Russian Machine Never Breaks: The Highlights

Top 10 Stories of the Year
10. Semyon Varlamov Finally Rehabs Again With The Hershey Bears (http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/2010/02/07/semyon-varlamov-finally-rehabs-again-with-hershey-bears/)
Ian told us of Varly’s kinda triumphant return to pro hockey in early February, and everyone kinda flipped out.  Partially because the Future of the Franchise was finally on the mend and partially because his helmet has a bazillion eagles on it.
9. Could The Kovalchuk Signing Mean The End For Semin In DC? (http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/2010/07/19/could-the-kovalchuk-signing-mean-the-end-for-semin-in-dc/)
Just last week, Neil peered into a crystal ball with one eye and Ilya Kovalchuk’s ridiculous contract with the other.  Through the fog he saw the boyish grin of Alex Semin, whose one-year extension looms over the coming season like… well, a fog.
8. Ovechkin, Semin and Varlamov End Year With Devastating Loss In World Championships Gold Medal Game To Czech Republic (http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/2010/05/23/ovechkin-semin-and-varlamov-end-year-with-devastating-loss-in-world-championships-gold-medal-game-to-czech-republic/)
The Caps parade of misery finally reached its completion with Team Russia’s disappointing silver finish at world championships.  And we, like rubberneckers, can’t help but stare at the disappointment on the faces of Alex and Alex.
7. Russian Lessons Part I: Learn To Say Ovechkin Correctly (http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/2010/02/08/russian-lessons-part-i-learn-to-say-ovechkin-correctly/)
Fedor endeared himself to us with this crash course in Russian.  Now I can’t have a conversation with Ian without him hooting “ah-BOOCH-kin”.
6. Rejoice! Samantha Casey, Miss Virginia USA, is a Big Caps Fan.
(http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/2010/04/18/rejoice-samantha-casey-miss-virginia-usa-is-a-big-caps-fan/)
This was one of our favorite fan profiles and unsurprisingly the most popular.  Apologies to Michael Jenkins and all the people whose bandwidth this page ate up with its two dozen images.
5. Braden Holtby, Superstitions & the Introduction of “Holtbyisms”
(http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/2010/03/30/braden-holtby-superstitions-and-the-introduction-of-holtbyisms/)
Holtby is now Hershey’s number-one netminder, and he’s one wacky dude.  Let’s keep him and his Holtbyisms in the Caps organization for a long time to come.
4. Alex Semin Smokes, Russia Loses Its Dang Mind (http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/2010/05/13/alex-semin-smokes-russia-loses-its-dang-mind/)
Fedor and I had a bear of a time getting to the bottom of this one, partially because it’s a non-story.  Alex Semin can skate figure eights around me, so if he wants to have a pack a month, that’s cool by me.
3. Caps vs. Pens: The Fix Is In? (http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/2010/04/06/caps-vs-pens-the-fix-is-in/)
Addison did a terrific job revealing that officials put the whistle away for the Penguins when they play the Caps.  It’s math, people.  Deal with it.
2. The Latest Updates From Ilya Kovalchuk’s Facebook News Feed (http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/2010/07/21/the-latest-updates-from-ilya-kovalchuks-facebook-news-feed/)
1. Habs Fans Boo National Anthem. How Will Caps Fans Respond? (http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/2010/04/19/habs-fans-boo-national-anthem-how-will-caps-fans-respond/)
Yay!  One that I wrote!  The gist is this: Caps fans rule, and everyone else sucks.

Buckle up, friends; we’re taking a victory lap.

Over the last year (technically more like 9 months), we’ve had some terrific highlights.  Yes, the grim shadow of the playoffs still hangs over the year, but we choose to remember the good times.  Our finest moments are usually our team’s finest moments as well, and so our recollection includes the high points of both the team and our silly blog.

At latest count, our Facebook page has 1,047 likers (including my mom).   The parade of typos we call our Twitter account has 1,493 followers.  The website itself is north of 300,000 hits, which is kind of dumbfounding if you think about it too long.  Our teammates Neil and Fedor have parlayed their skills into gigs with VOA and Washington Examiner respectively.  Even Peter has managed to hustle free pub fries from The Greene Turtle using the blog.

If we had to pick a single highlight for the year, it would have to be Andrew Gordon’s residency during the Calder Cup Finals. When Ian blackmailed convinced Andrew to pitch in, we didn’t know quite what to expect.  Once Andrew turned in his first column, we figured out that his writing chops are just as formidable as his hockey skills.  Andrew provided an unprecedented look not only behind the scenes, but also into the heart, of professional hockey.  We are eternally grateful to Andrew for both his candor and the oodles of traffic he delivered.

We’d also be remiss without mentioning our campaign to get the President to see a Caps game, unfortunately named Barack the Red.  We still hold out hope for victory next season!  Then there’s #beardpact, our tragically abbreviated effort to document the facial hair growth of Caps nation during the playoffs.  Given that Peter had to shave his beard for wedding immediately before the Caps lost three straight games, maybe we shouldn’t have included this one in the list.  Oh well.

Most Read Stories of the Last Year (in disconcerting reverse order)

  1. Semyon Varlamov Finally Rehabs Again With The Hershey Bears
    Ian told us of Varly’s kinda triumphant return to pro hockey in early February, and everyone kinda flipped out about it. Partially because the Future of the Franchise was finally on the mend and partially because his helmet has a bazillion eagles on it.
  2. Could The Kovalchuk Signing Mean The End For Semin In DC?
    Just last week, Neil peered into a crystal ball with one eye and Ilya Kovalchuk’s ridiculous contract with the other.  Through the fog he saw the boyish grin of Alex Semin, whose one-year extension looms over the coming season like… well, a fog.
  3. Ovechkin, Semin and Varlamov End Year With Devastating Loss In World Championships Gold Medal Game To Czech Republic
    The Caps’ parade of misery finally reached its completion with Team Russia’s disappointing silver finish at the world championships.  And we, like rubberneckers, couldn’t help but stare at the sadness on the Alexes’ faces.
  4. Russian Lessons Part I: Learn To Say Ovechkin Correctly
    Fedor endeared himself to us with this crash course in Russian.  But now I can’t have a conversation with Ian without him hooting, ah-BOOCH-kin.
  5. Rejoice! Samantha Casey, Miss Virginia USA, is a Big Caps Fan.
    This was one of our favorite fan profiles and unsurprisingly the most popular.  Apologies to Michael Jenkins and all the people whose bandwidth this page ate up with its two dozen images.
  6. Braden Holtby, Superstitions & the Introduction of “Holtbyisms”
    Holtby is now Hershey’s number-one netminder, and he’s one wacky dude.  Let’s keep him and his Holtbyisms in the Caps organization for a long time to come.
  7. Alex Semin Smokes, Russia Loses Its Dang Mind
    Fedor and I had a bear of a time getting to the bottom of this one, probably because it’s a non-story.  At least we steered clear of “Leave Britney Alone!” territory.
  8. Caps vs. Pens: The Fix Is In?
    Addison did a terrific job revealing that officials put the whistle away for the Penguins when they play the Caps. It’s math, people.  Deal with it.
  9. The Latest Updates From Ilya Kovalchuk’s Facebook News Feed
    From long ago (last week), Neil and his weird, weird mind summoned up the social networking world of Ilya Kovalchuk, who really isn’t that awesome by the way.
  10. Habs Fans Boo National Anthem. How Will Caps Fans Respond?
    Yay!  One that I wrote!  The gist is this: Caps fans rule, and everyone else sucks.

Most of those items came from the last few months.  That’s because readers like you keep showing up in droves despite our best attempts to drive you away.  Still, some of you have probably missed some good stuff!  There was the bizarre origin of our fascination on Varly’s malingering groin. And that time Ian met Mike Green, sometime before he started blocking us on Twitter.

My personal favorites always seem to be the games themselves.  Like when Ovie became captain and John Carlson became Captain America,  or when the Caps got smacked down in their last loss for a long while, or the first win of many.  There’s the Snowpocalypse game, the history-making win, Nicky Backstrom’s well-timed hat trick, and one particularly soul-crushing defeat.

Pull Quotes for the Ages

There’s something honorable in [the Flyers’] struggle. Of all the Caps’ rivalries, the Flyers are the only team I WOULD pee on if they were on fire.

Hey, The Pensblog. I was trying to post some funny JPEGs on your site, but it was down during the 3rd period, dude. Next time, right? If you come to Chinatown for a game, we’ll buy you a pint. P.S. – sorry about your team. XoXo.

We’re not documenting a successful season here; we’re documenting the path to a championship. Respecfully, I don’t want to hear any more talk of a Spinal Tap “This one goes to eleven” streak.  This one does not go to eleven. This one goes to June. [sigh]

The Scrapbook

Our first press credential, given to Ian on the night Hershey lost their first home game in forever.

bears-credential

Ian’s press pass from development camp, where we stole office chairs.

caps-credential

Kyle M. insinuates himself into the Bears Calder Cup celebration.  Love the Ripken shirt.

kyle-best-photographer-ever

kyle-best-photographer-ever2

kyle-best-photographer-ever3

kyle-best-photographer-ever4

kyle-best-photographer-ever5

Courtney Moritz’s dog Bailey has a discriminating fashion sense.

dog-wears-rmnb-shirt

Ted Leonsis writes on Ian’s wall.  Ian was unbearable for days after this.  Also note that Ted signs his FB messages.  That’s hilarious.

ted-leonsis-wall-post

Validation, Facebook style, from Uncle Ted

ted-leonsis-is-a-fan-of-barackthered

…and from Andrew.

andrew-gordon-likes-rmnb

Miss Virginia USA wears the RMNB t-shirt.

samantha-casey-miss-virginia-in-rmnb-shirt

Mike Knuble picks up the garbage, nabs the Gordie Howe.  Ian creates this image, which still makes me laugh.

Knuble wins the Gordo

Peter and Stevie K partook the new Caps tradition of feasting on victory wings.

Wings!

Tagged with:
 
  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Russian Machine Never Breaks

    First

    -Neil

  • Peter Hassett

    Neil, I think that was our first “FIRST” comment.

  • http://crzyjewishotaku.deviantart.com Rachel

    Congrats on one year RMNB! You all rock! :]

  • http://bit.ly/txstarsgirl D’Ann – txstarsgirl

    Congrats…def still my fave Caps blog. Looking forward to October something crazy. Really wish I could make it up to DC for the party – I’m sure it will be one to remember. Best wishes,

    D’Ann – @txstarsgirl

  • http://kkthemook.blogspot.com Katie

    Oh man, how you guys have grown in one year. I was a fan of Matt Weiters Facts back in the day and you (Ian) definitely surpassed any expectations with this blog.

    I remember back in college days when I first met Ian…all lost and confused in search for the mighty corkscrew. He knocked on my door after living on the same floor for well over a semester and never speaking to me and his first words when I opened the door were: “Hi, I’m Ian. I’m going to be a big deal in the future and I’m pretty sure you should be friends with me now so that you can tell everybody you know future me…because well, like I said, I’m a pretty big deal. Oh and do you have a corkscrew?”

    Congratulations on 1 year!

  • BobbyG

    I wish I could be in DC for the party in person, but I’ll have to be content to being there in spirit. I hope everyone who attends has a great time. I’m looking forward to reading reports from the attendees.

    Congratulations and best wishes are in order to RMNB for reaching this milestone, and may you have many many more anniversaries. This is one of my favorite sites to chat or just catch up on Capitals news. I can’t wait for October and the start of another new NHL season. This site helps tide me over until that magical moment arrives.

  • Tim

    I’ve loved following you guys, and hope to keep doing so for a long time. Definitely one of the most entertaining blogs around.

    And recently announced – Flash re-signed for 1 year, $2.6M.

  • http://www.twitter.com/hello_courtney Courtney

    My dog is famous!! Love it! And I love you guys! Congrats on 1 year! Won’t be able to make it to the b-day celebration, but have a beer or two…or 10 for me!

  • Laich It Or Lump It

    12/3/2009 – Ian tips off Laich It Or Lump It about a new, upcoming Caps blog about to go live. Laich It Or Lump It immediately invests in cotton t-shirt stock and is later charged with insider trading. One year (eight months) later, everything has been smoothed over, and elsewhere RMNB is going strong.

    Congrats on your anniversary, guys. Keep it up.

    (http://www.camdenchat.com/2009/12/3/1176404/spotlight-on-matt-wieters-facts#26498032)

  • Sara Bae

    i did not kno hou tew read until i discufferd the “russian machine never breaks” webpage. with grate curiositee and diturmunation, i wantid to kno the capshuns for these hilliareeus pictures thru owt the past yeers. now i lurned to read witch meens now i can laugh. i love you guys and congradulashuns on yor guys’ sucksess! :-) hahaha

  • Pingback: Russian Machine Never Breaks: We Suck

  • Pingback: Hit The Links: Flash Is Back « Kings Of Leonsis

  • Livia

    I hope you’re still counting your triumphs… I’m surprised that your hilarious 4/6/2010 story about the Caps sweeping the Pens this year (complete with Ovie with a broom) didn’t make your top ten most-read. I also want to commend your use of the word “apotheotic” to describe Backstrom’s “stretch/bank pass” to Ovie for the game-winning goal against the Lightning (3/20/2010)–maybe it can be worked into a cheer? Anyway, thanks for all of your work on this blog this past year. You’ve made the good times more fun and the bad times easier to bear.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Russian Machine Never Breaks
  • Pingback: Russian Machine Never Breaks: The Party

  • L

    This probably sounds horrible, but one of my favourite posts was the one with the “Ovechkin = White Russian without a Cup” joke. I love that joke.