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The Arizona Coyotes scored five unanswered goals on Sunday night, putting the Capitals behind by three. It was a bummer. After Coyotes goal number six, and the Caps still several minutes away from losing their fourth straight game, CSN cameras rolled tape of an adorable girl yawning during warm-ups to raise our spirits.

“Young lady, those are my thoughts exactly,” said Joe Beninati sadly into the microphone.

That young lady is Amelia, and she was the star of warm-ups on Sunday. Her brother too.

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Robert and Pernilla Burakovsky at the 2013 NHL Draft.

Back in September, we threw a fundraiser for Fort Dupont Ice Arena. We called it #PARTYZORD, had a ton of fun, and raised $2,800 for a great cause. One way we raised money was through a silent auction that included cool stuff like signed t-shirts and fanny packs, a jersey, bobbleheads, Rachel’s art, and a pair of tickets to the Caps’ home opener courtesy of Troy and Carmen Brouwer.

Bob McDonald, whom you all know as one of the Caps’ primary national anthem singers, won the tickets (thanks to a very generous donation). He didn’t know it at the time, but those tickets gave Bob a front-row seat for a touching family moment as Andre Burakovsky’s parents, Robert and Pernilla, were in attendance for their son’s first NHL game and got to see him score his first NHL goal.

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Photo: Aly D.

On Friday, the Washington Capitals took a break from the norm and traveled up to Navy’s Annapolis campus for a team-building event. The Caps got a tour of the Naval Academy from the university’s hockey team, ate lunch in the dining hall with midshipmen, and even held an open practice at McMullen Ice Arena.

Reader Aly D., a hockey player herself, had the chance to attend practice and see her favorite team skate. After the players left the ice, she met basically the entire team, taking selfies with Mike Green, Braden Holtby, and Michael Latta.

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Photo: @Kundrc84

Washington Capitals defense prospect Tomas Kundratek has always been active on social media. A few years ago, to encourage more Movember donations, he offered to take his most generous fan out to for a free meal at Houlihan’s. Yes. Houlihan’s.

While in Arlington last week for Caps training camp, Kundtratek challenged some of his 8,000-plus followers to a game of NHL15 along with 18-year-old goaltender Vitek Vanecek.

Two young Caps fans, Stuart Penninger and his brother Lee, played a surreal game of virtual hockey against two pros from their favorite team. It was a birthday treat.

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“GUYS I SCOARED” (Photo: Molly F.)

On Friday night, Troy Brouwer scored an OTGWG to give the Capitals a 5-4 overtime win over the Bruins. It was a classic Brouwer goal, a hard slap shot from the slot to the top corner of the net.

On Sunday, Brouwer contined his hot streak with a nifty goal. In practice. Unfortunately, his teammates weren’t really paying attention, so he let them know about it. For two minutes.

I’ll let long-time reader Molly F. (@WeWillBonzai) explain.

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Ed. note: Here’s F.O.T.B. Ben Lutz, aka the DC Sports Dork, with an RMNB guest spot all about head coach and GM hires. You can see more of Ben’s work on www.dcsportsdork.com. If you enjoy his stuff, feel free to join his facebook page.

While hockey fans were paying attention to the Stanley Cup Finals, a handful of NHL teams were focused on hiring a new head coach and/or general manager. The Capitals found their guys by hiring Brian McClellan and Barry Trotz as GM and coach, respectively. Pittsburgh pulled off the unthinkable by hiring ex-Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford as their new general manager.

Hires like these inevitably lead to questions about the candidates’ credentials and organizational philosophies. Is it a good idea to hire a coach that has experience or one with a fresh set of ideas? Does the same apply to hiring a general manager?

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[Editor’s Note: Laurie C., a long-time RMNB reader, randomly ran into a Caps player today. I’ll let her explain.]

Today, my addiction to Wawa paid off. I stopped into the Joppa, MD store to grab a sub. While I was browsing the candy bars, I noticed this familiar individual. I only got a side glance but then I realized “Holy crap, that’s John Carlson….I think!” Immediately I looked around for Alzner, but he was nowhere to be found.

So I walked up to him, like a total goon ball and asked, “Are you who I think you are?”

He laughed at me and said, “Yeah, probably.”

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Why I Gave Up My Season Tickets

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[Ed. note: Eric Bovim shares his perspective as an aggrieved season-ticket holder. – Peter]

I have invested nearly $60,000 since 2008 as a season ticket holder into the Washington Capitals. But it’s time to put that to an end.

Even with the overdue changes to the Caps front office announced this weekend, I have decided to give up my tickets as a protest to ownership. I doubt the voice of a lone STH matters much to them; no doubt they will quickly sell my two seats in my section 102, row F to someone on their waiting list. Management never knew me. But I will not let them forget about why I have made the decision to forfeit my precious seats.

For the past 6 seasons, from those seats by the faceoff circle near the glass, I have seen it all. I remember the time I took my little boy to his first game – early 2009 – when he was merely two and a half. Alex was so young then I had to bring along his diaper and pacifier. His mother packed him his bottle. I bundled him up. We were playing the Canadiens. Jose Theodore was out goalie then. We won 3-0. I still remember his face that night at the game, him cheers along with the Horn Guy, him falling asleep later that season in the third period as the Caps rallied to beat Detroit. He stayed asleep even as Verizon Center celebrated a vintage Mike Green goal. I stood and held him as he slept. It was not easy, but it was fun.

We saw many other games over the years together. We became quite comfortable at Verizon together. We had our pre-game dinners all mapped out. He made his tour around the concourse, seeking free handouts from the Red Rockers. When I told him that I had given up the seats he was rightly upset. The games with dad were a childhood ritual that I have abruptly ended. He expected to be able to go. It would be hard to explain to him, however, that I expected much more from the Capitals this year, and that I felt like I was pouring my money down a hole.

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Photo: @JPughNBC4

It’s going to be a long, wet, hot, hockeyless summer. The way we see it, you have two choices:

  1. Spend the next five months (FIVE MONTHS, REALLY?!) in some dark corner balled up in the fetal positioning mumbling about perimeter shots.
  2. Do fun/stupid stuff to take your mind off how sad and lonely you are without hockey.

The latter seems preferable from a mental health perspective, and we’re here to help! In partnership with the fine folks at RMNB, we’re proud to present the First Annual Brouwer Pouwer Generic-Photograph-Manipulation-Software Skills Contest™.

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[Editor’s note: On Sunday, the Washington Capitals played their final game of the season, a 1-0 shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. After the game, select Caps fans were brought out onto the ice to receive jerseys off the players’ backs. RMNB reader Kate Yost was one of those fortunate few. She describes her experience below.]

Kate wins Scarlett Caps competition.

Kate wins Scarlet Caps competition.

A few weeks ago, I noticed that the Scarlet Caps posted about their newest contest for Fan Appreciation Week- “Pin a Moment, Win a Moment.” They asked the contestants to post a picture on Pinterest of their favorite Capitals 2013-2014 moment. My family and friends have a running joke (that we’re actually not really joking about) that I’m “Caps lucky.” Basically, I have a pretty solid track record of winning Caps-related contests. So naturally, when I saw this contest, I entered.

My husband, Justin, and I are both huge Caps fans. We also just got married this past December. So when it came time to plan our bachelor/bachelorette parties, we both decided to have ours at a Caps game. Obviously, we picked different games on different nights to avoid running into each other… but that’s beside the point. For my favorite 2013-2014 season moment, I decided to choose the evening of my bachelorette party. It was a ton of fun celebrating my upcoming wedding with my family, bridesmaids and friends, who are a lovely mixture of seasoned hockey fans and girls who accidentally call the puck a “ball.”

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