A photo tweeted by the D.O. Double G after the show.

Photos by Andy Hsu

As both an alumus of UMBC (University of Maryland Baltimore County) and a former member of the school’s Student Events Board, I beamed with pride when I heard that Snoop Dogg would be performing at this year’s Quadmania. Quadmania, which is a year-end festival meant to rally the university’s students before finals, has hosted acts such as N.E.R.D., Kanye West, Taking Back Sunday, My Chemical Romance, and All American Rejects in years past.  Lo and behold, when my friends started posting their pictures on Facebook from the show Friday night, my jaw dropped to the floor when I saw Snoop rocking the red and wearing an Ovechkin jersey. How cool is that? Below the fold, check out a few more professional pics from friend-of-the-blog Andy Hsu.

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Game One Less than Ideal: Bolts beat Caps 4-2

Alex Semin rings iron. (Awesome photo credit: Greg Fiume)

Welp. That just happened.

The Washington Capitals invited the Tampa Bay Lightning for a night of pucks and fun in Chinatown. Starting off the conference semi-finals, the well rested Caps were expected to bulldoze Tampa Bay’s exhausted trap defense and open up some cracks in the Roloson wall. Did not happen.

On the board first was Sean Bergenheim, rewarded for crowding Michal Neuvirth’s crease. Marco Sturm returned fire by forcing a turnover that Alex Semin mightily wristed past Dwayne Roloson’s defenses. Jason Chimera fought below the goal line to set up Eric Fehr for the go-ahead, but that’s when the wheels came off. After a soft turnover, Steve Downie had a little help in his tying goal thanks to Scott Hannan’s stick. On a late second period powerplay, Steven Stamkos, given way too much space in the paint by John Erskine, had enough time to force one past Neuvy. And with the net cleared out, Dominic Moore sacrificed his body to settle the matter. Bolts beat Caps 4-2. Dammit.

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The Face of the Enemy Revealed: Tampa Bay Lightning

Get ready for 4+ games of Steve Downie, Steven Stamkos, and Dwayne Roloson – the man who shut us out twice during the regular season and is approximately 4,000 years old. How are you feeling, Caps fans? Can we take them? What’s your prediction?

Video: CSN’s Russ Thaler on RMNB and That Painting

Yep. Milking this for all it’s worth.

We were stunned when we saw one of our t-shirts featured in ESPN The Magazine. So stunned, we said and I quote:

Since we’re on a bit of a hot streak, the next thing we’re going to work on is getting CSN Washington anchor Russ Thaler to scream “RUSSIAN MACHINE NEVER BREAKS!” before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs with red war paint on. I mean, if we can get into ESPN The Magazine, anything is possible.

Well, minus the face-paint and screaming, mission accomplished. Next goal: segway tour with the Bradleys.

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Behold! Alexsandr's other "We Are The Champions" painting

Did you think this would be a slow news week? Maybe an injury update here or a scouting report there, but overall an uneventful period before the semifinals. Well, you were wrong. From the Internet’s very own disreputable flea market emerges what might become the cultural moment of the hockey season.

(Are we building this up too much?)

Artist Aleksandr Reut has crafted Washington Capitals – We are the Champions!, an exquisite 40″ x 32″ oil painting on canvas. This inspired (yet absurdly premature) work of celebratory art and its partner piece are available for bid or purchase on eBay right now. Starting bid is only $5,000, so crack open those piggy banks.

A 50-something Ukranian ex-pat living in Harrisonburg, Virginia, Reut fills the daytime hours as an architect, but the muses compel him to high art. A decade-old profile from Harrisonburg’s Daily News-Record (reprinted here by brama.com) extols Reut’s passion for mixed media as a sculptor, but he tells me that it’s hockey that really inspires him.

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NEXT! Caps beat Rangers 3-1

Mike Green: picking the right time to play the best hockey of his life.

Shut the book on the quarterfinal series between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals. In just five (not that short) games, the Caps sent the Rangers to an early vacation and a hot shave. This is the first Caps playoff series since the lockout (and the first of Bruce Boudreau’s career) that has not gone to a full seven games.

For the first time in the series, a goal was scored in the first period. While on the powerplay, Mike Green caught his own rebound and used Dan Girardi as a backboard for the game’s first score. Scott Hannan stretched a pass to Alex Ovechkin in the second, who then beat Henrik Lundqvist on the backhand. Alex Semin’s one-timer off Marcus Johansson made the score 3-0, which should have been the final. But then this happened:

About a minute later, Wojtek Wolski finally got one past Michal Neuvirth. Oh well. Caps beat Rangers 3-1. Series score: 4-1. The Capitals advance to the next round, but first comes a few days of well deserved rest.

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Video: Caps Fans Chant “We Are Louder”

Take note, rest of the league. Don’t make Caps fans angry.

Thursday night, I turned to ESPN2, and watched PTI while I ate dinner. It almost resulted in me spitting out my cheesesteak. Former Washington Post columnists Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon led the show off with hockey and expressed their opinions on the result of Game Four between Washington and the Rangers. Because I heard the words “championship” and “Capitals” uttered in the same sentence, I felt compelled to share. The transcript is below.

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After Jason Chimera scored in double overtime last night – a goal in which he characterized as “next to getting married and having kids, it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me” – we figured he deserved some love. So we asked reader Max Duchaine, the same man behind the Alex Semin “History will be Red” clip, to hook us up. Can you hear us now, Rangers fans?