Braden Holtby to Make 23rd Consecutive Appearance

Photo: Amanda Bowen

The pregamer’s prediction was wrong. Braden Holtby will make his 23rd consecutive appearance tonight at Philadelphia, his 17th consecutive start. Wayne Stephenson played 22 straight for the Caps in 1979 – 1980.

Holtby has saved 93.78 percent of 5-on-5 shots since November 29th and 92.5 percent in all situations. He’s collected 11 wins in that span.

This announcement comes per your boy Adam Vingan:

There’s also some contract news on the Holtby beat.

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Tonight, Team Russia will face Madison Bowey‘s Team Canada to determine the winner of this year’s World Junior Championship.

As expected, this has caused some rifts in the Caps’ multi-national locker room.

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Photo: Pavel Mazac/CIHA

Capitals’ first-round pick Jakub Vrana scored two goals and one assist in five games at the World Junior Championship before his Czech Republic fell to Slovakia 0-3, failing to make the semifinals for the tenth straight tournament.

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In sad but true news, the following hashtag trended in Washington D.C. on Twitter: #WinterClasic. Yes, pound sign Winter (spelled right) Clasic (missing one s).

I know what you’re thinking: C’mon, Ian. There’s no way thousands upon thousands of people made the same mistake.

So let me show you some of my favorite tweets. The list includes some pretty famous people.

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Photo credit: Rob Carr.

On June 9, 2010, Troy Brouwer lifted the Stanley Cup, his Blackhawks defeating the Philadelphia Flyers to win hockey’s biggest prize. But in the months leading up to it, Brouwer was not fully focused on the Cup run. That spring, Don Brouwer, his father suffered a severe stroke, which left him unconscious for a week and required brain surgery. Since then, Don has only seen Brouwer play sporadically when the Caps travel to his hometown of Vancouver.

“You appreciate big things, like life, a little bit more,” Brouwer told Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington. “He’s lucky to be here. The doctors and physical therapists did an amazing job with him getting him back to where he is today. They say the later you are in life, the harder it is to rebound and get back to normal. He did an amazing job too. His will and his fight. You don’t get to say this a lot to your parents, but I’m very proud of him and how far he’s come. He’s really stubborn and he stayed on his therapy to get better.”

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Glorious human being. (Photo credit: Alex Brandon)

On January 1, 2011, Eric Fehr blasted into the offensive zone, along with the puck. He unleashed bullet of a wrist shot off the slushy Heinz Field ice. It was his second goal of the game, the 2011 Winter Classic, cementing him in Capitals history.

On Saturday, Fehr scored twice against the Pittsburgh Penguins, a redux of sorts of his 2011 outdoor game performance. Well, according to everyone but him.

“Not really,” Fehr said when asked by Alex Prewitt if that game brought back any memories. “Different kind of goals and obviously different building.”

Today, however, his goal was close as you could get to 2011: breakaway, unassisted, outdoors, and happy times at the end. Nevertheless, Fehr stuck to his talking points, giving nearly the same answer he provided the media Saturday.

“Not really,” Fehr said when asked, once again, if it brought back any memories. “It was a little bit different.”

Still, he was happy.

“It always feels good to score goals, I won’t lie to you,” Fehr, who attributed his play to “some good fresh air,” told me. “The ones in the Winter Classic feel extra special.”

Capitals owner Ted Leonsis saw it coming.

“I walked in today and saw Eric and said ‘You’re our x-factor,” Leonsis told me.

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The Winter Classic Will Start on Time


Take that, Sun Monster! The NHL has announced the Winter Classic will start on time as scheduled.

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Photo credit: Chris Gordon.

On Wednesday afternoon, Nate Schmidt sat in the corner of the Washington Nationals clubhouse, quietly taking off his gear after Caps practiced outside at Nats Park. With the NHL taking over the baseball stadium, the room has been temporarily transformed into a hockey locker room, though it’s not quite as smelly as a real one. To Schmidt’s right, around 15 reporters gathered around Karl Alzner, eager for his thoughts on the eyewear revolution he started. As RMNB’s Chief Fashion Reporter, I had my eye on a different aspect of Winter Classic apparel: the scarf Schmidt was wearing.

“This is my first ever scarf experience!” Schmidt gleefully announced to me. “First ever. I used to always make fun of people who wore scarves.”

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NationalsParkWinterClassicAlumniGame (16 of 19)

Bondra scores late in the game. (Photos by Chris Gordon)

This year’s NHL Winter Classic has not had much buildup. Aside from the game, there isn’t much going on. The lack of an official alumni game — which had become a tradition at Winter Classics — angered and vexed many fans. Washington cancelled this year’s Caps Convention, saying they wanted to focus on Winter Classic events and has been hyping its former players all year long, with this season being the team’s fortieth anniversary. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, and Caps owner Ted Leonsis have all given competing answers as to why the event didn’t occur. Nevertheless, a group of former Caps, media members, and As Seen on TV people like NBC’s Washington Amelia Segal, took to the Nationals Park ice on Tuesday afternoon as part of an informal skate that came together in the past few weeks.

“I guess we all unfairly assumed that there would be one,” Alan May, who played in the game, said of an official alumni game, noting that Rod Langway and numerous former Blackhawks and Capitals expressed interest. “There’s nothing that can be done about it.”

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Yesterday, bits and pieces of the NHL’s pre-game ceremonies were released to the public. We learned that Caps-anthem regulars Bob McDonald and Caleb Green would be performing the Star Spangled Banner along with the US Army Chorus. We also learned that Lee Greenwood would be at Nats Park for some reason.

Now we learn even more. The NHL has announced there’ll be a flyover by jets, a Billy Idol performance, and Gavin DeGraw will try to resurrect a career that died about three years ago. Man, the NHL sure knows how to be hip.

There’s lots of little good nuggets below though, especially for those of you who are going to the game. Check it out.

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