emotions during the process (like only a high school girl could) as she updated her progress on Twitter:

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A Capitals Christmas

Merry Christmas from Terry Dobbins, Mike Green and the 7 Raccoons That Perished to Make That Hat

Merry Christmas from Terry Dobbins, Mike Green and the 7 Raccoons That Perished to Make That Hat

Merry Christmas Eve from everyone here at Russian Machine Never Breaks! As our writers disperse across the state to spend time with their respective families, we wanted to thank you for welcoming us into the Capitals Diaspora with open arms and giving us a chance to entertain you for the last two weeks.

To give back, tomorrow on Christmas Day, we wanted to release to you some true stories and artwork that warmed our cold, Russian hearts and made us believe that the Christmas spirit of giving is still alive and well.

While we are away chugging alcoholic eggnog, dropping our mitts and fighting our in-laws, we wanted you to get on Twitter and let the Russian Machine know, what’s the best thing about Caps Fans? ie: @russianmachine The Best Thing About #Caps Fans is… [your answer]

We’ll post some of the best answers tomorrow! Take care and have a Merry Christmas!

Do The Caps Need An Enforcer? Russian Machine Says Sorta

It’s a question that was posed on Capitals Insider last week and last time I checked 60% were against and 40% for it. Well call me Don Cherry but I happen to be part of the 40% who are still fans of “olde time” hockey.

To me, fighting is as much a part of the game as still calling jerseys “sweaters”. Fighting serves its purpose as a deterrent from dirty play as well as physical play against a team’s superstars.

The Washington Capitals have no deterrent right now. None. You can argue that their offensive prowess and efficiency on the Powerplay is the deterrent, and I would agree…but really for contending teams only. My worry is that later in the season, teams out of the hunt that may have a score to settle with the Caps, aren’t going to care too much about giving up a couple of meaningless goals in a game that they’re already completely out of. There will be quite a few more Mike Duco’s in the league at that point looking to make a name for themselves with their teams. I’m not in any way advocating taking an enforcer on the playoff roster, this is strictly a regular season move.

The enforcer is no different to me then a defensive specialist in basketball, they are quintessential role players. It’s because of this that we expect them to win every fight, its what they do…I’m still struggling with what Wade Belek did to Donald last year.

I guess part of me is also tired of losing as well, I respect Brads and Erskine for standing up when it’s needed, but it’s not really fair to them. Why should they have to consistently go against guys out of their weight class? I’m tired of seeing my team pushed around (and or terribly bloodied); I’d like to see Sugden get a shot.

Let’s take a look at some real world enforcer analogies.

  • Are you more inclined to push your luck at the bar if one of your friends used to be a college offensive lineman? Of course.
  • Do you know anyone who was beat up as a kid when everyone knew their older brother often times got suspended for fighting? Probably not.
  • Would you wear a Michael Crabtree jersey to an Eagles game in Philly with a stadium full of snow, if you were sitting next to Mr. T? Well, even if Mr. T was there, you still probably wouldn’t do something that stupid. But you get my point.

By Mark Randle

Wednesday Webhits: The Frost King’s Best Links Of The Week

Daniel Moroz, or The Frost King as some of us know him, will for now on be providing a weekly segment called “Wednesday Webhits” from now until the end of time. Trust me. He’s signed a contract in blood. He can’t get out of it.

This weekly post will deliver powerfully interesting links that will make you laugh, cry and maybe even kiss that dumb brain goodbye.

This week learn about ties, an awesomely great fighter, why EA Sports hates the Capitals and how Jose Theodore’s current flashy statistics might be a little misleading… Take it away Daniel!

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Russian Machine Never Breaks Portrait T-Shirt

Russian Machine Never Breaks Portrait T-Shirt

Welcome all to another T-Shirt Tuesday. Exciting right?

For our second shirt, we’ve put our official portrait of the Russian Machine on a red tee. It’s available in Men, Women and Kids sizes for $13.95. Once the first week passes, we will up the prices of the shirt for it’s standard price of $14.95. So if you dig it, makes sense to buy now. So why don’t you visit our shop and take a look around.

We’ll be providing coupon codes for our shirts on our Facebook Fan Page and our Twitter Account periodically. So make sure you join, so you can be in the know.

Anyways, let us know what you think. And if you have any special requests, shoot us an email and we’ll consider. Happy shopping!

Ian’s Take: What Should The Capitals Do With Alex Semin?

What To Do With Alex Semin

As an artist, do you know what I love? Flash. No not, Tomas Fleischmann, you fool. I love flair. I love skill. I love sick moves and highlight reel goals. I love potential and thinking I have it all.

When I think of Alex Semin, I think I have the most talented hockey player in the world. I love seeing that. I love knowing that. I love telling my hockey friends in other NHL cities that he’s more talented than Alex Ovechkin and having them laugh at me like I’m some kind of disturbed fool.

But tell me, Can Crosby do this?
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Dan’s Take: What Should the Capitals Do With Alex Semin?

What To Do With Alex Semin

Before I jump into the fray, there are a few things I wanted to note upfront:

(1) I don’t have any experience writing about hockey.

(2) And I’m coming at this from the perspective of a baseball analyst, so that’s where my base is. I know baseball and hockey are very different sports – especially since in hockey there is much more interaction between players and a team can be more (or less) than the sum of its parts.

(3) There will be cold, heartless calculations done. I don’t care a lick about the players (in this context). To me they’re just assets, like houses. You can have a really nice house – worth $10 M – but if the mortgage on it is for $15 M then it’s not actually very good for you. Hockey is a business, so there are revenues and costs (like players). If a player is worth $5 M but is paid $6 M, then that’s a bad deal for the team. If he’s paid $4 M, then the team has found $1 M in excess value.

(4) There will be numbers, many of which I make assumptions about and do hand-wavy things with. Precision would be great, but I don’t quite have the tools or the available data at my disposal to do things completely accurately.

Alrighty then. So, what should the Capitals do about Alexander Semin? I’m going to go through each option to the best of my ability, to see which branch bears the best fruit.
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Brandon’s Take: What Should the Capitals Do With Alex Semin?

What To Do With Alex Semin

Let’s say you worked as a manager at Bob Evans. One of your cooks is an aloof guy who rarely speaks to the waiters and waitresses. Every once in awhile he’ll overcook a burger and call in sick to work.

But when he’s focused, he’s capable of making the best Wildfire Chicken dinner of anyone in the entire chain of restaurants. Despite the cook’s shortcomings, the manager would do anything possible to keep the chef around.

Alexander Semin is the slightly flawed cook of the Washington Capitals. Sure, he makes mistakes. No, he’s not particularly adept at English. But he’s one of the league’s most dangerous goal scorers when healthy and motivated. He needs to be resigned.

I suppose you could argue that the Capitals would be best served trading him for a physical, stay-at-home defenseman or a goalie better than Jose Theodore (which would be just about anyone). But I think the current Capitals are the most fun team I can remember watching because of their propensity to score goals in bunches.

Remember the B.O. (Before Ovechkin, not body odor) era? Aside from Peter Bondra, the Capitals never seemed to be able to find complimentary scorers. It led to suspect power plays and way too many “dump and chase” hysterics.

Even if it means taking a serious salary cap hit and not being able to fix a back line that could use an established star, I think the Capitals should keep Semin. If there aren’t enough cooks in the kitchen, it’s much harder to be successful.

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What Should The Capitals Do With Alex Semin – Intro

What To Do With Alex Semin

With all this talk about the Caps potentially taking a run at Ilya Kovalchuk, I figured it was as good a time as ever to debate if Alex Semin should be made available at the trade deadline by General Manager George McPhee – well, only of course for the right price.  Semin is currently finishing out a pretty reasonable 2 year deal and will be a Restricted Free Agent over the summer if he doesn’t resign before then.

Everyone is aware of Semin’s other-worldly talent.  Everyone is aware of his injury and consistency issues.

Hell, at a recent Q&A at ESPN Zone in Downtown DC, Head Coach Bruce Boudreau had this to say about his star winger:

“Who knows what he’s thinking.  The minute I learn to read him, he throws me a curve ball.  One day he looks like the greatest star on Earth and the next day you want to use a stick and beat him over the head with it.  He’s the enigma of enigmas for our team.  But in the NHL, you can’t find this type of talent everywhere.” – (Quote taken from Washington Capitals Examiner – Link Here)

Not really a ringing endorsement.  So what should the Capitals do with the other Sasha? Resign him, trade him or let him walk this summer?  Let the Russian Machine know what you think in the comments below, and then we’ll chime in later today!

All photos of Semin will be from clydeorama. Check out his Photos in his Flickr Account Here.

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