Questions for 2015-16: Can Nick Backstrom Get and Stay Healthy?

Though he’s undoubtedly the Capitals’ best player who is not also a namesake for this website, Nick Backstrom has a worrying pattern of injuries. He got the terrible concussion debacle of 2012 behind him, but a series of rumored and admitted bumps and bruises have made Backstrom somewhat less effective in recent springs.

This summer’s surgery on his hip, which he says had been bothering him since last November, is only the latest of Backstrom’s woes. As of right now, Backstrom is expected to miss the whole preseason and might not be ready for regular-season action come October 8. Though it’s uncertain now, Backstrom’s health and durability may be crucial to the Caps’ success in 2015-16.

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‘Please Like My Sport!’ Why The Hell Should We?


The developments out of Chicago and Buffalo in the last ten days have been nauseating. The NHL, by its inaction to fight the intolerable treatment of its women fans and by its explicit support for the craven behavior of the Chicago Blackhawks, has revealed itself to be not merely unwelcoming towards 50 percent of this planet, but actively hostile towards them.

If you are for whatever reason no longer inclined to support the Blackhawks or watch hockey (or read the Buffalo News), we totally understand why.

No more hockey coverage from us today. We all need to spend some quiet time reflecting on what we can do and what we are failing to do to make this world less wretched for one another.

In the meantime, please consider making a donation to RAINN. Your donation is 100-percent tax-deductible, and ninety-two cents on every dollar go directly to helping victims and preventing sexual violence.

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Mike Green was the Caps’ make-it-happen guy on the power play, but in 2014-15 he scored just one goal while a man up. Green’s lack of man-advantage scoring led to his eventual displacement in favor of John Carlson, who has a better point shot anyway. But the Caps power play didn’t do wonderfully in the postseason, and now there may be some worry that Washington’s special teams might not be so special for the first time in a long time.

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Questions for 2015-16: Can Dmitry Orlov Come Back?

Orlov in 2011 (Photo: Kyle Mace)

When the Caps finally and truly return on October 8, it will have been 543 days since Dmitry Orlov last suited up for real NHL play. A shootout loss in April of 2014 was the last time the Capitals saw Orlov healthy and in regular-season action.

Orlov suffered a wrist injury playing for Team Russia that summer, and due to a long and frustrating series of setbacks he missed the entirety of the 2014-15 season, though he did suit up for Hershey in the spring for a conditioning stint.

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Questions for 2015-16: Is Washington’s Top Six Truly Deadly?

Photo: Amanda Bowen

Editor’s note: With the preseason beginning this week, RMNB will spend some time framing the questions about the upcoming season that are on our mind.

In 2014, it took Brian MacLellan just one day to dramatically upgrade the Washington defense, which was his first priority upon taking the job of general manager. In the space of a single afternoon, Mac signed Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen, immediately improving a troubled blue line.

In 2015, he did the same for the offense, except this time it took him two full days. In consecutive days at the beginning of July, the Capitals signed Justin Williams and TJ Oshie, two marquee threats from across the league.

I don’t like calling it the “new-look” Capitals offense, but if you want to, I’d totally understand.

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TJ Oshie Is Here


Photo: @WashCaps

As summer draws to a close and pumpkin spice invades everything edible on the planet, we see another hallmark of autumn: the arrival of the Capitals to Washington, DC. Wednesday’s entry: Timothy Leif Oshie, but you can call him TJ.

The arrival of Oshie in DC is an Important Social Media Event.

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The Origin of Bailamos: Making RMNB Last


RMNB reader and patron Ray B. has proposed the best topic for an essay, so everyone else can take a seat and shut up now.

Ok, so I finally figured out what I want you to write about– Bailamos! I wanna know how this started, why it is important to the Caps, and the importance of Enrique to the Russian Machine.

Tonight we dance. The story of Bailamos is the story of the Capitals’ crisis of confidence, and if you’re wondering if I’m going to take this too seriously, yes, you’re right.

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Curtis Glencross Regrets Hometown Discount

Curtis Glencross, aka “CG22” or “Gold Rush Glencross” or “GlenX” or “Glengary Glencross”, is still without a contract for the 2015-16 season. After seven points in 18 games for the Capitals, the 32-year-old forward is a man without a country. It’s at this point that Glencross is beginning to regret taking that hometown discount ($2.55 million) with the Calgary Flames in 2011, back when he was a 20-plus goal scorer.

Speaking with Calgary Sun:

“If I could do it again … as much as I love (Calgary) and call it home and met great people, at the same time, when it’s time for you to cash in, you have to take advantage and cash in. You can’t take a pay-cut or hometown discount because things change.”

That’s surprising candor from a professional hockey player.

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The Weird Satanist Guy is Bowser from the Caps Rap

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 10.52.29 PM

Did you see that viral video from earlier this week? Looks like Andrew Bowser has done it again. If you haven’t kept up with the intrepid auteur behind the Caps Rap (2010, and a sequel in 2011), you’ve missed a lot. In that time, Bowser has directed three films and contributed to like a billion online video projects, mostly at Nerdist. It was there that we learned Bowser had once again won the internet.

I don’t want to spoil it for you, so just watch the video first.

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The Best State Flag: Making RMNB Last


Mark M. wants me to talk about how great the Maryland flag is. Thank you, Mark M. I love the Maryland flag. Here’s a tweet from February as evidence.

I’m inclined to say the Maryland flag is the best because it just looks cool, but I can’t. This story can be only half fun, because the flag, like the people and place it represents, is complicated.

But I’ll say this up front: Maryland is a lot more than crab cakes and football, neither of which are very good.

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