trotz-honored

For a decade and a half, Barry Trotz WAS the Nashville Predators. He was the team’s first coach, bringing hockey to Music City and (possibly apocryphally) naming the team.

When Trotz came back to town for the first time, this time as coach of the Capitals, you just knew Nashville would welcome him with a big gesture. He’s that important to the city.

Early in the first period, the Predators debuted this touching video. The organization also thanked assistant coaches Lane Lambert and Mitch Korn.

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RMNB’s Favorite Memories of Filip Forsberg

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Photo: Homer McFanboy

Tonight the Washington Capitals will play the Nashville Predators for the first time this season. The big storyline heading into this game is Barry Trotz returning to his old stomping grounds.

Trotz spent 15 years as head coach of the Predators. He was the team’s first coach and might have even named them. Three of Trotz’s children still live in the city, and he left on the goodest of good terms over the summer. Like Brooks Orpik in Pittsburgh, Trotz will probably get a video tribute tonight. There will be lots of feels.

But let’s not forget the other storyline tonight: this will be the first time Filip Forsberg plays against the team that drafted him, and it’s going to be awful.

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RMNB reader Bridget L. took her three-year-old son Max to the Caps’ morning skate on Wednesday. The mother and son sat in the first row and watched as the team readied itself for the rival Flyers that night.

Amazed by what he saw, Max could not stay seated. He stood up at the glass near star center Nicklas Backstrom. Bridget thought it was a good time for a photo op, so Max grinned as wide as he could while mom snapped away.

A few seconds later, something adorable happened.

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chimera-bleeding2

Before Wednesday’s game, Jason Chimera, a man with a bunch of pride and a terrible possession score, reportedly said to Pierre McGuire that he doesn’t consider himself a fourth line player. He deserved more minutes, according to Pierre’s telling.

After Wednesday night, it’s hard to argue with him. Chimera scored the game’s only goal: a bizarre deflection in front of the net. And he played much of the game while bleeding from the face.

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joeb-suit-of-the-night-flyers

Photo: Chris Gordon

With the Caps/Flyers game on national TV tonight, we were denied the calls of the DC Sportscaster of the Year Joe Beninati and his loyal sidekick Craig Laughlin. That also means no Joe B suit of the night.

Hold that thought. RMNB’s Chris Gordon came through in the clutch post-game. Above, check out a relaxed Beninati, sans tie, kicking it in the bowels of Verizon Center.

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evgeny-kuznetsov-pass

In the first half of the season, Evgeny Kuznetsov was a shadow of what he should have been. Learning to play a new position and adjusting to new tactics and a new language, Kuznetsov struggled. He sometimes looked lost in the new Caps system.

But in the last week Evgeny Kuznetsov has looked like a superstar in the making.

Behold these two passes authored by Kuzy in the second period.

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matt-niskanen-big-hit

Matt Niskanen, the Caps $40.25-million man, just unleashed one of the biggest hits of his career against the Flyers. As Scott Laughton attempted to curl and leave a drop pass for Wayne Simmonds, Niskanen read the play and laid him out.

Look at this. Shoulder to chest. 100-percent legal. Scott Stevens-esque.

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ovechkin-big-hit-schultz

Alex Ovechkin delivers a bunch of hits on a nightly basis. He ranks in the NHL’s top five– along with Caps defenseman Brooks Orpik.

In the first period against the Flyers, Ovechkin lowered the boom on Nick Schultz. No big. We’ve seen him check a million guys before.

This time though, Ovi hit a defenseman so hard that the plastic camera covering affixed to the boards fell off.

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alex-ovechkin-lightsabers

NBCSN employs some of the most talented video people in the world. That’s why I need to show you this insane Vine featuring two-dimensional Alex Ovechkin trying to maim 2D Claude Giroux with a lightsaber. NBCSN made this to promote their national Wednesday Rivalry Night game between the Caps and Flyers.

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mathieu-perreault-four-goals

Photo: Winnipeg Jets

Teeny tiny center Mathieu Perreault was one hell of a player when he was in Washington. Despite never getting more than a passing look in the top-six, Perreault owned the puck, sporting a positive possession score every year he was in DC. Instead of getting a permanent role, general manager George McPhee dumped Perreault to Anaheim so that he could make room for Tom Wilson on the fourth line last season.

Perreault blossomed. After a dominant year as Anaheim’s second-line center, Perreault brought his #PerryCellys to Winnipeg, signing there as a free agent. Now he’s one of their most productive players, driving 55.1 percent of shot attempts and 51.2 percent of goals in the team’s favor. On Tuesday night, Perreault had the biggest game of his career (minus that one time he scored with his tongue).

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