Happy Friday (and D-Day), everybody! Ian and I got together last night to catch up on all things hockey. That was the intention at least. Instead we talked a lot about burritos, Ian’s upcoming wedding, and the best stuff we got back from the RMNB survey yesterday.
On the actual hockey front, we share our– reserved– opinions about Trotz and Maclellan, possible trade bait on the Caps roster, who we like in the Cup Finals, and hockey things like that. We also perused your questions on the #DearRMNB hashtag, so thanks for all your tweets. Check it out!
We’re going through a lot of changes as a blog. For us to figure out what to do next, we need to learn what’s working and what’s not. We’ve put together a short survey– 10 minutes, tops– that’ll help us do exactly that. (Plus, we really wanna settle the Chipotle/Qdoba argument.) If you could, please take a couple minutes to answer some questions for us. We’d really really really appreciate it.
I’ve been watching Tom Wilson like a hawk since September 29th, when Mathieu Perreault was traded Anaheim reportedly to make room for Wilson. A large, physical, highly rated prospect, Wilson carried with him all the risks associated with large, physical prospects who are highly rated– namely, that they might be over-rated. But while no one except Tom’s financial planner is going to say this year was a success, I’m hesitant to say it tells us anything about Tom’s future.
Deep breaths, everybody. Just let the puns wash over you.
For a man who once got stuck in a bathroom, Joel Ward‘s season was anything but poop. Ward somehow managed to wash away the crap that made other Caps stink this season. What we got from Wardo instead was an unlikely career-best season, and I’m not just polishing a you-kn0w-what here.
Former head coach Adam Oates was on Hockey Night in Canada radio a couple weeks ago to talk about his new role as an HNIC analyst. At the top of interview, Oates dropped this wisdom: “You wouldn’t like it if someone said something about you.”
So true. Please keep in mind as we move along.
Oates went on to discuss what it was like to coach known coach-killer Alex Ovechkin (“Just to set the record straight, I loved it… For me he was very coachable.”), how every detail of the game is not scrutinized (“It’s blogged. It’s twitted.”), and what team he likes in the playoffs (the Kings). Then, at the end of the interview, Oates told a story, ostensibly about how much he misses playing.
When we played Toronto this year, we went to the shootout. I had Grabovski on my team. And he grabbed me right away and he said he didn’t wanna shoot. And I’m like, “Why not?” I didn’t tell him if I had him in my list or not. Obviously, he was a little nervous against [his former team] Toronto. So I didn’t put him in, and after the game I went up to him and I went, “Hey, if you skated down the ice and you fell down and they laughed at you… They all wanna be on the ice, man, and I miss it. I miss that feeling of nerves every day.”
Nate Schmidt came out of nowhere to inject some dynamism– and a whole bunch of smiles– into a dreary D-corps. And then, like that, he was gone. Was Schmidt in Washington like bringing a bologna sandwich to a banquet? Let’s discuss.
Dustin Penner was acquired at the trade deadline to improve the Caps’ flagging top six. Instead, he played garbage minutes on the bottom line. He was a huge disappointment, but was it his fault? (Not really, no.)
Alex Ovechkin is the face of the Washington Capitals. In 2013-14 he scored more goals than anyone else. He also got more criticism than anyone else. Why? And what’s next for the world’s most explosive scorer, now about to play under his fifth coach and exiting his prime scoring years?
Alex Ovechkin and Team Russia have won the IIHF World Championship. The Russians defeated Finland 5-2 in the gold medal game to win their fourth title since 2008. Russian captain Alex Ovechkin scored the game-tying goal. Nashville’ goaltender Pekka Rinne kept the Finns competitive, but the Russians feasted on the power play, scoring four of their five goals when a man up.