You guys, it’s Valentine’s Day and you know what that means: Peter’s going to mope about being single we want some artwork from you. Using photoshop, pen and paper, a weird app on your mobile device, or noodles and glitter glue, please create a Valentine for your favorite Caps player. Here are some past examples from 2011 and 2013.
This year, instead of you emailing us your images, we’d like you to upload them into our comments below. Also, please upvote your favorites. A few things to keep in mind:
If you’ve been to a Washington Capitals home game in the last 4-5 years, you’ve probably seen it. Since the 2009-2010 season, I’ve been bringing my Unleash the Fury signs to Caps games. It’s the project that really got me interested in making illustrations of hockey players (with a twist), and it also got me working here at RMNB. But in the years since I started making art for the blog, I’ve never really gone into detail about how I started making these signs and my process behind the artwork itself.
So we’re gonna take a little look back into the past, and also reveal my brand new Russian Machine sign for 2014.
After scoring goal number 399 in his 633rd career game on Tuesday, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is now on the verge of some history. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 28-year-old Russian machine could become the sixth fastest NHL player ever to reach four hundred goals if he scores today or tomorrow. The list goes like this: Wayne Gretzky (436 games played), Mike Bossy (506 games played), Mario Lemieux (508 games played), Brett Hull (520 games played), and Jari Kurri (608 games played). Those players all played during eras with much higher scoring than today.
Reader Sam B. asked us to do something to honor Ovi should that magical goal happen tonight at PNC Arena. Yeah: we’re on it.
Screaming Katy Perry meet Screaming Michael Latta.
Last night, as Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson lobbed a harmless shot on net, Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard gave up a huge rebound. The puck bounced off Howard’s right pad and ricocheted right onto Michael Latta‘s stick. It was a well-deserved gift from the hockey gods: Latta is working hard and crashing the net. The 22-year-old center knew what to do next: he lifted the puck on his backhand towards the right corner. Nylon meshing splashed. Goal! Tie game! Latta had scored his first NHL goal!
Latta skated towards the end boards and turned towards the Caps bench, his back to the glass. He let out the most primal of primal roars. Like a mama lion to the hyena getting too close to a newborn cub. If there were a Ghostbusters 3, the plot would be based off Latta’s scream. I’m pretty sure Katy Perry’s Roarwas about this. The photo by Dave Reginek is epic; I can’t help but laugh.
Swedish artist David Gunnarsson released photos of the newest mask he finished painting this morning. Lo and behold, it’s for Washington Capitals starting goaltender Braden Holtby. Gunnarsson has entitled it “Number 70 of the Capitals.” The mask is stylized to go with the Caps’ third jerseys, the same vintage sweaters that they wore during the Winter Classic in 2011.
Goaltender David Leggio spent all of last season with Buffalo’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Rochester Americans. Leggio was dominant, winning 38 games and sporting a .924 save percentage. That performance merited MVP consideration at season’s end.
With Dany Sabourin having left during the offseason in favor of playing in Austria, the Hershey Bears were in desperate need of a veteran goaltender that could share the load and help mentor Capitals prospect Philipp Grubauer. Bears’ general manager Doug Yingst found his man in Leggio and signed the goaltender to a two-way contract for 2013-14.
“Obviously, the Bears are one of the best franchises in the AHL,” Leggio said to The Patriot-News’ Tim Leone during the summer. “They’ve won championships and the arena’s always packed. I’m very excited to come to a place where I feel we’ll have a chance to win a championship. They’ve won championships in the past and have a commitment to winning.”
On Tuesday, the Bears opened training camp and Leggio arrived in style. He just might have the coolest mask in the AHL.
We asked you, the deranged and lovely readers of RMNB, to congratulate our hero Alex Ovechkin on his 28th year of life. You had to make a birthday card. The only rule was that you had to use a cheap graphic editor to make it.
What we didn’t tell you is that we don’t have to follow the same rules. Above is our card for Ovi, via RMNB resident artist Rachel Cohen, who is awesome. Meanwhile, you guys knocked this assignment out of the park. Like Joel Rechlicz, you backhanded the puck past your limitations and blazed new trails of Art with a capital A. Cruise on down past the jump to check out the gallery.
Over the next five days, the Capitals will finish the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season with three home games. The Caps’ match-ups with Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Boston will not only determine if Washington wins the Southeast Division and makes the playoffs, they’ll also sort out the trophy races that Alex Ovechkin is involved in. Ovechkin, after not winning any hardware since 2010, is in contention for four awards: the Ted Lindsey trophy for players’ MVP, the Art Ross trophy (for most points), the Maurice Richard trophy (for most goals), and the Hart trophy (for most valuable player).
While The Great Eight and his peers control his destiny with three of these four awards, the esteemed members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association will decide the Hart Trophy. This is the same media that in the last three years has literally flogged Ovechkin with a spiked 2 x 4 painted with a red maple leaf and dripping with Tim Horton’s coffee. Because when every great player gets older and his team becomes less aggressive, it’s the media’s moral obligation to antagonize him to casual fans and excoriate him at every turn.