John Carlson Signs Autographs at Blood Drive

All people who donated blood, got a Carlson Jersey T-Shirt and this AWESOME bobblehead. (Photo by Suzanne Kang)

All people who donated blood, got a Carlson Jersey T-Shirt and this AWESOME bobblehead. (Photo by Suzanne Kang)

Friend of the Blog, Suzanne Kang is a big Caps Fan. She also lives in Virginia. With these two requirements satiated, she’s fit to guest-write for our blog. Today, the Washington Captials hosted a blood drive for Inova Blood Donor Services in Sterling, VA. Here’s a recap of her day.

I’ve donated blood a time or two, both on my own and through blood drives. So suffice to say, I was expecting the usual: go in to a room full of stations, get stuck by a needle, watch Ian cry, get my blood drained, get a cool colored bandage and sticker, drink juice and eat cookies and go home. While the process of the actual blood donation was pretty much the same, there was one big difference.

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A Portrait of supposedly the 9th best Center in the NHL, Nicklas Backstrom. (Photo by Al Bello/Editing by Ian Oland of RMNB)

Adrian Dater had an interesting post naming the top 10 centers in the NHL. As you would expect with 30 teams, each with 4 centers, some big names were omitted. The ranking is also subject to much debate. Take a look:

  1. Sidney Crosby, PIT
  2. Pavel Datsyuk, DET
  3. Henrik Sedin, VAN
  4. Jonathan Toews, CHI
  5. Mike Richards, PHI
  6. Evgeni Malkin, PIT
  7. Mikko Koivu, MIN
  8. Joe Thornton, SJS
  9. Nicklas Backstrom, WSH
  10. Ryan Getzlaf, ANA

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Really. Tom Poti is important part of the Caps Defense.

Nearly 3 months after being temporarily blinded in the right eye by a Mike Cammalleri shot, Tom Poti declared today that “Everything is going good” and he’s made a complete recovery.

Tom Poti reacts after taking a Mike Cammalleri shot to the face (Photo by John Mcdonnell/WaPo)

Tom Poti reacts after taking a Mike Cammalleri shot to the face. (Photo by John Mcdonnell/WaPo)

This should be great news for Caps fans expecially with the team’s lack of activity in the free agent market this year.

If you watched the Montreal series it’s easy to see why not pursing a “shut down” defenseman in the free agent market has suddenly become a controversial move especially when Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Tampa Bay have all gotten better.

While I have been critical of the lack of activity there are some bright spots on the Caps blueline, specifically Tom Poti, who is entering the last year of his 4 year, $14 million contract.

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One-On-One Interview with Dmitri Orlov

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This is a language Dmitri understands. (Photo by Chris Gordon of Caps Snaps)

NOM NOM NOM. (Photo by Chris Gordon of Caps Snaps)

We’ve been fascinated by Dmitri Orlov since Fedor told us that Metallurg fans call him the Russian Bobby Orr.  As ludicrous as that title is, we can’t help but be impressed by the offensive-minded d-man called Dima.  His partner at development camp, Joe Finley, compared Dmitri to John Carlson and Mike Green, but he did point out the difficulties in communication.  Unlike Stan Galiev, Dmitri is not comfortable with English, only the universal language of cupcakes.  That’s why our pal Oksana Zolotar chatted Orlov up in the tongue of the motherland.

Follow us past the jump where we’ll learn about Dmitri’s trouble buying out his contract and overcoming his 5’10” frame.  Please note that Oksana refrains from asking Dima about Ian’s weird fixation on him.  Also, don’t forget to check out our interviews with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Stanislav Galiev if you missed them.

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Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

One-On-One Interview With Stanislav Galiev

stanislav-galiev-rmnb-interview

The Washington Capitals selected Stanislav Galiev (friends call him “Stan”) as the 86th overall pick in the draft.  The baby-faced left winger from Moscow stood out during development camp as a competent skater, playmaker, and polyglot whiz.  He’s not a particularly big player (178 lbs), but Galiev’s personality is plenty big. Our girl Friday, Oksana Zolotar, chatted up Stan in his native tongue following Wednesday’s scrimmage.

Follow us past the jump to learn about his adoration of Alexander Semin, bulking up, and Russian camaraderie at dev camp.  If you missed Monday’s interview with Evgeny Kuznetsov, we politely remind you that this will all be on the final exam.

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It’s finally over!

If you’ve stood by your computer constantly hitting refresh like I did, then you know I am talking about the Kovalchuk Sweepstakes, which is reportedly a 17-year deal with the New Jersey Devils. Yes, seventeen YEARS. Yeah, that is a loooooong time.

The New Mickey Mouse Club

We're going to party like it's 1993

How long, Neil?

Well, seventeen years ago Ace of Base ruled the airwaves, and The New Mickey Mouse Club got some new members: Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera. So yeah, 17 years is a long time.

Time will tell if he’s worth it, but Kovalchuk has put up some serious regular season numbers in his career before his 28th birthday: 642 career points in 621 career games at the NHL level. Not bad for the the first overall pick in the 2001 NHL entry draft.

I will leave others to debate whether or not the contract is worth it or how it just laughs in the face of the current CBA, but you have to believe that at least one Russian in the DC area was intently watching these talks unfold: Alexander Semin.

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One-On-One Interview with Evgeny Kuznetsov

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Evgeny Kuznetsovs Awesome Crocs

Personality Defined: While we interviewed Evgeny, we noticed he wore white crocs with some stickers on them. Included were NY Yankees, Arizona Cardinals & Spider-Man logos and his number at development camp, 92.

If one player could be said to have stolen the limelight during Caps development camp, it must be Evgeny Kuznetsov.  The first-round draft pick scored a flurry of goals in scrimmages; invoked the ire of that other RMNB crush object, Braden Holtby; met with some Russian-language students from UMD, and even gorged on some cupcakes.  We wanted to pick Evgeny’s brain, but we were stifled by the language barrier.

Luckily, friend-of-the-blog and sage of all things Caps, Oksana Zolotar, helped us out.  In addition to having a truly awesome name, Oksana speaks fluent Russian.  We put the two kids together for a chat following Wednesday’s scrimmage (in which Evgeny went 2G-1A-3P).   Follow us past the jump to hear Evgeny discuss English, his ambitions, and his always cheerful attitude.

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One Time, At Development Camp…

Ted Leonsis Addresses the Crowd

RMNB’s resident casanova and now photog for the Examiner, Neil Greenberg, spent the week at the Capitals development camp.  What follows are his thoughts on the experience.

What a week.

Overwhelming. Fulfilling. Humbling. No other words can describe it.

From when I said yes to cover it for the Examiner to when Kelly showed me where I could and could not go to when I got in my truck at the end of Fan Fest: total euphoria.

Not going to lie, I was overwhelmed when Michael asked me if I would be interested in taking pictures at the Camp for the Washington Caps Examiner – and would be jealous, too, of someone in that position. Of course, I could not say yes quick enough.

What an honor, right? Two things I am passionate about mashed up together for a surreal experience: the chance to cover the sport I love through art – despite being told that becoming an artist would never work for me. Specifically, “Neil, you can’t be an artist.” I tried everything: playing instruments (violin and saxophone), drawing, painting and even writing. In fact, most of my childhood I was told I couldn’t do stuff. Not shouldn’t – can’t. Told that if I tried to chase that dream it would end in certain, perhaps orchestrated, failure.

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