Beagle Rabid as Caps beat Hawks 4-0

Patrick McDermott

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.

Nothing in the third. Sorry, Jay.

Caps beat Hawks like a million to nothing.

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Must Read: Katie Carrera on the State of the Caps

Photo: Chris Gordon

Read: Washington Capitals’ problems began long before their playoff streak ended

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.

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Adam+Oates+Toronto+Maple+Leafs+v+Washington+tGuDHBOHnoFl

Photo: Greg Fiume

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.

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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.

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Making RMNB Last

Hey, can we talk?

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.

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Patrick Smith

Tuesday’s 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues required the Washington Capitals to withstand a protracted comeback effort in the second and third periods. The effect of protecting a lead meant most Caps players got outpossessed. That’s not really surprising, and it’s totally fine considering how strong the Blues are on the puck and the game’s eventual outcome. A bit more surprising, however, was Troy Brouwer‘s shot-attempt differential that night.

In 10 minutes of 5v5 play, Brouwer was on the ice for 17 Blues shot attempts …and zero by the Capitals.

That’s like 0% possession*.

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Scoarboard Watching: The Caps Have Been Eliminated

lost

“The team will make the playoffs, as I promised, ten to fifteen years in a row.”
Ted Leonsis, 2011.

The Wings got a point and the Jackets beat the Stars, thereby officially eliminating the Washington Capitals from playoff contention. After six straight years of making the postseason, the Caps will be tearing down after their final game on Sunday. There will be no Capitals playoff games for me to write about. I don’t know what to do with my hands.

Summer beckons. Tee time. Watching someone else win the Cup. Watching Pittsburgh flame out in the first two rounds. Watching the Os and the Nats. Drinking frozen mai tais poolside. People getting fired. The draft. People getting hired. Free agency. Dev camp. Sunburns. And then we’ll do it all again in the fall.

We invite you to wail in grief below. Come join the GIF party.

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Cancelling the Apocalypse: Caps beat Blues 4-1

Brou Oshie

Brouillette rides Oshie through the defensive zone. (Photo: Tom Gannam)

Put your knives away for one more night. The Washington Capitals played a tough road game against the St Louis Blues and came out victorious. Thanks to the novel concept of top-six forwards playing in the top six, the Caps survived an elimination game against a great opponent.

Alex Ovechkin scored his 50th goal of the season in the first period, a signature Ovi shot from the Ovi spot. The Blues, who dominated even-strength play, got one of their own off Maxim LaPierre’s stick early in the second period, but Mikhail Grabovski fired a slapshot from the faceoff dot to restore the Caps lead a bit later. Ovechkin served up Nick Backstrom for a rare even-strength goal late in the second period, creating a two-goal lead going into the third period. Uh oh.

Okay, relax. Backstrom unleashed a wrister from the circles early in the third.

Caps beat Blues 4-1. Staying Alive!

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holtby face

Photo: Bruce Bennett

Braden Holtby quietly achieved a milestone over the weekend. In Sunday’s shootout win over the New York Islanders, Holtby faced his 3000th shot. That’s a big deal. Young goalies are really hard to forecast. Half of the ones that play over ten games wash out before they hit 3000. When they finally get enough reps, we should bask in the increasing clarity.

.917 Holtby’s career save percentage
3023 Number of shots faced in career
45.5 Percentage of career shots faced under Adam Oates

He’s looking pretty good, and I think he can get better.

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Week 25 Snapshot: The Wonderful Future

Bruce Bennett

Photo: Bruce Bennett

This was the week the Capitals’ playoff hopes effectively died.

Sports Club Stats says the Caps have a 2.7% chance of making the postseason. To help you better understand the probability there, that’s the same as the chances I will NOT go to Chipotle today.

We should not be surprised by this. The Capitals were never good at even strength. In week one we said, “These numbers do not describe a good even-strength team at all.” Almost eighty games later, and that has not changed. The only teams who do worse than the Caps during 5v5 (which is how about 75% of their season has been played), are the following: the Avalanche, Oilers, Leafs, Sabres. That is poor company.

So while this season is a foregone conclusion, the Caps must now decide who they will become in the future: a bottom-five team or not.

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