RMNB Week in Review; Three is a Magic Number

Pic by Clyde.

This week, the Caps went 1-1-1 in 3 games with a loss against the Hurricanes, a win against the Boston Bruins, and a wild overtime loss against the Penguins that had a bit of fallout, to say the least. They were outscored 8-10 but managed to come away with 3 of 6 available points. The week also saw Alex Ovechkin suspended for 3 games, Mathieu Perreault scoring 3 goals for his first career hat trick, and hopefully saw the last strike of the 3-0 shutout boomerang for awhile. It was a crazy week to be a Caps fan, but when the dust settled, the Caps are sitting at 3rd place in the conference, and will stay there for the duration of the All-Star break. You knew you should have paid more attention to those lessons about foreshadowing in high school English class.

Elsewhere in the NHL, Tim Thomas snubbed the President, Antero Niittymaki wasn’t informed he was on waivers, Semyon Varlamov may have lost the Avalanche starting job for now, NHL should just rename it the Backup All-Star Game, and Evander Kane was accused of dining and dashing.

In case you were wondering the most important question–how does everything in the world apply to the Washington Capitals?–here’s a helpful guide to what’s terrible this week.

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Screengrab via @CarrottBazooka

Since Alex Ovechkin has opted out of the All-Star Weekend (and has better things to do anyway), Dennis Wideman is now Washington’s lone representative in Ottawa. While Wideman is perhaps slightly less likely to don a hat and sunglasses and do trick shots, he’s a Capital, so we love him all the same. We’ll be covering Wideman’s foray into the glamorous life of an All-Star, so check back for updates, because let’s face it, you’re already bored without hockey.

Dennis Wideman was picked in the 15th round with the second-to-last pick that could be used on a defenseman, before only Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler. This means that we can get hipster now if we want and call him underrated. We knew Dennis Wideman when he wasn’t cool. Logan Couture was picked last overall and won a brand new caaaaarrrrr! Somehow it just wasn’t the same without Ovechkin there laughing and taking pictures.

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Monday night, Brendan Shanahan suspended Alex Ovechkin three games for his hit on Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek. Tuesday morning, George McPhee announced that Ovi would be pulling out of the All-Star Game and its festivities in Ottawa. “Because he’s a suspended player, he doesn’t feel like he deserves to be there, so he’s not going to go,” McPhee told the gathered media. “He doesn’t want to be a distraction to the event.”

Fair enough. Yet Ovi’s decision to skip All-Star weekend has been met with criticism from some and anger by others. St. Louis Blues winger Andy McDonald tweeted a “a classless move by Ovi ‘opting’ out of the NHL Allstar Game.” What they don’t seem to realize is that Ovechkin has lots of other important things to be doing with his time. First things first, shaving-cream pie Mathieu Perreault.

It’ll be twelve days between when Ovechkin was suspended and when we next see him on the ice, so in the meantime, here are a few things we think he might be up to.

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Screengrab via @recordsANDradio

Alex Ovechkin has been suspended for three games, but that didn’t stop him from getting in on the fun of the Capitals’ 5-3 win over offensive juggernauts, the Boston Bruins. Ovechkin congratulated Mathieu Perreault‘s on his first career hat trick by surprising him with a shaving-cream pie to the face during the post-game interview with Al Koken. Typical Ovi.

Video under the jump.

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Hatty for Matty! Caps beat Bruins 5-3

Photo credit: Mitchell Layton

The Washington Capitals were at the lowest of lows before the defending champion Boston Bruins came to town. This being the last game before the All-Star break and the first game of Alex Ovechkin’s suspension, expectations were barometrically low.

Rich Peverly tried to go around Karl Alzner, who knocked in the goal from his belly.

It was a 5-goal second period! Joel Ward set up Cody Eakin, whose shot trickled past Tukka Rask.  41 seconds later, Mathieu Perreault executed a give-and-go with Alex Semin to score. John Carlson surrendered a pathetic giveaway, and Tyler Seguin roofed it. Mathieu Perreault scored his second of the night on a blistering breakaway. That “little ball of hate”, Brad Marchand, caught a lucky bounce in the crease and tied it back up.

Mathieu Perreault recorded his hat-trick goal in the third period while fighting off a dozen men in the paint who were armed with flaming swords and guns that fire sharks. It was the game-winner. Dennis Wideman got the empty netter. Caps beat Bruins 5-3.

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Alternate Cut of the Alex Ovechkin Suspension Video

Our Russian spies have infiltrated NHLHQ and recovered this alternate cut of Brendan Shanahan‘s suspension video for Alex Ovechkin. This video, archived by RMNB contributor Max Duchaine, contains several revelations about Shanahan’s mental state.

What we find is a broken man at the edge of madness, hated by all, who retreats to a lonely room to watch teen dramas and weep quietly. Do not loathe this man. Pity him.

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Boston Bruins Pregame: Drop the Mitts

Craig Brownstein of Puck Buddys provides this pregamer. All Free Citizens should follow them.

The Pregame: With Doug on IR (day-to-day, lower body – but we won’t say how low), I’ll take a stab at pregaming what could be one of the more critical games on the Caps schedule. And by take a stab, I mean a stabby-stabby and hate-fueled screed. Belittling all things Bay State is one of our favorite indoor sports, but there are so many Boston hFadlines today, we hardly know where to start.

Monday afternoon’s Bruins visit to the White House elicits only groans from us. We all know our Kenyan Marxist president would rather be honoring a Canadian team. As everyone knows, Canadians are generally far more receptive to Obama’s brand of socialism, with their noted embrace of socialized healthcare and flamboyant homosexual hockey fans .

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Shanabanned: Alex Ovechkin Suspended For Three Games

Ovechkin smash! (Photo credit: Bruce Bennett)

Alex Ovechkin has been suspended three games for his hit on Penguins defensemen Zbynek Michalek–here’s our post on it if you haven’t seen the hit, which happened in the second period of Sunday’s game. He will miss upcoming games against the Bruins, Lightning, and Panthers, and won’t be back in action until the February 4th game against the Canadiens twelve days from now. He will forfeit $154,677.75 in salary for the three games.

Ovechkin is the first Capitals player to receive supplemental discipline this season, making the Caps the 22nd team to have a player suspended, with only 8 teams still untouched. To some extent Ovechkin is a “repeat offender”, at least according to the spirit of the law, though the rulebook clarifies this as a player with offenses on his record within the last 18 months, and Ovechkin’s last suspension was 22 months ago. Given Ovechkin’s reputation for leaving his feet on hits, though, Brendan Shanahan–celebrating his 43rd birthday today, which you’d think would put him in a better mood–clearly decided to make a point.

Here’s Brendan Shanahan’s video explaining the suspension. Console yourself with the swooshy sound effects.
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In Defense Of Twitter

A historic Twitter moment.

Over the weekend, the internet embarrassed itself once again when a Penn State student website called the Onward State prematurely reported Joe Paterno’s death. At 8:45 PM on Saturday, the website tweeted: “Our sources can now confirm: Joseph Vincent Paterno has passed away tonight at the age of 85.” CBS Sports, The Huffington Post, and SB Nation — all in a rush to get their stories up first to rank well in Google — posted stories of their own minutes later without attributing their information or checking their own sources. The Paterno family debunked the news shortly thereafter and a lot of yolk was on a lot of peoples’ faces.

The student editor of the newspaper stepped down hours later, but the aftermath has spread far beyond that, not the least of which has been the many voices blaming Twitter for the spread of false information. Ronnie Ramos of the National Sports Journalism Center offers a counterpoint here, positing that the problem is not with Twitter itself, but with simply reporting responsibly in any medium.

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