Photo: Amanda Bowen

During Thursday morning’s practice, Barry Trotz debuted new lines (again). According to The Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt, these are the new combos.

Ovechkin – Backstrom – Wilson
Johansson – Burakovsky – Brouwer
Chimera – Laich – Ward
O’Brien – Latta – Beagle

And the extra forwards:

Kuznetsov – Fehr – Volpatti (IR)

With Brooks Laich’s shoulder finally healed, the lines had to be juggled. It appears Caps rookie Evgeny Kuznetsov will be scratched for the first time in his career against Chicago on Friday. Eric Fehr will join him in the press box, scratched for the second straight game.

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Rob Carr

I love the dude in the back here. (Photo: Rob Carr)

You’re like, “No way. No way Peter can find awesome things right now. The Caps have lost like seventy games straight. Except for stupid fancystats, he can’t name anything awesome about this team at all.”

Challenge accepted, holmes. The Capitals are awesome. I think I’ve found one spot where they can increase awesomeness in particular. Plus: did you even see the top line last night? They were awesome!

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Flames beat Caps 4-3 (OT), Oh Noes, Teh Caps R Bad

Patrick McDermott

The GOAT (Photo: Patrick McDermott)

The Washington Capitals should have beat the Calgary Flames. They played well for the most part, but the Calgary Flames got the better bounces. So the slump continues, but at least the Caps got a standings point this time.

Calgary got on the board first when Lance Bouma stole a rebound that Mike Green didn’t see. The Caps struck back soon after as Nick Backstrom chopped Alex Ovechkin’s long bomb.

Mark Giordano got the best of some meh Capitals defense to give the Flames the lead in the second, but the Caps had a quick response thanks to a weird bounce in Marcus Johansson’s favor. The Capitals entered the second intermission with a one-goal lead thanks to a greasy 5v3 goal by Joel Ward.

The Flames got a freak goal of their own off Marcus Johanssons’ stick and Troy Brouwer’s skate with about five minutes left because hockey is cruel and hates your stupid narrative. Tom Wilson almost had a buzzer beater, but Hiller denied him.

Dry scrape! Overtime was exciting as hell, with tons of chances for the good guys, but it was the Flames who emerged victorious when Sean Monahan got the best of the defense.

Flames beat Caps 4-3 (OT). Five games without a W.

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



The Caps are way better than 3-6.

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Capitals vs Flames Pregame: Appealing to the Hockey Gods


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


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


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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