ChimeraGoal

Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

Last season, Adam Oates tried to reinvent Eric Fehr. Instead of being an auxiliary winger, Oates turned Fehr into a checking line center. Actual hockey isn’t NHL 15, so the role was uneasy for Fehr. Center is a  greater responsibility than being a scoring winger, offensively and defensively. Pivots are, perhaps, a little smarter than the rest of us. Fehr never quite settled into the position and bounced around the lineup and the press box under Oates. He did, however, find success with Joel Ward and Jason Chimera, inspiring a cult following for the line.

This season, it looked like Barry Trotz put an end to the Eric Fehr 3C experiment, placing the Manitoban on the top trio with Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin. After Tuesday’s histrionic 6-5 loss to San Jose, Trotz’s shifted his lineup. Fehr was back with Ward and Chimera. On Thursday, the line was Washington’s best. While they only registered one of Washington’s five goals — and it was barely even a goal — the trio shut down the opposition and earned praise from Trotz. Against the Panthers, the third line was again inspired. Chimera had a myriad of chances while scoring Washington’s lone goal of the night. It was set up by a brilliant pass from the corner from Fehr.

“With that line, I think that Fehrsie’s got really good hockey IQ,” Trotz said. “He can read off those two guys.”

“That whole line’s been really good the last couple games,” he added.

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Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dmitry Orlov were all that Fury premier tonight. And lo and behold, they actually got to meet Brad Pitt. AND give him a custom made Caps jersey too.

How cool is this? Oh man.

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I swear I’m not making this up.

Groupon has a new offer. For a good price you’ll get tickets to the Caps and a t-shirt, but who cares. Just check out the promo text:

Hockey teams are often named after intimidating natural phenomena, such as the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Colorado Avalanche, and the Tuscaloosa Puberty. Experience the fury with this GrouponLive deal.

(Emphasis mine.)

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Caps Hire Analytics Pioneer Tim Barnes, aka Vic Ferrari

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The best, err… only, photo of Barnes on the net. (via CBC.ca)

The Capitals have, kinda notoriously, not been friendly to analytics in recent years. In a blog post this summer, owner Ted Leonsis made a crack about fans complaining that the team didn’t acquire “Joe Corsi and Peter Fenwick” during free agency.

Now, the Caps have hired the creator of the Corsi stat to run analytics for the team.

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Jeff Schultz’s Name Will Be Engraved on the Stanley Cup

We’ve got some breaking news. The Los Angeles Kings put in a special waiver to the NHL to get former Washington Capitals defenseman Jeff Schultz on the Stanley Cup. That waiver was approved.

Friday afternoon, the Kings announced the 52 names that will be on sports’ oldest championship trophy and Sarge is on that list.

Yes, Jeff Schultz’s name — one season removed from being bought out by the Capitals — will be on the Stanley Cup. Here are the other 51 lucky souls.

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BurakovskyFirstGoal

Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

Two summers ago, Andre Burakovsky came to Capitals Development Camp as a skinny but skilled winger a few years away from the NHL. He made friends with Tom Wilson, about 11 months his senior, and the Canadian introduced him to life in North American and the “cinnamon rollers” that come with it.

Wilson made the Caps roster as a 19-year-old three months later, playing in every one of the team’s 82 games but barely getting on the ice. He registered 15 times more penalty minutes than points. Connor Carrick, another 19-year-old, also made the team out of camp. Though Carrick impressed early with manifest skill, he struggled as the season went on. Thanks to the Caps barren defense, Carrick was playing minutes he wasn’t ready for. Like Wilson, Carrick was ill-served by his rookie experience.

“It’s tough for a young kid,” new Caps GM Brian MacLellan said in his introductory press conference, admitting the team should have handled the players differently.

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ovechkin-asteroid

Photo: Leonid Elenin’s Facebook

On March 31, 2009, Russian astronomer Leonid Elenin discovered an asteroid. Some five years later, Elenin has chosen the perfect name for it: Alex Ovechkin.

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Remembering Jay Beagle’s Flip Phone, “Flipper”

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We got some devastating news from The Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt on Tuesday: Jay Beagle‘s long-time companion Flipper has gone to a better place. By better place, I’m thinking a dumpster or a Verizon Store recycle bin.

Flipper is survived by my T-Mobile RAZR and Ted Leonsis’s LG Revere flip phone.

This news has shaken me to the core. I haven’t eaten. I couldn’t sleep. I’ve just been sobbing for hours on end.

Who is Jay Beagle without a flip phone? It’s like Adam Vingan without the puns. I don’t recognize it.

To console you, dear RMNB reader, as well as myself, let’s remember the better times– the times when Jay Beagle was still really, really technology-challenged.

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One of my all-time favorite Capitals is Peter Bondra, so I’m so very happy to spread this news.Bonzai will participate in the ceremonial puck drop before Thursday’s home opener against the Montreal Canadiens– along with Hall of Famer Rod Langway, long-time defenseman Sylvain Cote, and everybody’s favorite color commentator, Craig Laughlin. Thursday marks the team’s actual 40th anniversary of the franchise’s first game in 1974, so that’s the reason for all the hubbub.

The Caps will also wear white alternate uniforms during the home opener that will be auctioned off during the game. A donation of Evgeny Kuznetsov’s game-used jersey can be sent to me via RMNB, ATTN: Ian Oland, I Know You Won’t Buy It For Me But It’d Be Really Awesome If You Did Street, Frederick, MD.

Are you getting excited for hockey? Peter is and I sure as hell am. We’re just two short days away!

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