brett-leonhardt-rookie-card

His career NHL stats may read 0 wins, 0 losses, 0 goals allowed, and a 0% save percentage, but Brett Leonhardt is now just like one of the guys. On Monday, Upper Deck announced that they had created the long sought-after Brett Leonhardt rookie card.

And what a delight it is.

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april-fools-chimera-ward

We needed this. With all the furor surrounding the Caps currently, Joel Ward and Jason Chimera helpfully hit the release valve by cutting an Aprils Fools video posing as Caps media men John Walton and Mike Vogel.

In a skull cap and wig, the third-line wingers hosted the pre-game  Two-Man Advantage video. Ward repeated Walton’s catch phrase three or seven times, and Chimera rattled off stats in a meaningless number salad– all in an uncanny impersonation of Vogel.

This is great. Please watch it. I promise it will cheer you up.

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About Those Birds at Verizon Center

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Ace photo by @WashCapsRock

On Saturday, I went to my first Washington Capitals game of the season because of the bet I lost to the Brouwer Rangers (I find it easier to cover games from home). While watching Troy Brouwer point and laugh at me in spandex was something I’ll never forget, the highlight of my day actually didn’t involve humans at all.

During the first period, as I sat in my perch (sorry, couldn’t help myself) in section 402, I noticed something through the visor of my motorcycle helmet: two fat birds frantically flying around Verizon Center looking for somewhere to land. You don’t get to see this kind of stuff on TV.

The birds swooped to and fro. Every few minutes they’d fly towards people in the crowd, making Caps fans scramble and hit the deck. While I focused on their escapades during the third period, I caught myself chanting bird! bird! bird! I also confused one of the birds for the puck after Alex Ovechkin chipped the biscuit into the air towards Jay Beagle. It almost helped me forget about the terrible game I was supposed to be watching. Almost.

Anyways, for whatever reason, the whole situation cracked me up (that’s an egg joke). Now I am filled with questions: How did these birds get into Verizon Center in the first place? Why are they still here now? (The first Verizon Center bird was spotted in December. It was skinny then.) Is Slapshot involved?

And what kind of birds are these?

Lucky for us, my future cousin-in-law Ian Gardner is the biggest bird nerd in the history of bird nerds. He’s currently at Penn State studying for his M.S. in Forest Resources, he has his B.S. in Wildlife Conservation from Juniata College, and he’s been involved in the Pennsylvania birdwatching community for the past 5 years. I sent him some photos of the birds and asked him for the low-down.

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backstrom-high-five

There’s a saying I hate: What have you done for me lately? It’s ignorant, brushing off a person’s full contributions. But that’s the attitude among a lot of lippy sports fans, especially on Twitter.

I bring this up because after Nicklas Backstrom missed on his shootout attempt at the end of Sunday’s game, some people got frustrated. I get it– to a point.

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First-year pro Patrick Wey hit Nashville Predators facepuncher extraordinairre Rich Clune along the benches on Sunday night. That was obviously unacceptable per the rules of gentlemanly conduct, so Clune challenged Wey to a fight and then knocked him out.

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RMNB Party 6 in Photos and Videos

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Eat your heart out, Ellen. (Photo: Chris Gordon)

For some this has been a long week. That’s because of the fallout from RMNB Party 6. We’re not even remotely sorry.

On Saturday night, RFD gave us the keys to their private back bar and 300+ of you cycled in to watch the Caps/Sharks game with us. It was magical. The Caps ended their 21-year losing streak in San Jose and about 150 of you jumped for joy in the wee hours of the morning with us when it happened. Seriously. The video is below. It was like a hockey mosh pit.

Along the way, we all made some new friends. Horn Guy and Goat cheered the team on. And I debuted the new Brouwer Rangers helmet I will wear at Verizon Center this Saturday.

Thanks to all of you who hung out with us. To those who didn’t: tsk, tsk. You missed out.

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Photo: @a0gr8

His mother Tatyana won two Olympic gold medals in basketball for Team Russia, so Alex Ovechkin has always had a love for the sport. He’s gone to Dynamo basketball games. He’s been featured playing basketball (shirtless, of course) with his friends in his DVD. He’s even shot around with BFF Nicky Backstrom during one of Bruce Boudreau’s press conferences.

On Wednesday night, on his day off, Ovechkin took fiancee Maria Kirilenko and his new best bud in the whole wide world, Evgeny Kuznetsov, to the Wizards/Suns game at Verizon Center.

It appears they had fun.

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julianne-hough-caps-game

Julianne Hough has been busy lately. She has announced that she will be doing a dance tour around the nation with her brother Derek. She also will be returning to Dancing With The Stars as a guest judge in two weeks.

We do not care about that. We care about Hough watching the Caps play at Verizon Center on Tuesday night (well, maybe we care; I guess this is debatable). I assume she was there to support her injured boyfriend, Brooks Laich, who recently went under the knife to repair his injured groin.

Here’s a treat: everybody’s favorite paparazzo Homer McFanboy posted this photo of Hough on the concourse, which was taken by an anonymous friend.

Here you see Julianne smiling with friends and— HEY, wait a minute. What is in her hands?

COMPUTER: ENHANCE QUADRANT PICARD LAMBDA.

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Photo: Rob Carr

Last night, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin quietly had a three-point game. In the first period, he scored two goals, one of which was lucky, lucky, lucky. The Ovi Spot was once again accommodating for The Great Eight.

Ovechkin now has 48 goals on the season and 85 multi-goal games in his career. Last night was the tenth time this season where Ovechkin’s scored the game’s opening goal.

Here’s some more mind-blowing stats from the Capitals: Ovechkin has scored 22 powerplay goals this season, tying the Capitals single-season record. Wednesday marked Ovechkin’s ninth multi-goal game and fourth multi-power-play goal game of the season. Ovechkin has recorded three or more points in a game seven times this season and leads the NHL in goals, power-play goals (22) and shots (358).

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With forty-five seconds left in regulation and the Washington Capitals shorthanded and sans a goalie, Evgeny Kuznetsov scored one of the biggest goals of the season. Certainly the biggest of his career– seeing as it was his first. After Alex Ovechkin unleashed a rushed shot from the point, Kuzya did the dirty work in front of the net, backhanding the loose puck past Jonathan Quick. Game tied 4-4.

The goal set off a wild celebration among fans and players– with the exception of one guy, who had some captainly duties to perform.

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