Head Coach Barry Trotz is Actually the Devil (Photo)

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Photo: @frankgindc

After the Capitals lost 2-1 in the shootout to the Montreal Canadiens, head coach Barry Trotz spoke to the media about– GAH!!!

Not satisfied with being bench boss, Barry has become the actual devil, evidenced by this photo and Kuznetsov’s ice time. Now begins a long, 82-game journey to h-e-double hockey sticks.

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brooks-oprik-woah-face

Photo: Geoff Burke

Over the offseason, Brooks Orpik signed what many thought to be the worst contract of free agency– a five-year, $27 million deal that ends when he’s approximately 84. After months of kind of bummer analysis (even from us), the former Penguin jumped on the ice tonight for the first time as a Capital and he was noticeable– in a lot of different ways.

First, let’s see the hits because you guys want to see the hits.

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Photo: Patrick McDermott

19-year-old Andre Burakovsky has already scored his first NHL goal, and we’re not even ten minutes old! Skating between Troy Brouwer and Marcus Johansson, Burakovsky continued his torrid pace from the preseason, scoring a one-timer from the slot.

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How The Horn Guy Made His 2014-15 Horn

The man behind the Capitals’ best-known cheer is simply known as The Horn Guy. Before every opening face-off, after a goal, or any time the Caps need a kick in the pants, Sam Wolk unleashes three blasts from the upper level of Verizon Center. The crowd responds with a hearty “Let’s! Go! Caps!” chant. You heard it on TV. You’ve probably participated in it. Sam is famous.

He has starred in a Caps commercial, he helps lead the Caps Road Crew, and– thanks to his regional hockey fame– has taken megapixels of photos with eager fans. But away from the rink, Wolk is a simple man who just so happens to be bursting with creativity. The Lead Coordinator for Direct Mail at FedEx Office and Print Services, Sam is also a talented, self-taught illustrator.

If you’ve spent a second near Sam at a game, you’ve certainly noticed his horns. Each is an elegant painted piece of art that Wolk invests hours upon hours painting before every season.

Wolk gave RMNB an inside look at process of painting his new noise device for 2014-15.

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eric-fehr-teh-internet

Photo: @WashCaps

The always-stylish and always-awesome Eric Fehr took over the Washington Capitals Twitter account on Wednesday. It went about as well as you could imagine. The first-line right wing/children’s book author unveiled an odd nickname the players have for Tom Wilson, discussed the Baltimore Orioles (heated rivals of his beloved Toronto Blue Jays), and talked a heck of a lot about country music.

Minus him rooting for Lemieux as a kid (which we’ll give him a pass on), this was perfect.

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Remembering Jay Beagle’s Flip Phone, “Flipper”

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We got some devastating news from The Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt on Tuesday: Jay Beagle‘s long-time companion Flipper has gone to a better place. By better place, I’m thinking a dumpster or a Verizon Store recycle bin.

Flipper is survived by my T-Mobile RAZR and Ted Leonsis’s LG Revere flip phone.

This news has shaken me to the core. I haven’t eaten. I couldn’t sleep. I’ve just been sobbing for hours on end.

Who is Jay Beagle without a flip phone? It’s like Adam Vingan without the puns. I don’t recognize it.

To console you, dear RMNB reader, as well as myself, let’s remember the better times– the times when Jay Beagle was still really, really technology-challenged.

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Photo: Chris Gordon

Recent years in Caps-land have been chaotic, but there’s always been something you can rely on: everybody having a different opinion on how Alex Ovechkin can improve. You’d think the sixth fastest player to 400 goals is maybe doing alright, but for the media and the revolving door of Caps coaches, “fixing” Ovechkin is always all the rage.

Dale Hunter wanted Ovechkin to sacrifice his body and block shots, Adam Oates wanted The Great Eight to play with fourth-liners, and Bruce Boudreau wanted Ovi to push the pace and look for odd-man breaks.

Now it’s Barry Trotz’s turn.

When asked if he’s noticed “subtle” changes in Ovi’s play during the preseason, the new Caps coach spoke about what he’s wanted the Russian machine to improve on: defense.

Here’s the key quote: “His stick was up around his shoulders at the start of camp and now it’s below the waist. We’ll get it right on the ice before too long.”

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CapsCanes12

Photo: Amanda Bowen

There was one photo I didn’t share from Amanda’s gallery on Monday.

It’s this image of Troy Brouwer, Andre Burakovsky, and Marcus Johansson celebrating their goal during Sunday’s final preseason game of the season. Burakovsky’s geeking out, Brouwer’s giving kudos for that sick pass, and Mojo is just of there. It’s pretty tame– except wait.

I’m going to need to enhance.

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Nicklas Backstrom’s Beautiful Baby Boy

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Visual approximation of metaphor

On Tuesday, the Washington Capitals hosted some kind of media luncheon thing and made available literally everyone in the Caps organization. That list included owner Ted Leonsis, who dropped what I initially thought was a bombshell during his press conference.

I heard him say something about Nicklas Backstrom having a new “beautiful baby boy.”

Upon closer inspection of District Sports Page’s Katie Brown tweets, however, I learned that Backstrom did not have a new child over the summer. Leonsis was just talking about how Nicklas Backstrom refers to a new addition to the Washington Capitals.

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