According to CSN, Alex Ovechkin Plays for the R*****ns

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The Caps are way better than 3-6.

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Capitals vs Flames Pregame: Appealing to the Hockey Gods

Trotz

No high-minded introduction today. Just listen to Barry Trotz: “If you keep doing the right things over and over, I think the hockey gods recognize that, and they allow you to win hockey games. It all evens out.”

Caps vs Flames at 7 PM tonight at Verizon Center. Joe B and Locker will call it on CSN-DC. The Caps gotta win this one.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 4-5-2 54.2% 98.3 29.0% 78.6%
Calgary Flames 7-4-2 45.7% 103.5 20.0% 75.7%

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There Goes Alex Ovechkin Again: All About Himself, Not the Team

ovechkin

Is this the year for Alex Ovechkin?” That was the Puck Daddy headline when Ovi started the season on a torrid scoring pace: five goals in four games. Then Ovi’s shots and goals fell off and the Caps’ goaltending got holey, and now the conversation has shifted.

Last week, Jeff Marek asked PJ Stock what he thought of Ovechkin’s play. “I find his game very predictable,” Stock said. That’s a fine enough opinion and he’s entitled to it. Marek then turned to John Shannon, who compared Ovechkin’s attitude to that of Tampa’s Steven Stamkos:

“[Stamkos] talks about team first. It’s always, ‘we did this.’ …When Ovechkin talks, it’s ‘I did this.’”

Ovi is selfish. He values individual achievement over team success. He’s Eurotrash.

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The Capitals have lost four games in a row, so some indignation seems justified.

“That is not how I operate,” Barry Trotz said after Sunday’s loss. “That’s not how you win in this league.”

The Coyotes game was a mess, plagued by turnovers, all of which seemed to end up in the back of the Capitals’ net. Justin Peters didn’t have a great night, the Caps squandered a 3-1 lead, and the team seemed to surrender at the start of the third period. It was embarrassing.

“That behavior has to change or we have to change people,” Trotz said with no shortage of gravity.

I can’t argue that Sunday was bad, and the Caps certainly need to make adjustments, but I’ve still got a hunch that this team is capable of being really, really good. Miles better than they used to be.

Maybe I can find someone who agrees with me.

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TL;DR: Help us keep RMNB going and you’ll get our best shirt ever– available for the very last time.

When we started RMNB in 2009, we didn’t have high expectations. A couple readers and a few laughs would’ve been enough. Then things got a little out of hand, and we became one of the biggest unaffiliated hockey blogs out there.

It’s been a blast. We love it. Have you seen the parties?

But we didn’t expect how much work it would be to grow the way we have. For Ian and me, RMNB is like a second job. Plus, we’ve got escalating hosting costs, licenses to purchase, hardware to do the work, and contributors to support. And don’t forget an upcoming, mobile-friendly redesign of the site. (We are very excited about that!)

Getting all that stuff costs money, and to be honest we don’t make a lot. Advertisements cover some of hosting, and t-shirts keep our heads above water, but we’re not able to grow– or even sustain our current pace.

So we’re passing around the hat. (Hey, it was your idea.) Here’s the deal: If you donate $25 or more, you’ll get the most popular RMNB t-shirt in history before it goes away forever.

Donate. Save RMNB. Get the shirt.

There are a bunch of perks, but the t-shirt is really rad. Still– any amount would help. Whatever you can spare will keep RMNB alive for years to come.

Thank you.

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Don’t Panic: Coyotes beat Caps 6-5

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Nope, this wasn’t the turning point. The Washington Capitals started strong against the Arizona Coyotes, but surrendered five unanswered goals after the first period and looked more than a little messy. Some nasty reffing didn’t help either.

Antoine Vermette got a quick power-play goal in the first period, but the Caps stormed back with three of their own: Tom Wilson’s deflection of Alex Ovechkin’s long bomb, John Carlson’s point-blank wrister, and an Ovi shot from the Ovi spot.

The second period belonged to the Coyotes, who got two goals on or immediately after power plays.

Arizona scored two early in the third– first when Sam Gagner did something mysterious and inscrutable in front of Justin Peters, and again when Shane Doan stole Alex Ovechkin’s defensive-zone turnover. Tomas Rierder got his first NHL goal on a breakaway in the final five minutes.

Joel Ward got a PPG in garbage time off the skate of a Yotes defender, and then Troy Brouwer made it a one-goal game with a weird bounce in the final 30 seconds.

Coyotes beat Caps 6-5.

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Caps vs Coyotes Pregame: The Turning Point? Please?

ribs and yandle

The Caps keep losing, but so do the Coyotes. It’s a stoppable force versus a movable object tonight at 7 PM on CSN proper. From home at Verizon Center, I think this is the moment when the Caps right the ship, but we shall see.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 4-4-2 54.7% 99.8 25.7% 80.6%
Phoenix Arizona Coyotes 3-6-1 50.9% 94.8 24.3% 78.1%

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Week 3 Snapshot: Patience, My Young Padawan

Scott Iskowitz

I don’t like this angle because you can’t see Schmidt’s smile. (Photo: Scott Iskowitz)

The Caps aren’t winning the game they’re supposed to. They’re playing the right way on a pattern level, but a few turnovers here and bad bounces there have led them to a winless week. That stinks, and it’s definitely causing some dissension in Caps fan ranks.

But the team is gonna be alright. The Caps are still doing the big stuff right. There’s cause for mild alarm in a few places, but this is still a playoff team. I’m confident about that.

The snapshot shows us numbers that help us project future success better than just goals or the team’s position in the standings. Those projections still look good. This is a challenge not of the team’s constitution, but of the fans. Do we have the nerve to stay calm? I think so, and here are some numbers that’ll help us do so.

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Lightning beat Caps 4-3: Blurghghrhghlgh

Scott Iskowitz

Photo: Scott Iskowitz

The Washington Capitals are way better than their record shows, but it still ain’t showing up in the standings. A thrilling defeat to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night extends that patterns and tests our patience, but at least it was fun to watch.

Ryan Callahan returned from injury tonight and scored right away with a fancy redirect between his legs. The Caps tied it up when Marcus Johansson scored on a rebound off a hero effort by Alex Ovechkin.

The second period was a back-and-forth affair. Eric Fehr scored after a blistering attack (told ya so), but the Bolts tied it up with a pretty passing play punctuated by Palat. It looked like the Bolts would have the lead going into the third, but Brouwer scored off a perfect tee-up by Johansson during a late-period power play.

Jason Garrison scored off a faceoff early in the third, the deflection going off Nick Backstrom’s skates. The Caps couldn’t get it one.

Lightning beat Caps 4-3.

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Caps at Lightning Pregame: Ovi’s Gotta Score, Or Else

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I don’t like the Capitals’ record so far, but I’m like cosmically certain they’re a really good team. They’ll have another chance to prove it with tonight’s match-up against the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are also a really good team. Holtby’s in net versus Ben Bishop. Tune in at 7 PM on CSN+.

(Yeah, it’s on the plus.)

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 4-3-2 54.4% 100.8 24.2% 79.4%
Tampa Bay Lightning 7-3-1 54.0% 100.0 26.2% 87.1%

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