Caps beat Canes 5-2, Peter and Ian Discuss Katy Perry

Gregg Forwerck

Photo: Gregg Forwerck

One year ago, an April game between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Washington Capitals would be a huge deal. The main reason the Caps made the 2013 playoffs was Carolina’s swoon. Now, the picture couldn’t be more different. This game didn’t matter to either team– and it showed.

And I get to recap it! Lucky me. I’m sure you guys are just lining up to read this.

Joel Ward scored from Fehr and Chimera early on. Then Chimera scored from Fehr and Ward. Jiri Tlusty notched a shorthanded goal against the suckasoft Caps PP defense, but Troy Brouwer restored the two-goal lead with a one-timer off Marcus’ great cross-slot pass. Eric Fehr scored from Chimera and Ward. Brouwer notched another goal in the third. Radek Dvorak rearranged your keyboard with a late goal for the Canes, but it was already over– on multiple levels.

Caps beat Canes 5-2. This changes everything.

  • ♫ Third line ♪ You are so fine  And you’re mine oh mine  Oh third line ♫. I just wrote that. It is absolutely fitting that Eric Fehr, Jason Chimera, and Joel Ward kicked ass tonight. They’ve always been the Caps’ best line– much to my surprise– and they do a stellar drop funneling shots to the net. They’re all under contract for next season. Unless the Caps bust out the TNT, I’d expect to see these guys lining up together at the beginning of October.
  • That might not be a good thing. The third line has created a firewall between the top six and bottom line. Why Tom Wilson and Evgeny Kuznetsov are still getting garbage minutes now that the stakes are so low confuses the heck out of me. Wait, nevermind. It’s Oates.
  • Alex Semin got a stick penalty in neutral. Like cuddling up with your old baby blanket.
  • Braden Holtby, the once and future Caps franchise goalie, was excellent. You guys think we see Halak again? I’m skeptical.
  • Apart from the third line, this was an astonishingly boring game. Like, the Masters would be more compelling television than this low-hitting game. The Caps ran up the score thanks to the Green Line and the subject of our next bullet, but the give-a-poo level of this one was hypotensive for nearly the whole 60. Third line excepted.
  • Troy Brouwer. Here’s what I’d like to think happened: Brouwer busts out his Kindle Fire or whatever, pulls up RMNB (his homepage, I’m sure), sees the thing about his 0-17 shot differential the other night, and declares, “never again!” Brouwer scored twice– neither of them on the power play. Awesome game.
  • Minus-2 for Alex Ovechkin and one shot on goal. Your move, Steve Ott.
  • If they spread some of these 5v5 goals out through the season, we’d be ramping up for quarterfinals next week. God this is sad. Let’s switch it up.

Here’s Joseph Beninati’s suit of the night:

joe b car

Now, for something completely different.

(9:09:28 PM) Peter Hassett: Hey Ian.
(9:09:34 PM) Ian Oland: hey
(9:09:40 PM) Peter Hassett: What’s your favorite Katy Perry video?
(9:09:45 PM) Ian Oland: Roar
(9:09:51 PM) Ian Oland: are we doing this
(9:09:53 PM) Ian Oland: lol

(9:09:56 PM) Peter Hassett: Roar. Why do you like Roar, Ian?
(9:10:30 PM) Ian Oland: the song is good, but the way she looks in the video is even good-er
(9:11:14 PM) Peter Hassett: See, it’s not my fave version of Katy personally. The whole Tarzan thing? Not my bag.
(9:12:36 PM) Peter Hassett: Okay I’m watching it now and I’m seeing your point.
(9:12:47 PM) Ian Oland: Her clothes are tattered and almost falling off. She makes the #LattaFace
(9:12:57 PM) Ian Oland: There’s good typography
(9:13:00 PM) Peter Hassett: Hahaha. Okay, but quick counterpoint: Teenage Dream.

(9:13:54 PM) Peter Hassett: But in Teenage Dream, she’s basically singing exclusively about premarital sex between really attractive people.
(9:14:05 PM) Peter Hassett: And the video is SHOWING that. They’re not even doing metaphors. It’s just right there.
(9:14:11 PM) Peter Hassett: That’s what high school was supposed to be like.
(9:15:03 PM) Peter Hassett: Instead of playing Dungeons and Dragons and watching South Park in a basement with guys named “Saco” and “The Gimp”
(9:16:25 PM) Ian Oland: Yes, I’ve seen it. It’s almost raunchy
(9:16:29 PM) Ian Oland: I mean every Katy Perry video is a wonderful collection of sexually suggestive pixels. I like my sexual metaphors more coy and cute.
(9:16:48 PM) Peter Hassett: That’s where you and I differ. I want it LITERALLY in my face.
(9:17:02 PM) Peter Hassett: None of this “Dark Horse” junk.
(9:17:35 PM) Ian Oland: I’m re-watching the video again. Her clothes are also tattered in this one. I’m noticing a theme.
(9:17:48 PM) Ian Oland: she’s now humping a car seat
(9:18:01 PM) Ian Oland: she looks more dangerous to drive with than Ovi
(9:18:20 PM) Peter Hassett: No one is more dangerous than Ovi. Except maybe Vince Neil.
(9:18:37 PM) Ian Oland: And there goes her pants
(9:19:19 PM) Ian Oland: If you come out with a song called “I Kissed a Girl (And Liked It)”, when you’re’ actually singing about sexuality with a man, you really gotta bring it.
(9:19:34 PM) Ian Oland: and by bring it, I mean no clothes
(9:19:56 PM) Peter Hassett: See I didn’t like the early Katy stuff. Except for Hot and Cold. This song– not just the video– is so great.
(9:20:06 PM) Peter Hassett: Alright, good talk. I should wrap up the recap. We’ll talk more later.
(9:20:09 PM) Peter Hassett: About Katy
(9:20:11 PM) Ian Oland: sure okay

Caps forever.

  • Luis Riveros

    So this is how it feels to be an oilers fan…shit.

  • Jay DeLancey

    you guys are awesome, the true bright spot this season. Peter and Ian, keep up the fantastic work

  • Josh Carey

    What do you have against golf, Peter?

  • I suck at it

  • JenniferH

    Maybe because I’m still a relatively new fan and I’ve only experienced 2 Playoff runs and the depths of despair as a hockey fan and making the playoffs or not hasn’t hit me as a newbie yet, I enjoyed the game (sorry?). I’m not saying that I wouldn’t have liked to see this from the team when it mattered, but what’s past is past and I’m just going to enjoy these last few games now. Before tonight, the guys said that they wanted to put in a good effort for the fans and be professional and gosh darn’t, that’s what they did and I appreciated that bunches.

    Plus, I’m taking the fact that they aren’t playing as a demoralized team that they know that things are going to change (ie, Oates is going to be gone soon!!) and that’s why this weight is off their shoulders and they are playing better. What can I say? I’m a half-glass full kinda person. Plus, plus, plus, HOLTBY!! And the awesome line of Wardo-Chimmy-Fehrsie!!!

  • Brouwer Rangers

    Thanks for not mentioning Brouwer’s possession numbers tonight. Love, us.

  • JustinC71

    “As a parting gift to our fans, have 50% off pizza on Friday!” Thanks guys. Sorta.

  • Nick

    Just wanted to thank you guys for making this season bearable. Honestly, you guys are what makes hockey great. Every single night I can look forward to a humorous and entertaining post that can always lift my spirits after a tough loss (or season…) So thanks. This is why people would line up to give you donations and no one has a problem with you guys putting up ads. This is the ONLY site I have ever encountered where people would say “Yeah! Ads! I hope these guys make money off this!” and I am included amongst those people. Can’t say thanks enough, and keep being awesome RMNB.

  • brian!

    ♫ I wanna see your peacock-cock-cock ♪ your peacock-cock ♫ …too much?

  • brian!

    Darn those Windmill holes!

  • Smiley456

    HAHAHAHA! Best game summary, ever!

    And,,,gawd, please Oates, just leave, now……


    Real Astros vs Cubs in high August stuff here.

  • best

    Everyone should check out Karl Alzner’s comments on the season if they haven’t already

  • Smiley456

    Yep, feel same way about the ads. Peter, Ian, rest of the gang…go for it!

  • Big Chuck

    You guys deserve all the internet money for the Katy Perry recap!

    Even though it’s been a rough year, thanks for making this season a blast!

  • Kate

    I. Love. This. Blog.
    You guys are seriously the best 🙂

  • There’s that bomb ass bikini

  • Shaun Phillips

    So? Golf’s sole purpose for existing is getting to drive a golf cart around drunk off your ass at 10 am. If you’re not, you’re doing it wrong.

  • Chris Hannas

    Imma let you finish, but E.T. is the greatest Katy Perry video of all time!!!!! Um, I mean hockey is cool. Go Backstrom. 2014-15 and whatnot.

  • Jay DeLancey

    hell yes!

  • Jay DeLancey

    where is california gurls in this contest at?

  • Way too high concept for me. Also, Kanye’s in it. So there’s that.

  • Jay DeLancey

    the only positive is we always get much later into the season before we become irrelevant… the oilers are/have been doomed since puck drop

  • Sarah

    In the words of Mark Twain, “Golf is a good walk spoiled.”
    I would add that watching golf removes even the spoiled walking.
    Ok, I suck at it too.

  • Jared

    Here’s a sexual metaphor that’s cute, coy, AND in your face. Nearly enough to ease the numb pain in my soul.

  • Graham Dumas


    Also, seriously, thank you guys for being awesome, low-key, and really, really informative about hockey. I’ve learned what I believe in metric terms is called a shyte-tonne from reading the blog this year.

    Wish I lived in DC so I could attend some more games and RMNB events, and not just be the weird dude who posts inapposite stuff in Russian. Oh well, so it goes.

    Until next year, all.

  • Freedoooom

    Jefferey, Garbutt, Persson, Lapierre, Tlusty and Dvorak.

    6 of the last 8 goal scorers on Holtby.

  • Josh Carey

    Are we supposed to interpret that as a good thing that he’s keeping the stars off the scoresheet? Or a bad thing that he’s allowing goals to them?

  • Jared

    10/10 would watch in IMAX Digital 3D.

  • Sarah

    Right on. Plus there was the Blues game: we not only canceled the Apocalypse, Holtby was a beast AND we got to see his hair.

  • Chris Hannas

    Wide Awake
    I Kissed A Girl
    Teenage Dream
    California Gurls
    Dark Horse

  • poodlewoof

    Honestly, I’m not sure the team’s play merited a playoff spot this year (as much as I love the Caps). Also, as a relatively new fan, consider that fans called for the head of Hunter and BB before Oates even showed up, and as assured as those fans were that BB was the problem, look where he is now and has been since he left the organization. (I’m not saying BB was the answer, only that firing the coach isn’t necessarily the solution.)

    If GMGM goes, then it’s certainly possible that Oates might as well depending on the incoming GM, but I wouldn’t count on it nor is he necessarily the reason we didn’t make the playoffs. Also, as much this has been a let down and they under-performed, consider that if the Caps had won just three more games (before tonight) in an 83 game season, they’d be sitting at 91 (same as Philly). You are correct, the third line is awesome and I don’t know how they managed to make a diminutive out of ‘Fehr’ that’s half again as long as his name. 😉

  • kis1901

    How my night went:
    Refresh Caps app to watch game
    Watch Canadian Chopped
    Scream at phone because heaven forbid we play well last week (or month)
    Laugh at Canadian Chopped
    See game hits 0:00, refresh interwebs to look for rmnb update

    Your updates, recaps, and news are what made this season sensational. Thank you for everything.

  • Chris Hannas

    How about Wide Awake? No Kanye!

  • Thomas Fontana

    That line about Ott was pure gold, almost spit out my drink laughing. Should it also make me sad though? I’m lost. And confused.

  • Josh Carey

    I think that there is a strong case that optimal player deployment by Oates could have won 3 more games. Also the system he had in place clearly allowed the opposition to come back from deficits.

  • Rob W.

    Ovi’s +/- is just getting ridiculous now, no way he can be this unlucky next year can he?

  • Josh Carey

    The first line didn’t generate much tonight, but I wouldn’t fault Ovi for his -2. The first on was a SHG which I don’t really know who that falls on, but the turnover at the blue line happened when Ovi was below the goal line.

    The second minus was in garbage time. Ovi probably could have played it better, but I can understand his lack of energy with not much time remaining up 5-1.

  • Boush

    Come on. Clearly the real debate is Last Friday Night vs. Firework.

  • Sarah

    Dude, no WAY are the Caps the Oilers. As the two games this week showed, the Caps can win with the talent they’ve got if… well, gee, there’ve been some suggestions for shakeups lately, but I can’t think what.
    Whereas Edmonton is, now and forever, a black hole that sucks all the talent out of every high draft pick they get… and don’t they get one every year? And we all know why.
    Chin up– the Caps had a bad season, they’re not cursed for all time.

  • Boush

    Criminal ranking of Firework. No mention of Last Friday Night, which gets an automatic top-3 for having a saxophone solo. Full disclosure, I used to play saxophone.

  • liquid8d

    Maybe Ian/Peter will compile a video of all -50 (or whatever) and show us that in fact +/- really doesn’t mean anything. I mean, you have the time now — right?

  • Alex Hughes

    What about California Girls or ET, those were some quality ones, you guys are missing some good ones.

  • Alex Hughes

    So for those who think Oates should stick around for the PP, I just can’t see it, the shorthanded goals and chances are ridiculous and kill so much momentum

  • OlietheGoalie

    …we’re not? What team have you been watching for the past years?

  • OlietheGoalie

    Gabby was never the problem.

  • OlietheGoalie

    I love the optimism!

  • Chris Hannas

    You’re absolutely right, I should be checked for a concussion. Firework should be no lower than #3! I wasn’t thinking about a comprehensive list before…redo:

    Wide Awake
    I Kissed A Girl
    Teenage Dream
    California Gurls
    Last Friday Night
    Dark Horse
    Part of Me
    Hot N Cold (distant last)

  • OlietheGoalie

    There’s always next year. Signed, an Orioles/Caps/Redskins/Nats fan.

    We get used to that phrase.

  • James Desautels

    Danny Heatley is WAY more dangerous than Ovi and Vince Neil with fast automobiles.

  • Rob W.

    Yea i mean half of his minuses are just really unlucky and or terrible play from the D like the first cane goal. I hope our next coach really gets him to play better in his own end because it isnt great

  • Kis1901

    Story of my life. By the end if every sport season I alternate between “there’s always next year” and “well, at least it’s time for [insert next sport]”.

  • Sarah

    Dude, there’s purgatory and then there’s hell. There’s hope in purgatory.

  • Sarah

    …and the Oilers don’t have RMNB. Just imagine how much worse life would be… (shudder)

  • Josh Carey

    Woah there.

  • poodlewoof

    Sure, people howled at the moon about Hunter’s system being too dry and dull, but he got some key wins with it.

    You may be correct that a different coach (or a different team with this coach) might produce a better result. Who knows? We’ve had three coaches with different systems that have been in roughly the same, “success vicinity” with pretty much the same team. It’s not as though this team has a recent record of exceptional play which suddenly plummeted when Oates took the helm.

    My point is, there’s a lot of parity in the league and this team has a demonstrated history of *just* making it (or not) recently regardless who is coaching. You raise an interesting point — maybe with these players a different system would have gotten us a little further, but I don’t think we were ever a contender this season and I don’t think that is at Oates’ feet. It’s just where this team is currently.

    The season over season trending and results by the guys on the ice says more about what the team is capable of then who happens to be coaching. People love the third line and OV’s resurgence on the PP — is that Oates or the players? Both? If we’re going to place blame then we need to give credit too.

    I agree with you though, subjectively, they under-performed for the available talent. I just don’t think that’s on the coach and I think recent history supports that view.

  • OlietheGoalie

    Now Imma have nightmares.

  • Sarah

    Sorry. (soothing voice) There, there, it was all a bad dream, okay? You’re not an Oilers fan. The Caps are not the Oilers, or the Isles or the Leafs or the Sabres or Flyers. They’re not happy just to be mentioned in the standings, and they’re not scuzzbuckets or under a curse.
    And Peter and Ian are right here, okay? They said they weren’t going anywhere and we can believe them because they’re going to have ads.
    So have a warm milk, or beer, and sweet dreams. Ian will beat up the Penguin trolls and Peter will make you laugh. It’s all going to be okay for Caps fans.

  • Chris Cerullo

    The live-com of the Katy Perry videos was more entertaining than this game.

  • JenniferH

    Thanks! I just–even without a playoff berth, when they play well, the Caps make me happy. 🙂

  • Josh Carey

    I don’t think recent history supports it as much as you think. The Capitals have 27 regulation and overtime wins. The least they had in the BB/DH era was 38. The last time the Caps had less than 27 regulation wins was Ovechkin’s rookie year. We had 70 points in Ovechkin’s sophomore year and still managed 27 regulation wins. I think Oates has brought the Caps a lot closer to the 2006-2007 Caps than the ones of the previous years.

    I’ve made this point before and I’ll make it again. The core of this team is very similar to what Boudreau and Hunter dealt with and they had no problems leading the Caps to the playoffs.

    Sure, the Caps didn’t have success under BB/DH in the playoffs, but at least they got there, and 3/6 playoff runs were dominant in doing so.

    Looking at the talent levels of teams like the Rangers, Blue Jackets, Lightning and Flyers, all teams in the playoffs, I really feel as if the Capitals have the personnel to outmatch all of them. Of course, I could be wrong, and we’ll probably find out next year with pretty much the same team and likely a different coach.

  • JenniferH

    That and Firework are my fave Katy Perry vids.

  • Jay DeLancey

    You forgot the wizards

  • yv

    As you have been distracted by Katy Perry while talking about hockey, there is one of the funniest video of very serious hockey press-conference. It was about month ago and legendary V. Tretyak, chairman of Russian Hockey Federation, had an introductory words before announcement of Znarok as the next HC of Team Russia, whom Ovi, Kuzya and Orlov will probably see soon for WC. The TV operator continuously showed Tretyak during the first 1 min of his speech, but then he saw someone among reporters and after that he practically lost himself, and instead of showing Tretyak he kept turning his camera on that reporter. You can skip serious russian talks to 1’20, then around 2’20 and then 3’40” and you will understand why that TV operator lost his mind.

  • Luis Riveros

    Holy shit you hyaenas! haha No I just meant the sense of playing for nothing, which is what the oilers have been doing for the past 3+ years…

  • poodlewoof

    Well, I guess we can take solace in the fact that we’re both Caps fans regardless. 😉

    I think you could make an equally convincing argument that the team is just in decline, missed it’s window, etc. and/or new talent has yet to mature sufficiently to support the veterans, etc. vs. blaming a miss entirely on the current coach. My original point was merely that the this miss is shared responsibility. The team didn’t look that good and there’s only so many ways you can deploy the available resources. My opinion, but even getting to the playoff this season wasn’t going to transform this group into a contender. There were just too many problems and it wasn’t just coaching.

    At any rate, not going to convince you otherwise, I’m sure.

    Here’s to a better Caps team next year. 🙂

  • Phil Owen

    Not to go all strawman here, but…

    Here’s a research project for Peter (I would do it but I’m too busy trying to rank Katy Perry videos) – determine the number of SOGs, by Caps player, that occurred with Ovi on ice at 5v5 that Ovi didn’t take. Apply each player’s shooting percentage for the season to those shot totals. The resulting number of projected goals will most likely dwarf the number of actual goals scored by Ovi’s 5v5 teammates. That, as much as anything, contributes to Ovi’s incredibly ugly +/-.

    Does anybody really believe that Ovi used to be anything other than shoddy defensively? Plus/minus as a statistic without context is useless whether it’s high or low. Perfect example is the SHG tonight.

  • I’ve been thinking along those lines, but I don’t have the data ready! I talked to Neil Greenberg about it, and I think he’ll work on that this summer.

  • Sarah

    They’ve been playing for nothing for longer than that. They even got a Russian machine and broke him. Scratch that, they got two great Russians, and they broke Bryzgalov, too, for the time he was there, but at least he escaped.
    Truly, friend, being an Oilers fan is not even a subject to joke about. 😉

  • dylan wheatley

    lmao 21 – 38 against the fucking canes

  • Eric Schulz

    Optimal player deployment by Oates wins *at least* 3 more games; keeping Perreault and using him instead of Beagle when Grabovski goes down wins *at least* 3 more games (I blame GMGM and Oates for that, not sure who gets bulk, don’t care); Kolzig not trying to change Holtby gets *at least* 3 more wins; GMGM adding a defender in the offseason (what if we signed Ference and entered the year with:
    Alzner – Carlson
    Ference – Green
    Orlov – Brouillette
    and just kept that together all season?). We could’ve been pretty easily right in the 3-6 range… at least as far as talent/roster goes. Did we PLAY well enough? Obviously not, but that’s on the coaching too.

    Fans called for Hunter’s head because he sucked as a coach; his player usage was worse than Oates’.

    Also, as far as “optimal player deployment” by Oates: that can easily refer to his lines OR his decisions as far as who played and who didn’t: why was Erat a 4th liner or scratch (I’m not as enamored of him as RMNB writers are, but he’s definitely an above average 3rd liner), why did Volpatti play at all, why is Penner buried, why has Wilson been buried all season, why wasn’t Perreault our above average 3rd C (imagine a 3rd line of:
    Erat – Perrault – Fehr; wow, that’s an elite 3rd, right?); why was Fehr buried, why was Orlov buried? Among the players who were in the lineup, the line combinations made little sense, AND among our roster, there were always 2-3 players who didn’t play who should’ve (Perreault, Fehr, Erat, Penner, Schmidt, Oleksy, all at one point or another) and a few who played who SHOULDN’T have (Volpatti, Erskine, Carrick).

  • MuzzMuzzington

    Let’s take a moment and reflect on how ugly the Canes uniforms are.

  • Eric Schulz

    They already did this; he SHOULD be -6. If he was, nobody would care. (That was before the Blues game.)

  • Eric Schulz

    “But once we look at Ovechkin’s on-ice percentages,
    a different picture starts to emerge. Ovechkin’s 5-on-5 on-ice shooting percentage this year sits at just 6 percent. Last year, with the same coach and system and many of the same linemates, it was 10.3 percent, and it’s never been below 8 percent in his career. Think back to that six-year table from before, and remember that 6 percent is basically in the George Parros/Travis Moen ballpark.

    Even more amazingly, Ovechkin himself is shooting an excellent 13.4 percent. Not counting his own scoring, everyone else on the ice with him is shooting in the range of 3 to 4 percent. That’s almost impossibly low.

    Meanwhile, Ovechkin’s 5-on-5 on-ice save percentage is just 90.2 percent, one of the worst marks in the league. Some of that is due to Washington’s iffy goaltending this year, but Ovechkin also ranks last among Capitals players.

    So of course his assists are down — his teammates aren’t finishing. And combine that with poor goaltending behind him, and no wonder his plus/minus has plummeted.”

  • Veloj

    and most recently, the Ravens

  • Owen Johnson

    Just finished watching the DVR of the game. A few things
    -Were they playing in the Raleigh Natural History Museum? No noise except for a few hushed whispers
    -The 3rd line. Holy Sh*t! Where has this been all season? Just kidding. They’ve been awesome literally every game this year. If we just had one more line that produced like this, we’d be in the playoffs easily.
    -Braden Holtby is kinda proving that goaltending was never the problem
    -Katy Perry is sorta good looking
    All in all, a good game. Kinda boring, but relaxing in a way. I just hope that management realizes that just because we won a few games at the end of the season, doesn’t mean changes shouldn’t be made.

  • Owen Johnson

    Ooh. Good metaphor.
    Capitals: Purgatory
    Oilers: Hell

    Redskins: Super Hell.

  • Owen Johnson

    That picture makes me want to crash her net (I don’t even know if that makes sense)

  • seandlax9

    Kinda a moot point when the Nationals took care of that already.

    Two days in a row.

  • Shaun Phillips

    Wow that 3rd line would’ve been awesome. What could’ve been…

  • Shaun Phillips

    Too soon.

  • Just_sayin3

    Holy crap! Why couldn’t they play more like this? We’d be looking at the playoffs! It’s tough to see that the season actually is over… :'( Thanks for getting us through this season!

  • Whitney O’Meara
  • Karee Lyn

    I say go for it on the ad front, but I will need some time to recover/forgive you guys for all this Katy Perry talk.

  • Maureen

    ET is my favorite Katy Perry song, but it might be because it remindes me of Doctor Who so much… <__>

  • Bugs Fire

    “or is he necessarily the reason we didn’t make the playoffs”…

    He may not be “the reason” (this is arguable though) but he certainly is “a reason”. I am slowly coming to terms with the theory that Oates tried to execute a system which was meant to address the lack of adequate D and failed (the system failed, not Oates, except that it was a wrong system).

    Capitals team has systemic issues (lack of D, over-reliance on Ovie, bipolar approach to identity choice). As constructed, they have very low chance to win the Cup (fenwick doesn’t lie). But they have enough roster to make playoffs. The fact that they didn’t this year is squarely on Oates. It is tough enough without the head coach handicapping his players by line carousel, frustrating placement decisions and ignoring major and fixable issues.

  • Nicci

    How we know Ian isn’t the one writing this (besides the byline): “Brouwer busts out his Kindle Fire or whatever”

  • Bugs Fire

    Three points.

    1. “We” were not a non-contender. Washington Capitals were.

    2. If you mean that Caps were not the real Cup contender, you are right. Let’s say in alternative history they maximize their roster this year and finish second in Metro division (they only needed 10 more points now to be ahead of Rangers and a game on hand – I can easily find those 10 points in the schedule). They would have to beat Rangers, Penguins, Bruins and then Hawks/Kings/Ducks/Blues/Sharks for the Cup. That’s like 10x miracle on ice. I.e. not happening. But this roster is certainly enough to *make the playoffs*.

    3. You are right that Oates deserves credit where it’s due. As much as I agree with most of the specific criticism, I can’t say I am a big fan of Peter’s article on arguments for and against firing this coach. Because it was really about arguments for it. I despise false dichotomies, and Oates did more bad than good, but however little good he did it must be acknowledged.

    So thank you – it is important not to ignore the few positives from this coach. But here is my problem – PP and the 3rd line have been good for long time, effectively since last season. Oates had time to improve other areas, and he just kept doing nothing about it.

    I hope we will learn one day from some outcasts’ interview (Erat? Neuvirth? both are known for telling to much to Czech media) as to what the real reason behind this 60+ game inaction was. Because it’s hard to comprehend how could a HOFer not see these obvious problems and attempt to fix them when his coaching career is on the line.

  • Bugs Fire

    Just to be accurate, Perrault was traded because Caps needed cap space to keep Wilson. I agree though that in retrospect trading away Beagle and keeping Perrault was a better choice. It was certainly possible (Perrault’s cap hit is only 150K more than Beagle’s), but it’s also possible that GM just couldn’t find buyers quickly. It is also unclear whether bringing Wilson to NHL so early was a better choice.

  • David

    Actually, last night Wilson skated for 14:43; definitely a mistake on Oates part. I haven’t looked at their possession numbers or zone starts for the night, but Wilson and Kuznetsov -who skated for 14:15- both got time comparable to Ovechkin and Backstrom, who skated for 14:19 and 15:04 respectively. Dunno if this was because the Caps held a 2+ goal lead for more than half of the game or because they are no longer competing for a playoff spot.

    It’s unfortunate that the Caps brass failed to give Wilson a chance to develop with top nine minutes and more talented linemates, but lets at least hope to see Oates give both Wilson and Kuznetsov extended minutes in these last few garbage games to show us what they’re actually capable

    And while the Katy Perry segment was great, you both have to know that Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F) trumps Roar and Teenage Dream times infinity. Big hair and braces? Unbeatable.

    On another note, thank you for keeping the season interesting despite the disappointments. I’m sure everyone who reads here regularly is in full support of seeing ads on RMNB if it means we get to continue reading what you guys are writing.

    Much love fellas


  • sheena dunn

    This is just made me die laughing as soon as my CEO walked by. oops

  • Andrew Paul

    I vote Alan May

  • Rhino40

    Winston Churchill despised golf, characterizsing it as “a game whose aim is to hit a very small ball into an ever smaller hole, with weapons singularly ill-designed for the purpose”

    The supreme irony of this was that in his youth (before being sidelined by increasing weight and old war injuries), Churchill excelled at polo.

    Now, call me crazy, but Churchill’s description of golf seems equally applicable to polo.

    Except that it is played on horseback..

    And you could die…

  • Rhino40

    And what about the Special Hell?

  • Hockey mom

    Ok, so in terms of Katy Perry and if we are relating her music to the Caps, not whether or not whipped cream is shooting from her boobs, HOT and COLD has to be the hands down winner!

  • Owen Johnson

    Upvote for the Firefly reference. Snyder is in that group with child molesters and people who talk in the theater.

  • Shmoo

    If you need some advice on ads, site structure to accommodate, options, etc… my wife and I own a firm and I’d be happy to help one of my fave websites.

  • We’ve got something implemented now. You should be able to see it on most page loads. If you have any thoughts, please shoot us an email, We’re noobs.

  • Eric Schulz

    Thank you! I had heard that at the time, but had forgotten; right, of course you have to move a guy making just over $1 million, a guy who is severely outperforming his contract (read this if you want to feel depressed: to open up cap space… you FUCKED up. Even ignoring the question of whether or not Wilson should’ve been brought up (I’m on the fence; I think we are all a lot more optimistic about him now than we were at the beginning of the year, given that he’s probably one of the hardest hitters in the league already, he’s flashed some major skills, and he has some speed… Lecavalier and Thornton were brought along really slowly too, and they turned out alright… granted, not as much as Wilson has been, but still…)…. ERAT! Had we simply kept Forsberg (the better choice anyway) and not acquired Erat (and Latta), we could’ve kept Perreault. So, that was the trade THIS YEAR: Perreault for Erat. Is that worth it? No. Even ignoring contracts, I think you take Perreault, but certainly when you factor that in (and age, if need be… which, need not). Man… I mean, I like Chris Brown and all, and Latta seems like a solid piece… but it’s essentially:
    Michael Latta, Chris Brown: in
    Filip Forsberg, Mathieu Perreault: out
    I’m sad….

  • Bugs Fire

    I see – yes, Perrault trade was a mistake once it is seen as part of the bigger mess with Erat (which did not have to be this *big” if Erat was maximized by the coach).

    But I think we don’t have to attach everything to Erat-Forsberg trade. After all, there was no need to move Perrault just because of Erat trade alone.

    And I also think the right breakdown after Erat trade to Phoenix is
    Latta/Brown/Penner/Halak/Wilson in
    Forsberg/Perrault/Neuvirth out

    which may still be an overall negative, but not a major disaster (of course, Penner and Halak will just walk this summer, but so could Perrault).

    What do you think?

    And as a final note of great sadness, none of this really matters given that in all likelihood Oates would have mismanaged Perrault as well. He probably would do “Orlov” and keep him in Hershey or in press box for most of the season.

  • Eric Schulz

    The Erat trade was a disaster on every level a trade CAN be a disaster (seven); so, yes, there are a few things we could’ve done to be able to keep Perreault. It wasn’t ONLY due to that trade; however, I would love to undo the trade even if undoing it wouldn’t have let us keep Perreault.. that bonus just makes that trade even worse… I didn’t think I could hate the trade any worse than I already did… wow.

    Well… I like Brown and Latta, but you don’t trade Forsberg for those two, that would be a pretty awful trade. Penner vs Perreault seems pretty even… Penner is maybe a bit below-average in production for a top-6 forward (although, IMO, he’d be a perfect complement to Ovie and Backstrom, we don’t need points from their LW), while Perreault is a clearly above average producer on the 3rd line.. so, that’s kind of close. It’s easy to argue Halak is better than Neuvirth… but we already had Wilson, so I can’t add him to that deal. I mean.. if you are all in for THIS YEAR… first of all, I think that’s a dumb mindset to have, but I could see trading Forsberg if the return was good enough; it wasn’t here. None of these pieces put us over the top.
    A) We didn’t get a defender, our real need. B) Neuvirth is a hell of an asset, IMO; given that we already had Holtby, I wouldn’t have moved Neuvirth unless we got back a piece that we build with… the Jets need a goalie, their netminding situation is AWFUL.. with the development of Trouba (plus already having Byfuglien, Enstrom, Mark Stuart), *maybe* they are willing to part with Bogosian… I’d love to have him with Green on the 2nd pair… IMO, that trade EVEN-UP results in the Jets being a better team due to how much of an upgrade they would be getting in goal. They probably don’t make it, the value isn’t there (it’s not like the trade puts them over the top or anything), but you *should* have the foundation there… Forsberg and Neuvirth for Bogosian should be more than enough, but I would’ve tried two lesser prospects rather than Forsberg (maybe Carrick and Sanford?). But, yeah, Neuvy for Halak makes sense on the face of it, but I don’t like the opportunity cost there. Moving Forsberg and not getting a Bogosian-level defender (meaning young, and definitely top-4) means you got absolutely demolished on the opportunity cost.
    Perreault for Penner seems fair, in that Penner looks like he fits on that top line, but since Oates used him wrong… who knows? Also, MAYBE Perreault gets buried by Oates, but I don’t think Oates uses Beagle as Ovie’s center when Grabovski goes down if Perreault is still on the team… and that could’ve been the difference between the playoffs and… this.

  • Eric Schulz

    Also… look at how top-heavy our team is with re: to the salary… hard to build a contender without having some nice pieces that are underpaid. Forsberg should be a top-6 forward next year; Perreault is the best bottom-6 forward in the league with regards to bang-for-the-buck… Neuvy and Holtby is a *ridiculously* cheap goaltending duo. It’s not *just* about the players we lost, it’s also about the salary we had to absorb with their replacements.

  • Bugs Fire

    Nice analysis (except for the fact that it reminds me how terrible the trade was – sad thing). Two points.

    Forsberg is still an enigma to me – although mostly because I do not watch Preds. Latta played 17 games this year, Forsberg – 13. It’s admittedly a very small sample, but thus far Latta has scored a goal every 131:05, Forsberg – every 148:16 (again – this is not very solid statistically because each player only scored a single goal, but it does support the notion that Forsberg is not necessarily that much better than Latta). Latta earned a point per 32:46 of ice time, Forsberg – per 29:39. (By the way, the same number for WIlson/Kuzya is 65:05 and 25:27, respectively).

    What I am saying with the first point is that we have to wait a bit more and see whether Forsberg really becomes top-6 forward.

    On my second point, the most troubling part of the Erat trade for me is not even the lack of value. It’s the alleged motivation. If one listens to McPhee, the impression is that Caps were just one Erat away from the Cup. If so, I’d say it makes sense to trade away your top prospect for the ice position where you have logjam anyway.

    The problem here is that Caps were not Cup contenders last year despite of them feasting on weaker Eastern Conference teams in the second half of the shortened season. I am not discovering anything new here, but what this proves is that while McPhee is not too bad at drafting, he has absolutely no strategic vision for the team. And that, in my mind, is the biggest problem.

  • Eric Schulz

    Yes, that was one of my points about why the Erat trade was so awful; I called it “opportunity cost.” (I mentioned it somewhere, you may not have read it; don’t mean to imply that you misread anything.) If we had traded Forsberg for… let’s just say Bogosian, then I think it’s a legit trade. Maybe that doesn’t put us over the top as far as contention last year, but he addresses a huge need, and we only need to make small tweaks after adding a player like that. I didn’t want to trade Forsberg, but a return like that would’ve been worth it. Horrible analysis of our team by GMGM, both as far as what we needed as well as how good we were.
    I’ve been on here before ripping him; I definitely think he should be fired. My point was just that, in all fairness, I really like a lot of pieces we have. If you were a GM taking over this team, I think you’d be really excited about the roster; I could easily see a scenario in which we contend next year. GMGM deserves credit for that. However, I don’t see that scenario unfolding under GMGM’s stewardship… he can’t identify our weakness (as we addressed), and he’s also not great at coach hiring, which is the other thing that needs to be addressed this offseason.