Before he became the Caps’ radio play-by-play guy, John Walton did public announcements for the Cincinnati Reds and called three Hershey Bears Calder Cup championships. He’s already had a great career, but tonight he’s be calling the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs for NBC Sports. That’s a whole ‘nother level.
If you tuned into NBCSN, you heard the dulcet tones of @WaltonCaps telling the story of the Anaheim Ducks vs the Dallas Stars.
The Stanley Cup playoffs start today, and the Washington Capitals aren’t a part of it. While that sucks, life must go on. The good news is that the quarterfinal round is the best week or two of hockey all year, and there’s a bunch of good match-ups to watch. There’s also a couple of garbage match-ups too, but what are you gonna do?
I’ve asked the RMNB crew to share their brackets, and they did, and they’re all really bad. Even mine is bad. Not as bad as theirs, but still really, really bad. Making predictions is a sucker’s game.
Come read our stupid predictions and share your own in the comments!
Head coach Adam Oates of the Washington Capitals is. That sentence is still correct in the present tense. I’m astonished.
This is not another article listing the problems with Adam Oates, or even the problems with George McPhee. This is an article, the last in a series, describing the Capitals on a week-to-week basis using quantified analysis. If at any point the following article reads like a hitpiece against Caps coaching or management, that’s only because the math totally hates them. It’s not me, I swear.
Also, I think Dmitry Orlov is gonna be real good someday. Let’s do the numbers one more time!
On April 13, 2014, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Photo: Patrick McDermott
Whimper. The Washington Capitals put in a perfunctory effort in their final game of the 2013-14 season. Hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning at home for Fan Appreciation Day, the Caps showed very little intensity in a goalless defeat.
After forty minutes, the Caps had hardly mustered just seven shots– a season low. Jay Beagle was back at Alex Ovechkin‘s flank. Braden Holtby was overworked but perfect. The third line was better than everybody else. The team couldn’t reach a result in #rego or overtime, so we went to the shootout for the 21st time– a new league record.
That last paragraph could’ve applied to dozens of Caps games this season. Fitting it all happened today; just another reminder what you don’t want out of your hockey team.
Ian and I were doing some blog biznass this morning when I learned something stunning. Ian actually believes Adam Oates will be back as head coach of the Capitals next season. This is astonishing, so we made a bet.
The Bet: Ian bets Peter that Adam Oates will be head coach of the Washington Capitals in 2014-15.
The Stakes: 77 cents, in pennies, and a $10 gift card to the burrito restaurant of the winner’s choice.
On April 11, 2014, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Photo: Patrick McDermott
The vibe was weird in Friday’s game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals. The Caps were playing for nothing but honor, but the Hawks were jockeying for playoff position. You couldn’t tell by the tilt of the ice. The Caps played a sloppy– but productive– game led by the team’s 1C, Jay Bodenheimer Beagle.
Alex Ovechkin scored his 51st goal of the year on the power play from the remotest bastion of the Ovi Spot. Jay Beagle took two swipes to make it 2-0. Nick Backstrom eliminated the two-goal lead with a no-angle bank shot off Antti Raanta’s buttocks. Beagle struck again before the second period was done because nothing makes sense in an absurd universe upon which all meaning is a deliberate projection.
This is the most mustiest must-read on the Washington Capitals this year. Superlative work by Carrera, it hits every topic: management, coaching, Ovechkin, and goaltending. I particularly like this Ovechkin quote:
“My job to score goals; that’s why I get paid,” Ovechkin said this week. “I didn’t get paid to put puck deep and create some other opportunities. As soon as I’m going to do that, you guys going to ask why I don’t score. It’s always going to be questions; there’s going to be remarks where I have to play better.”
Read the whole thing and let us know what you think.
If — for some crazy reason– the Capitals choose not to retain the services of Adam Oates after this season, they’re going to have to find a replacement.
That has got me worried. I don’t want the organization to have to go through a lengthy and expensive search for The Right Guy For The Job. I don’t want them to waste precious days and weeks hunting down an experienced coach who knows the value of puck possession and how to optimize high-end scoring talent.
So, to save time, RMNB has compiled this list of former Capitals players who already have a bunch of red clothes and stuff and they probably already have directions to Kettler programmed into their GPS.
You’re welcome, guys. Don’t overthink it. Just grab one of these dudes and watch the Cups pour in.
On April 10, 2014, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
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.
We started RMNB in 2009 on a lark. Ian and I liked hockey a lot, and we liked making stuff and sharing it with the Internet, so we thought we could have some fun.
Mission accomplished. RMNB has been tons of fun. We’ve published about 3000 stories for about 3 million readers, and we are pleased beyond words about that. We never expected this level of success. We also also didn’t expect how much work it would be.
Among the whole team, we’ve spent somewhere around 15,000 hours (maybe more) working on RMNB. We’ve spent our own money on hosting and equipment and travel and giveaways and translations. We’ve made a little money off of t-shirts, but we’re deeply, deeply in the red.
To make RMNB sustainable, we need to generate enough revenue to offset our costs. To make RMNB rewarding for our contributors, we’ve got to compensate them. To make RMNB a disgustingly rich multinational multimedia conglomerate that can throw decadent parties and give away crazy swag, we’ve got to start selling advertisements.