“Kanooblian” by Mark Burrier. See Rare Words for more of Mark’s art.

Mike Knuble will play his 1000th NHL game on Tuesday night. And I get to write the pregamer! Woohoo!

There’s a team. They’re from Nashville. That’s where Steve Earle got busted for dope the first 40 times, and it’s where my girlfriend Hayley Williams lives right now. The Predators are 17-11-4. Their new guitar pick logo is awesome. They beat the Caps 3-1 last month, and their home jerseys harshed my rods and cones. Faith Hill hates Carrie Underwood. The Preds are just barely inside the playoff picture right now. D-man Shea Weber is insanely good (24 points, plus-15) and will get even better. But enough about them, let’s talk Kanooble!

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RMNB Needs Your Capitals-Themed Christmas Cards

We’re a hopelessly gimmicky blog. There are certain standards to which we hold ourselves:

  1. If the Capitals are losing and we have no idea what to write about, it’s okay to post an article which consists only of baby animal videos.
  2. When any member of the Capitals organization is spotted with someone on Jersey Shore, we must write about it.
  3. During any holiday, we must solicit artwork from our readers because a) you guys do more creative stuff than we can, and b) we are desperate for non-Kuznetsov content.

So with eight-pound, six-ounce baby Jesus’s birthday only six days away, we need your Capitals-themed Christmas cards and quick! We prefer that you create your cards using a primitive graphics program like MS Paint, Adobe Photoshop 3.0, or gluing macaroni on construction paper. We want cards for all religions. After all, Jeff Halpern and the Puck Buddys are Jewish, and Jason Chimera  (11 G, 6 A) obviously has a deal with the devil.

Mail your submission to thecrew@russianmachineneverbreaks.com by 5pm on Friday. We’d prefer if they’re jpegs. And for those of you who are too scared to submit, take solace in the fact that we’ll pretty much post anything. Weird youtubes of your kids dancing, pictures of an Ovechtree. Ornaments. Seriously, anything. Well, as long as it’s not super crude.

Get crackin’. We can’t wait to see what you guys come up with this year!

Why Alex Ovechkin Throwing Gang Signs is a Good Thing

Photo credit: Michael Martin

For those of you who stayed up late Saturday with the hopes of getting an up-close-and-personal look at #AvsFailWatch, sorry. The Capitals are scuffling. The team has mustered only one goal in each of the past three games (1-2-0), they have failed to win more than two straight games since starting the season 7-0, and they have an unimpressive 4-5-0 record since Dale Hunter was hired as coach. 31 games into the season, the Caps are in 11th place in the Eastern Conference and would not qualify for the playoffs if they started today. Bummer city.

While it’s easy to fret about all the unmet expectations this season, there are also some positive changes going on– though you might have to get out a magnifying glass to see them.

First, the Capitals are giving up nearly one less goal per game under Hunter (3.27 GAA with Bruce, 2.55 with Dale). Five-on-five, the Capitals are finally subscribing to more of a chip-and-chase system and are trying to be a tougher team to compete against. “Unfortunately, it’s a really hard way to play,” Tomas Vokoun recently explained to CSN’s Chuck Gormley. “But it’s the only way you can win a Stanley Cup. And the sooner we learn it as a team the better off we’re going to be.”

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