Braden Holtby Debuts His New Goalie Mask on Caps365

Today, Hershey Goaltender Braden Holtby showed off his new Capitals Mask to Mike Vogel of Caps365. Among the notable things that were discussed:

  • Holtby had an artist in Sweden paint the mask.
  • The process took a week to complete and was done all through email.
  • The back of the mask features flags of Saskatchewan and Alberta, the text Carpe Diem and a Japanese symbol which means “constant improvement.”
  • Braden is having the artist design another mask that he’ll wear Opening Night in Hershey. And he sounds worried it’ll arrive on time.
  • No word if any Russians were injured in the making of this mask.

Below the fold, check out all sides of the helmet in all its screen-captured glory.

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Nikita Kashirsky celebrating a goal for the Stingrays.

Here's Nikita as a sophomore when he played for the Norwich Cadets.

Here's Nikita as a sophomore when he played for the Norwich Cadets.

Photo by David Albers of naplenews.com

Here at RMNB, we love to  write a lot about Alex Ovechkin, Semyon Varlamov, Alex Semin, Dmitri Orlov, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Stanislav Galiev, and Dmitri Kugryshev (did I forget anyone?), but we’ve overlooked the 8th (and the least-known) Russian in the Caps  system, Nikita Kashirsky. Now that he has been officially invited to rookie camp to form another awesome trio of Russians, we’ll fix that immediately.

Kashirsky, 24, is a Muscovite (just like me Ovi). As a kid, he started playing hockey at Dynamo and was a left winger. In the past, when Ovechkin was asked about who his favorite line-mates were at the Dynamo school, Kashirsky’s was one of the first names he always mentioned.  

“We grew up together,” Kashirsky said of his relationship with The Great 8 in an interview with Corey Masisak last year. “We played in Dynamo since we were 8 years old. We’ve been friends since then, I guess. We became really good friends around the age of 14 or 15. Since then we’ve always been really close. We come to each other’s house, spend the weekends and stuff. We’ve been like brothers since that time.”

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Semyon Varlamov Finally Breaking-In New Mask Bought Last Year

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Semyon Varlamov took to the ice this morning sporting a sharp-looking freshly painted goalie mask. You know, that one he purchased way back in January and wore in a rehab-stint with Hershey right before the Olympics. Well it appears Varly’s finally breaking it in for good this time for the upcoming season [Ed Note: Nope, bad assumption].  

Since I was at Kettler I decided to take a few photos the of the red mask which is a majority Capitals-themed, in contrast with his mask last year which was split between the Caps and Russian halves. The mask features Varly’s nickname on the chin with American and Russian flags, airbrushed eagles (single on the right and double on the left) and the word “Capitals” on the sides, a beautiful Weagle surrounded by red stars on a white background on the top, and a solid red back with several white stars.

Follow us past the jump for some more photos.

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Alex Ovechkin talks about the Sochi Olympics

Any article that captures Alex Ovechkin’s awesome personality is a total win in our book. Hence why we sent Fedor off to translate this Sports.ru story where a reporter asked Ovi and several other famous Russians what they think the mascot should be for the upcoming Sochi Games. Take a look below!

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EA Sports NHL 11 is Out Now!

So NHL 11, the new hockey game by EA Sports, has been officially released to the world as of … right… now. If you’re like me, you either pre-ordered it weeks ago (like last year) or are planning to pick it up today at Best Buy immediately after work. Over the past decade, I’ve bought the game religiously on the first day of its release. And at first play every year, I’ll pick up the controller, sit through the opening credits, love the new gameplay and then get childishly furious at one of the minor details that are off. You know, like the rosters will be wrong (i.e.- Nicklas Backstrom‘s on Brynäs IF of the Swedish Elite League but not on Washington), Green Day will be on the soundtrack (ugh), or the PA Announcer repeatedly mispronounces Alexander Semin‘s name (the really, really wrong way).

Anyways, if you share in my excitement, let’s try something fun this year, shall we? If you’re going into the store and buying the game today, I encourage all of you to take pictures and tell us all about your first experience with the game in the comments below or on the hashtag #RMNBNHL11. And please, please complain about any minor thing that’s off. Like we’re a bunch of pedantic beta testers.

Let’s see how this goes, but try and make me proud. I’ll even give a free t-shirt to somebody if they come up with something truly epic. Like submitting a photo of yourself doing the hot stick celebration with the game box or checking the GameStop employee over the counter. Game on!

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Above, please check out CSN Washington‘s brand-new promo for the Washington Capitals upcoming season entitled “The Race For The Cup.” The commercial, which is inspired by the movie Inception, features clips of Alex Ovechkin cross-checking Brooks Orpik, John Erskine knocking out Chris Thorburn, & Bruce Boudreau leaping maybe 4 inches. If this doesn’t get you excited for the Caps Home Opener – which is now only 33 days away – I’m not sure what will.

And just as a friendly reminder, make sure to keep your schedule clear Friday, September 10th at 10am. That’s when individual tickets go on sale for the Capitals upcoming season. Let’s be honest with ourselves, we all know that every home game this season is going to sell out. So make sure to cancel that friday business meeting first thing tomorrow morning or you’ll be sorry!

The two kapitans, Ilya Kovalchuk and Alex Ovechkin

Sunday per Championat.ru, Washington Capitals Superstar Alex Ovechkin and recently-signed New Jersey Devil Ilya Kovalchuk held a charity hockey game at Sokolniki Arena in downtown Moscow. The reason? To raise money for the children affected by the terrible wildfires in Russia this summer. The high-scoring match ended in a 13-13 tie and raised 13,870,000 ruble or $451,900 American Dollars for the children’s fund.

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Russian fans are very, very passionate about hockey. If you need proof, look no further than the buildup for the upcoming KHL game between heated-rivals Avangard Omsk and Vityaz Chekhov. Avangard’s best player is former DC malcontent Jaromir Jagr, while Vityaz – known more for its boxing than hockey skill – has former Caps Brandon Sugden, Chris Simon, and Darcy Verot filling out their ranks.

The team’s beefs with each other have been simmering for a while now, stemming from one sad event. During the 2008-09 KHL season, Avangard’s Alexei Cherepanov passed out on the bench during a game against Vityaz in Chekhov. He later died. The cause of his death filled headlines in Russia for years, with both teams getting their fair share of the blame. Wikipedia’s wordy explanation is the most fair:

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Andrew Gordon Answers Our Readers’ Questions: Part II

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In part two of our Q/A with Andrew Gordon (part one can be read here), Gordo discusses his favorite NHL players and teams as a kid, if he reads blogs or newspaper articles about himself and what he did on his day with the Calder Cup this year. Mixed in is also a question submitted from a 9 year old reader, Cody, who asks Gordo what he thinks it would take for him to make it to the NHL someday.

In conclusion, all of us here at RMNB hope that you have enjoyed Andrew’s insightful responses to your questions over the past two days and his blogging throughout the Calder Cup Finals. Please join us in wishing him good luck for the upcoming season and a successful training camp. With that said, let’s get started with our first question.

Bill C. asks, “Andrew, who was your favorite player as a kid growing up and why?”

Thanks for the question, Bill. As a kid growing up I had all kinds of guys I really looked up to. When I became old enough to really follow hockey and understand the game, it was the 1992-93 season and I was 8 years old. This may have been the year that hockey took over my life, as my favorite team (brace yourself people…and I apologize in advance) the Montreal Canadians won the Stanley Cup and Teemu Selanne scored 76 goals on his way to a record-setting rookie season. Seeing as my father grew up in Winnipeg, the Jets were the other team I followed closely. So Teemu became my instant favorite. My father and I actually went to see a game in Winnipeg that season where the Jets faced Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings. Although I don’t remember all the details of the game (aside from Seleane getting two goals), I remember being amazed by the stadium and the fact that the guys on the ice were real live NHL players! In the same room as me! It was a day I hope I never forget.

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Andrew Gordon Answers Our Readers’ Questions: Part 1

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A few weeks ago while the blog took a week hiatus, we asked if any of you had questions for player-turned-blogger Andrew Gordon. And boy did you! Tonight we present to you the first five answers out of the ten best questions we received. Also, make sure to check out the photos in this entry. They are from Game 6 of the 2010 Calder Cup Finals where the Hershey Bears celebrated the franchise’s 11th AHL Championship. The photos are from Gordo’s digital camera that he had on the ice. Take it away, Andrew!

Hi, everyone! Looks like this will be my last blog of the summer. Training camp is right around the corner, and once that hits my focus will be on hockey, not writing! I’m going to try to answer all these questions as best I can, but keep in mind some of them would take me forever to fully explain, so I’ll try to cover as much ground as I can without making this a complete yawner of a read. Thanks for reading!

tfirey asks, “Gordo: I have a lot of questions about how pro athletes train (as it’s a world that I’ll never know — alas!). Can you tell us what you do in your workouts? Are any exercises hockey-specific, as opposed to standard endurance and strength-building? How does your routine change throughout the year?”

Thanks for the question, tfirey.  All players have different things they like to do to prepare for upcoming seasons. It’s kind of a trial-and-error thing. The majority of us have had trainers growing up, in junior, in college, and at various pro levels.  They each have their own philosophies and training methods to get a player to the optimum level of fitness.

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