Mike Green

Suffice to say, Mike Green was snakebit last year. The Caps defenseman dealt with freak injuries to the shoulder, knee, and hip and also managed to miss 26 of Washington’s final 28 games in the regular season due to a pair of traumatic head injuries. Green’s 49 games-played were the fewest he’s totaled in a single season since he came up to the NHL full-time in 2006-07. His 24 points were also 52 short of his career-high set in 2009-10.

Tuesday, TSN’s Jermain Franklin caught up with Green after a workout in Calgary and the 26-year-old spoke optimistically about his health, his goals for the upcoming season, and George McPhee’s offseason moves. The two-time Norris Trophy finalist also responded to Matt Bradley’s recent comments about Alex Semin and the Capitals supposed lack of discipline in the locker room saying,”if you’re not going to be committed this year, you’re not going to fit in with our team.”

A partial transcript of the interview is below.

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Casting Call! Father and Son Needed for Non-Union PSA

Our friend Suzanne helps us out a lot, so we’re gonna return the favor right meow.

Carlyn Davis Casting is seeking talent for a non-union PSA (that’s a public service announcement for all you n00bz.) These are speaking parts, but just barely.

They’re looking for two parts:

  • Caucasian dad, 35-45, in game store learning about rating symbols and description information found on video games.
  • Caucasian son, 9-13, kid in game store, good personality, energetic, great facial expressions.

Auditions are next week in Falls Church, VA. The PSA will shoot sometime in September in the DC Metro area.

If that sounds up your alley, go ahead and email suzanne@carlyndaviscasting.com. Give her your photo/headshot, your acting resumé, and contact info. Tell her Peter says hi.

Is this PSA hockey-related? Maybe it is, and maybe it isn’t.

(It so is. I think.)

UPDATE: I can confirm that this spot will feature two Capitals players, which is pretty awesome. You wanna spend an afternoon going all Stanislavsky on a Cap? Then shoot Suzanne an email!


Alex Semin

Alex Semin signs autographs for the kids in attendance.

This past Wednesday, Alexander Semin held a workshop for kids of the Sokol Hockey School in Podgorny, a southern Siberian town about 25 miles from his birthplace of Krasnoyarsk. The winger spent the day showing the young players everything from the basics — improving their shooting, skating, and passing — to how to warm-up like an NHL player.

“To become a star,” Semin told the kids, “you need to work hard in training sessions and always give your all in games.” No word on whether Matt Bradley was in attendance.

Later, the 27-year-old held a Q&A with the children and signed autographs for the participants.

During his summers off, Sasha Minor often quietly volunteers his time near Krasnoyarsk — Semin gave away a signed stick the winner of a contest to name the new local ice rink last week, participated in a charity hockey tournament at the beginning of the summer, and even visited a group of orphans during his time off last year.

Below the jump, RMNB’s own Fedor Fedin transcribes Vesti-Krasnoyarsk’s video of the event.

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Alex Ovechkin

Photo credit: Greg Fiume

Alex Ovechkin, who will turn 26 this year, is a special player. Indisputable. Full stop.

The Great 8 has won the Calder Memorial Trophy (best NHL rookie), the Art Ross (most points), two Harts (MVP) that beat as one, two Richards (most goals), and three Ted Lindsay Awards (best player voted by peers). He has also been named to seven NHL All-Star teams.

But that doesn’t mean he is a lock to score 50 goals ever again.

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Matt Hendricks: Goal Scorer?

Matt Hendricks

(Photo credit: Bruce Bennett)

Matt Hendricks did a lot of the “dirty work” for the Capitals last season. He led Washington with 14 fights- four more than Matt Bradley and only six fewer than the entire team had during the 2009-10 season. His 169 hits were second on the team only to Alex Ovechkin.

So where does he want to improve his game? Scoring, naturally.

“I had nine goals goals my first year in the NHL with Colorado,” Matt Hendricks told Tarik El-Bashir. “I played 56 games that year. Last year, I played in 77 games and had nine goals. I need to figure out a way to get over that hump.”

Is that a “hump” or are you just happy to see me the apex of his scoring ability?

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The Sasha Cares Bar Graph

Alex Semin

Photo credit: Chris Gordon

It was just another quiet August morning …until Neil Greenberg totally ruined it. Finding an interview between Matt Bradley and TGOR radio in Ottawa, Neil alerted the world using the twitters.

And then, sadly, no one on the internet wrote about it.

In the interview Matt Bradley seems to characterizes the Washington locker room as having a certain nonchalance, a malaise, insouciance, and probably other French words, too. Bottom line: Bradley thinks the Caps don’t care. And one player is called out by name: Alexander Semin.

But we think Sasha cares. We know Sasha cares. How do we know?


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You Can Be Alex Ovechkin’s Neighbor

Craig Brownstein of PuckBuddys writes for Russian Machine Never Breaks.

4822 16TH ST N, Arlington, VA 22205

The close-in DC suburb of Arlington is known for its quaint neighborhoods of leafy tree-lined streets and charming bungalows, the best bowls of the pho this side of Ho Chi Minh City, guys in brown flip-flops, and a Starbucks on every other corner.

While the debate continues whether or not DC is a hockey town, there’s no doubt Arlington, Virginia is. The team’s state-of-the-art practice facility is located there, and it’s also the town that many Caps players call home. Rarely a day goes by without a player sighting: Greenie zipping by on his Vespa, Sasha queued up in a McDonald’s drive-thru, or Brooksie offering roadside assistance to a stranded motorist.

And now some lucky Caps fan has the opportunity to put himself in the middle of all that action and to become neighbors to not just a Caps player, but the captain. A lovely four-bedroom, two-bath home on 16th Street, just a few doors down from Ovie’s is on the market, but you better act fast.

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Alex Ovechkin

Photo credit: Bruce Bennett

Last season I got some flak for projecting Ovechkin would score on average 42 goals, plus or minus 8 goals over the 82-game season. The former two-time Hart winner ended up setting career lows in goals (32) and points (85), while once again suffering an early exit in the postseason.

Before anyone accuses me of being right a jinx, consider that in each of the two seasons before that he saw most of his offensive numbers decline:

2008-09 79 56 54 110 36 19 528 10.6 1817
2009-10 72 50 59 109 37 13 368 13.6 1569
2010-11 79 32 53 85 25 7 367 8.7 1688

So, despite this downturn, what can we realistically expect from one of the NHL’s best players this upcoming season?

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Dmitry Orlov

Photo credit: Chris Gordon

A few weeks ago, Dmitry Orlov completed his third Capitals Development Camp, flying back to his hometown of Novokuznetsk immediately after its completion. The 20-year-old Orlov will continue to train in Russia until heading back to Washington in September for his first ever NHL training camp.

Three weeks ago, Sports.ru’s Andrey Osadchenko had a fascinating Q & A with Dima, with the Caps prospect going in-depth on his time in Hershey, who impressed him most at the AHL level, and his goals for the upcoming season. Orlov — who’s been involved in a few altercations during his time in the KHL — also revealed if anyone tried to fight him during his time with the Bears.

Below, RMNB’s Igor Kleyner translates the interview.

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Braden Holtby

Photo credit: Chris Gordon

When George McPhee swooped in and signed free agent goalie Tomas Vokoun for a couple bucks and Alex Ovechkin’s now useless stockpile of CCM sticks, there was no doubt it was a great move for the Washington Capitals. But that doesn’t mean everyone was happy with it. 21-year-old netminder Braden Holtby, who looked assured of a roster spot just a day before when the team traded away Semyon Varlamov, was once again relegated to a job with the AHL’s Hershey Bears.

We know what Michal Neuvirth, the remaining ‘keeper in the Caps’ trio, thinks about the deal and losing his starting spot. Holtby, however, has been somewhat of a mystery, with head coach Bruce Boudreau admitting during Development Camp even he hasn’t spoken to the Saskatchewan native about the move.

Unbeknownst to us (but not Hockey Ramblings), someone has been able get Holtby’s side of the story. Several weeks ago, The Pipeline Show on Team 1260 Edmonton caught up the young goalie, with Holtby spilling the beans on the crease situation, Nicklas Backstrom’s injuries, why he didn’t think the team’s defensive system was much of a change, and more.

Below, we offer a transcription.

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