2015-16 was the year the world finally recognized that Nick Backstrom is a star. An all-star to be precise. After eight years in the NHL, most of them awesome, Backstrom got his first ASG nod, which means we are now forced to reclassify him.
Nick Backstrom is no longer underrated. Nick Backstrom is now, officially, rated.
Karl Alzner played in every game this season and had huge success as long as you don’t count scoring, which he is really terrible at. But appreciating Alzner’s 2015-16 puts us in conflict with ourselves: how do we explain a player who enjoys great outcomes (goal differential) without good process (puck possession)?
Let’s kick off the 2015-16 player reviews right now.
Dmitry Orlov is in Russia for the IIHF World Championship, the NIT Tournament of the hockey world. That’s bittersweet, but this hit by Orlov on Nino Niederreiter of the Swiss team during Saturday’s game is just sweet. It is freaking sweet.
Good morning, hockey fans. Yesterday I gathered a bunch of RMNB contributors to talk about the heartbreak of game six, what’s next for the Capitals, and how one could ever withstand the universe’s stark indifference to the suffering of man.
The rock rolled down the hill. With Nick Bonino’s overtime goal, the Washington Capitals season ended in a blink. Now we look ahead at a rainy summer and the prospect of starting over to try again next fall.
This is a free space for you to talk about whatever you want.
An early deficit, sent spiraling by a terrible penalty, then a stirring, unlikely comeback, sudden defeat. Game Six was the height of Caps playoff chaos. If you emotionally checked out early, I can’t blame you. If, late in the game, you didn’t high-five until your hands got all red and stingy, I can’t understand you. If you’re reeling right now, you are my people.
Penguins beat Capitals 4-3 in overtime. Penguins win the series 4-2.
The Washington Capitals enjoyed their last elimination game, a 3-1 win on home ice, but there’s no time for congratulations. To keep their season alive, the Caps must now win on enemy territory against a very good opponent. It won’t be easy, but this is the freaking Capitals in May. It has never been easy.
Puck drops at 8 PM in Pittsburgh. Game’s on NBC Sports. I’m told the Chris From the Comments Liveblog will be back as well.
It’s been a big weekend on the NHL coaching beat. Former Caps coach, former Ducks coach, and always awesome dude, Bruce Boudreau, immediately got a new gig with the Minnesota Wild, where he will be great. The other team courting Boudreau was the Ottawa Senators, who settled for Guy Boucher, former coach of the Lightning and architect of that team’s 2011 sweep of the Capitals.
Those new coaching deals come with cash. We know Boudreau will earn $12 million over the next four years. We suspect Boucher will earn, um, a lot less, but we don’t know the details. Of the disclosed data provided by Cap Friendly, Sean Tierney of Today’s Slapshot created a helpful visualization that makes one thing clear:
How great are the Washington Capitals? I mean, how totally great are the Washington Capitals? Look at how the Capitals played in game five. They played great, so totally great, you will love how great they played. And the Penguins? Bad. So bad.
How’d the game start? Boom. Alex Ovechkin power play goal. But the Penguins came back, because the Penguins don’t respect us, they think we’re jokes, just like the rest of the world, and that’s why Chris Kunitz scored on a rebound.
But the Capitals are gorgeous so — and you’re going to love this — TJ Oshie scored a power-play goal and then Justin Williams put one in Matt Murray’s five-hole, really schlonged him there.