Nicklas Backstrom’s Big Hit was Completely Unintentional

Former Blue Jacket Maxim Mayorov felt Nick Backstrom‘s wrath during Monday’s game between Atlant and Dynamo Moscow. In the third period of Atlant’s upset victory, Mayorov skated up the boards before trying to beat Backstrom by cutting to the middle. The Swedish machine didn’t seem to notice as Mayorov collided with him and bellyflopped onto the ice, his skates above his head.

The collision looked fantastic from the fourth row of Megasport Arena. Not to brag.

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Ticketmaster Email

Reader Stephen C. forwarded us this email. On Monday, Ticketmaster sent him a campaign promoting the December 4th Capitals/Islanders at Nassau Coliseum. Except there’s this lockout thing going on, so that ain’t happening. We figured it was just a screw-up in the system, some email marketing intern noob flying off the handle. Stephen thinks it is a sign that “our long (inter)national nightmare is nearing an end.”

On Wednesday night, I got this apology in my inbox from Ticketmaster.

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Way back in 2006 and before he became hockey’s version of Neil Degrasse Tyson on HBO 24/7, Russian goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov — then playing with the Anaheim Ducks — gave an interview to The Score in which he was asked a simple question: “What are your thoughts on Chris Pronger returning to Edmonton?”

A few months earlier, Pronger helped lead the Edmonton Oilers to their first Stanley Cup Final since the Gretzky era. After the Oilers lost in 7 games to the Carolina Hurricanes, Pronger requested a trade for personal reasons. Local media reported that his wife Lauren hated the city. So GM Kevin Lowe shipped Pronger off to the Ducks a month later for Joffrey Lupul and a whole bunch of spare parts.

So here we find Bryzgalov trying to defend his teammate and diffuse the situation ahead of his first game back at Rexall Place. In broken english, Bryzgalov takes the mic and spectacularly fails.

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Blame it on my birthday; blame it on turkey day. Last week, during Dynamo’s 4-2 loss to Severstal Cherepovets, I totally dropped the ball.

Alex Ovechkin did more than get the C stitched on his jersey, grab an assist, and complain ad nauseam about the zebras. He also had one of those thunderous body checks, the kind where you wonder how many of his 206 bones are made from Soviet steel.

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BFFs (Photo credit: Ian iPad)

A few summers ago, Winnipeg Jets forward Alex Burmistrov posted pictures of his vacation in Turkey on his Facebook page. Lo and behold, the photos (now private) featured himself as well as Caps defenseman Dmitry Orlov having fun at the beach, doing basically the opposite of this. Unknown to us at the time, the two are close friends.

The friendship was more apparent last season, Orlov’s first in the NHL. As members of the Jets and Capitals, the friends played each other four times and said nice things about each other in the press.

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“So I hear the Bettman get meteor. How burning rock solve lockout????” (Photo credit: dynamo.ru)

Fueled by two bonafide NHL superstars, Dynamo Moscow has recently had the power to rally back from big deficits. Against Vityaz on Tuesday, they came back to win after a 2-1 third-period deficit, and against Severstal on Friday they won despite being down 3-0 heading into the second. On Monday, after falling behind early to Atlant Moscow Region, Dynamo still seemed like could pull it out considering their sizable 11-4 shot advantage after the first period.

Dynamo couldn’t make the magic happen for a third consecutive game. Despite two assists from Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin, Dynamo fell to Atlant 5-2.

Video, ahoy!

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Dynamo Fans Sing Happy Birthday to Nicklas Backstrom

Last week, Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom celebrated his 25th birthday in Russia. To mark the day, Dynamo Moscow fans gave him a birthday cake in the shape of a hockey jersey. The club published this video of  an adoring Russian throng singing “Happy Birthday” to him. It’s cute, but Backstrom chanting “Dy-Na-Mo” along with them at the end is enough to break your hockey heart.

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Dmitry Orlov’s Shootout Fails

Dima losing the puck. Poor guy.

If you’ve ever watched warm-ups before a Capitals or Bears game, you may have noticed a pattern. Dmitry Orlov will spend 10 minutes zig-zagging along the red line, working on his puck-handling skills. Orlov, a defenseman who loves jumping up on the rush like Mike Green, is attracted to offense like a moth to a flame. During his younger days in Russia, Orlov was used routinely during shootouts.

At last year’s Caps Development Camp, Igor Kleyner asked Orlov if he’d like opportunities in the shootout once he came to North America. Orlov nodded and explained,”I think any player would want to get a chance to score in a shootout, although you need to be able to handle the situation mentally,” he said. “You have to be confident; you can’t be nervous. It’s mostly a game of nerves: goalie versus the shooter.”

When Orlov came to America to begin his professional career, his above-average offense was apparent. On November 18, 2011, when the Hershey Bears visited the Syracuse Crunch, Bears head coach Mark French played a hunch and sent out Orlov during the gimmick to see what he could do.

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Peter said it best a few weeks ago. RMNB has zero interest in covering the actual lockout. “Financial negotiations (and their public face) are all about posturing, tedium, and equivocation,” he said. “Whereas our principal interest in hockey has always been scoar, moar, and goals.” We have gone to great lengths to cover hockey and try to make things fun as possible while patiently waiting for the NHL to end the madness.

But now that Washington Capitals players are bickering with each other through the media, we feel compelled.

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The lockout is miserable, but at least we get NHL stars participating in silly AHL promotions. Check out Braden Holtby (front row, second to the left) and Dmitry Orlov (back row, dude wearing the hardhat) doing their best to raise money for the American Cancer Society by showing off new pink t-shirts and sticks. The “Pink The Rink” shirts will be available for purchase at the Bears game on Sunday behind section 117, and the pink sticks they use during warm-ups will be up for silent auction behind section 119.

That’s great and all, but where can I buy that hard-hat Dima’s wearing?

Photo credit: Hershey Bears Facebook page.